Miss Tina Sparkles

Six Thousand Seven Hundred and Forty Miles. That’s how far it is to New Zealand from San Francisco. Do you think I could swim all that way? According to Oscar, who is 8, you can do it on the back of your little sister. But only if you are paid the high price of one cookie. This is what he informed us as he made his entrance one morning, clinging to the giggling and struggling frame of Mia, who is 4.

I certainly hope he’s right. Because after four days of sharing our home with the one and only Teeny, her husband Steve and two kiddies, our San Francisco flat suddenly feels lonesome with their absence. I started missing her before she even left, and spent the rest of the day yesterday, I will admit, feeling completely mopey. Even though we were only able to start conversations, and not finish them before some little somebody demanded attention, I am well aware that we could have chatted for days. I don’t always realize how lonely it can be, being a Mama, until that experience is contrasted by getting to share my days with another mama who is also a kindred spirit.

Blogging relationships are precious, but it dawned on me this weekend how they can lend themselves to that sense of isolation that is Social Media. We all send emails and comments…which is like having a relationship in one minute bursts. Each morning that I heard her voice floating down the hall, I got a chance to feel the pulse of warm blooded friendship. My heart craves more than words on a screen.

There were outings and dinners and flea markets and movies and late night tea. I’ll shut up now and show you the photos. I know why you’re here. BUT WHAT DID SHE WEAR? Adorableness. Every. Day.

Carousel in Golden Gate Park

Alemany Flea Market. Girlfriend scored, and also learned how to haggle.

After market nosh at Soleil. We met up with Gabriel and had casual conversation about things like the importance of funghi, the nitrogen footprint and NZ hotsprings. Just your average chat in the Lower Haight.

There was also some self referential awkwardness.

You feel? Adorbz.

One of our family style dinners. Steve and Tina didn’t quite know what to make of my American hospitality which was kinda like LET ME FEED YOU.

Sunday Night Dinner with our housemate Kristy and good friend Steph. That’s Oscar at the table, having conniptions about yet another weird vegetarian meal.

Everybody say “Tacos!”. That’s Steve, Tina’s man, on the left. I spared him the I’m in your face with a camera cuz I’m a blogger action. He was a complete dear heart…it’s so good to meet your friends’ partners and to feel that solid confidence that they’ve got a good one.

Fern didn’t quite know what to make of these two children who were suddenly living in her home. During a couple of teary moments I asked her, “Is it hard having other kids in your house, touching your toys and being in your room?”. Nodding and pouty lips. But this morning as we were painting at 7am, she said, “I use this paintbrush and then when the other kids get up they come and paint too.”. I explained again that our friends are staying at another house and we won’t see them for a while. She looked at me slightly befuddled like, “What? Just when I got used to them?”

We really loved Oscar and Mia and they really loved…Jeff. Mia informed me that she was in love with Jeff and was going to marry him.

Oscar thought his mum and dad should leave him to stay with us, “To get to know Jeff better”.

Don’t look at our weird shadowey faces. Look at our frocks. And our shoes. (And how Tina is TOTALLY copying me. Fashion stalker. This might get in the way of our friendship, Teens.).

Yes, I do wear that hat everyday.

We spent our last 10 minutes together swapping clothes. She handed down her Holly Hobby vest, which I had admired on her blog. Really, I just wanted to give her pieces of me to take with her. Tuck me in your suitcase!

Such a peach.

I am tempted to write up every little giggle, but I think some things are better left out of the blogosphere. Also, Teeny is the star of this show…the story will best be told by her.

Teeny and Co. are continuing on with their travels and I know some of you ladies will be meeting her too, as Anne did before me. Y’all are in for a treat.

Happy trails and much love, dear Tina, Steve, Oscar and Mia!


8 thoughts on “Miss Tina Sparkles

  1. HAHAHAHAHAHA, you cracked me up lady, even if I did my darndest to copy the shit out of your fashion itinerary I wouldn’t look half as cool as you. oh man, love and miss you guys so much already. I missed our loft bed last night and walking down the long hall to say good morning to your smiley selves. No gallivanting with Ms Mary today. sad face. You touched on something there too, about the blogosphere friendships and how they’re like a little beacon of light…but just not quite the whole deal, i’m so grateful i got to spend those tiny four days with you, and to find out that you are the real deal, and that our bloggy friendship was completely promising of how great our real friendship could be. Your man was such a trooper with my kids, SUCH a trooper – give him hugs from us will ya. And a big smooch for Fern too. You’re a special spirit Ms Mary, thanks for sharing your light. big kisses and hugs. xoxo

  2. Sorry I did not get to meet you, Teeny! I know we all have great intentions when we visit a place to see lots of people there, but it never works out that way, as life intervenes (especially with kids), and it just gets too much! It sounds like the families both had a blast and I am glad you all got to spend time together. We just pretty much…well, we are still unpacking! (And I am cooking).

  3. Love your stories – sometimes they’re read, sometimes not, but I always look at the pictures of smiley people in the sunny side of the world -foraging Fridays! living the dream!! (Its always sunny where you are right?). Thanks! Bess

  4. aww, you girls are so pretty and happy! so glad you had a good visit. i always feel a bit sad when something like that ends, too.

  5. you girls are AMAZINGLY cute together. wooohooo on that long distance connection coming to a real life love meeting. i feel like i know you both sort-of so it’s really cool to see!! i am so bad at having house guests, but you almost made me think it sounded fun. ha! very beautiful vibe you girls made. lovelovelove.

  6. i miss her already….booo hoooo!!!! lucky you to spend several days with them. they were amazing. i have read your post a couple times already just to vicariously experience it. isn’t it just the best feeling to meet someone in real life and have that great connection built in from the start? i love it. it makes the whole sometimes-weird blog world sooooo worth it and truly a little bit magical.

  7. hahaha tina sparkles! i just watched Strictly Ballroom a couple weeks ago! love that movie and loved seeing you two together. that was awesome that she and her family got to stay with you and i bet it was even more fun than than the pictures show (and they look pretty darn fun!). it’s so great to meet blogger friends in person and totally hope to get to meet you one day soon mary!

    1. that movie was one of the first things i mentioned to teeny when we started emailing. i asked if teeny sparkles had anything to do with tina sparkles. she was surprised i’d heard of strictly ballroom. when they were here, we had a movie night and forced the guys to watch it with us.

      and i’ll pop on over to your blog to say this too, but i was so warmed by what you said…i would love to meet you soon too!

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