I've suddenly found that I have all these friends with children. For a long time, we had hardly any friends with children and now we have enough to start a small football team, and I love it. Part of the reason is that hanging out with them is like all the fun bits of babysitting without the awkward bits like the parents arriving home early while you're standing in their kitchen eating their ice cream directly from the carton, but the other part is that now we get to have some really kickass parties.
You think I've got that backwards, don't you? No, Holly, you're thinking, you have the kickass parties BEFORE you have the friends with children. But I'm not talking about ragers and keggers and all-night raves—three things I have never actually been to, by the way, but which I am just going to trust are exactly as portrayed in Can't Hardly Wait—but rather the sort of languid, relaxed, oh-hey-you-got-ketchup-on-your-chin-eh-whatever sorts of afternoons where you all just sit around in the sun together and eat and drink and laugh and watch the babies have fun.
A few months ago, in the middle of a terrible fight with Sean, I suddenly remembered that the camping spots at Kirby Cove were about to be released. There are only five spots—four where you can camp overnight and one that's a day-use picnic area—and they go like hotcakes once the National Parks Service opens up the online reservation form. I've been wanting to go for as long as I can remember—Kirby Cove is at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge, so the view is BEYOND—but I'd always been too late in trying to snag a spot. This time, however, whatever silly thing Sean and I were fighting about meant I was up at 11:59pm, a minute before the online registration opened, so I did what any sensible person would do and flounced out of the room—ostensibly to make a particularly dramatic point, but really because I'd just remembered that I needed to book a campsite—and boom, managed to reserve the day-use site for a Sunday three months later.
And oh, it was magical. Idyllic. The kids ran around and flew kites and built sandcastles, and the adults sat around and let the collective stresses and strains of the week melt into the sunshine and float away under the Golden Gate Bridge. Everyone brought food and everyone brought booze and after we'd all eaten we clambered down the stony path to the beach, and everyone took off their shoes and walked barefoot in the sand.
It was the sort of day that makes you nostalgic for it while it's happening, which is why I think the Super 8 app I'd been playing around with that afternoon—everso slightly twee though it is—captured the whole golden vibe of it so perfectly. You know, I've sort of wondered it my entire life, but it turns out this is what it's like to live somewhere you can't imagine leaving.