Except for getting into and out of the car, we have not spent very much time outside lately. It has been cold and often drizzly. Alice usually is coming down with or getting over a cold. (Or maybe it only seems that way.)

But the past few days have been warmer, and this morning we visited Berkeley.I got to catch up a little with a dear friend. Alice got to meet her.

We had coffee  at a place where we have had coffee before, and we walked. We talked about farmers markets and neighbors and new jobs, and the years since and have-you-heard-from.  Neither of us (none of us!) had ever been to the top of the Campanile . So we paid $2 and rode an elevator to the top of the Campanile.

Alice is an easy baby to be out with. She is rarely cranky in public. She is patient. She is curious. She seems genuinely interested in watching other people.

But Alice prefers to be home.

She is noticeably mellower here, where she knows who belongs and what to expect.

Of course she is. And I am glad for that.

But I am also glad that, just shy of her first birthday, she was 200 feet above the ground, standing under bells almost 100 years old.

(Heights have never bothered me. I have always enjoyed roller coasters. I took David on his first roller coaster ride – the wooden kind that creaks and wobbles. That you don’t quite trust. I tried to hold his hand, but he wouldn’t let go of the safety bar. So I was surprised to feel a little woozy at the top of Sather Tower, to be too anxious to step very near the edge of the viewing platform – a platform enclosed in heavy metal rails. I don’t know if that is age, or the weight of Alice, whom I was carrying.)


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