Trans Ams, perms, and pegged pants were all the rage the year that I turned 16. The only pictures you could take used film, and you never knew if anyone was blinking during the shot until you got your pictures back from being developed.
My mom was the cool mom who took us TP'ing on countless occasions, let me skip a class or two as long as she knew where I was, and who almost always answered yes when I asked to have a bunch of friends over. When I asked her to take me and my sister and a few friends to San Francisco instead of school on my 16th birthday once again she was game.
After passing my early morning drivers license test, we picked up my all of my friends who's moms let them ditch school, and headed into the city. We started off with the traditional Fisherman's wharf and Pier 39 visit.
The food in there always smells so good! I still remember my mom calling my name and then snapping this picture of Tara and I, both with mouths full of churro. Twenty years later I still can't resist them!
We sat on the benches and people watched. San Francisco easily takes the cake for the worlds best people watching. To this day one of my favorites is the man who would hide behind a huge broken off tree branch along the sidewalk and then jump out from behind it a scare the life out of people as they unassumingly passed him by.
We goofed off in the cute shops, riding rocking horses and posing with giant stuffed animals
We tried on huge animal head slippers usually found only in child sizes
Tara always had the best long nails and they were always painted some bold color. And even though she is two years younger, she's always looked out for me. Just seeing her hand on the side of this shot, trying to help keep my hair out of my face makes me smile. I love my little sister! When the wind picked up and we got a little chilly we made our way over to Macy's.
At some point we decided to have a little fashion show. We tried on all the different formal dresses they had. Cute ones and crazy ones, most of which none of us would ever have worn anywhere, but we had so much fun. I felt a little like Cinderella! (I'm so sad about the red film exposure in the only picture we took of our little dress-capades! You can still make out Tara and Kelly, but none of the crazy feathers that were dangling from the dress Kelly had on. I love the bubble skirt and completely detached arms on Tara's dress, ha!!)
When our stomachs started growling a few of us got clam chowder in sourdough bread bowls, but some people weren't quite so adventurous, and just wanted McDonald's so we just brought our bread bowls in with us. While I don't remember all of the details of what was said, I will NEVER forget what happened in there that day.
When I took the picture of LaRena and my mom the flash reflected in the mirror. A huge homeless man who had ordered food and was harassing the workers about getting better service, thought that someone had taken a picture of him! I just remember him yelling and swearing at us and security escorting him out of the restaurant.
The man stood outside yelling obscenities and causing a scene for a while and then came up to the window directly behind Tara and Corey, smashed his Big Mac into it and smeared it all over. I could still pick that mans face out of a line up today. We were completely freaked out!!
In fact it left so much of an impression that just two weeks ago, twenty years later, LaRena was in SF with her husband and kids when she came across that same McDonald's and sent me the picture above. All the memories from that day came flooding back.
I remember celebrating at Letherby's in Davis later that night and coming back to my house to find that Charlie, Robbie, Todd and a handful of our guy friends a year older than us were waiting for our return. They had parked all of their cars in a semi circle with the lights shining to the middle and someone's car stereo system providing an impromptu dance in the cul-de-sac in front of my house. I remember going to bed that night smiling, sure that I had the best friends a girl could have and the coolest parents ever. I remember most of this like it was yesterday, but somehow my own son will be turning 16 in 4 short months. Sometimes its just plain weird to be reminded that we are the grown ups now! I hope I can help to make his day as fun as mine was!