Mademoiselle Colette …Part Deux!


816 Santa Cruz Ave. * Menlo Park CA 94025 * 650-644-8469 * ( Also locations in Palo Alto and Redwood City! ) *

Part 2! We’ll always have Pandemic ( Scroll down or click here for part one! )

”We’ll pretend we’re in Paris!” I gleefully hollered into the phone. Mom agreed with  my ladies-who-lunch plan. I’d drive to The Sequoias, scoop her up, and we’d lounge at Colette’s cute sidewalk tables ; munching on soup, half sandwiches…and French mini pies!

I was racing against the clock with this caper. Recently I’d gotten whiff of a virus in Wuhan, and, viruses doing what comes naturally to them – travel around and piss everybody off – I had no faith this one would go against type and sit still. Mom’s senior living place also had the sensible habit of locking down whenever the flu came knocking, so whooshing off to Paris sooner rather than later was the call. Mademoiselle Colette’s came immediately to mind; they are nearby, and, with germs starting to sprinkle the news, I couldn’t forget barging into Colette’s sparkling civility right after seeing a man who was on his computer, picking his nose, and eating it. YUGH!!! Mademoiselle Colette’s immediately cleansed me of that experience, and now I wanted to return with Mom to that cafe of sanity before all hell broke loose.

We almost made it. The day before we were to go, Seniors were required/strongly suggested to stay at home for their safety. I thought about mom-napping her out the back door of her apartment, but decided I didn’t want to be that asshole. What if she got sick? What if we brought bad guy germs back to The Sequoias? What if nose picking man decided to skulk around Colette’s when we were there? No problem, I thought. I’ll bring Paris to her. Go to Colette’s, pick up soup and sandwiches and mini pies, and we’ll dine in. That didn’t happen either. The Sequoias moved faster on Covid-19 than Yeager on his best day. No visitors to the dining room. Within one day, no visitors, period.

And that’s how we find ourselves locked down and venturing out in masks and gloves for essential errands and, if you’re me, thanking the gods that The Sequoias threw Thor’s Hammer at Covid-19 and said ( my words not theirs ) “ We thank you for your interest but will all outsiders please stay the hella far freaking away until this has passed.” Guess what – no coronavirus at Sequoias barring one poor employee. I bow before greatness!

At The Sequoias, meals are parceled out to every single apartment a healthy 3x a day, which is a safe and grinding marathon of insanity for the staff. The rest of us are at home eating too much. I pat myself on my back for my prescient quote, “ In a world of hurt, no one can disagree on the idea of PIE.” Besides toilet paper what do the stores keep running out of? FLOUR! Okay, a lot of people are baking bread. But you know what I mean. COMFORT EATING. No time like a pandemic for pie. And nowadays when you bake something, you can’t really share it outside your household. It’s ALL FOR YOU. Ask my expanding ass how I know this.

It’s now been over two months, and The Sequoias has recently allowed things to be dropped off for residents at the front desk. Mom figured  we could wave and jump up and down from across the room, but what would be our excuse? Well…Mademoiselle Colette’s is open for takeout….how about a French pie delivery?!


C’est la vie


Not so fast. Turns out dropping goods at Mom’s Operation Foxhole – and I’m not kidding, Sequoia’s informed all residents they were going ‘Operation Foxhole ‘ – requires planning like an OCD military strategist.  I thought this through and came up with the following. With mask on : a) Break quarantine. Drive 1 hr to Colette’s. Must get gas on the way. Stop at gas station, keep keys in car and pay first, toss wallet in car and then gloves on. Fill ‘er up and toss gloves. Sanitize. B) Colette’s. Shove keys in pocket. Don gloves. Socially distance buy mini pies. C) Dang it have to pee. Do I pee at Colette’s. Is that allowed. Do I take off my gloves to pee. If I pee there with gloves on then do I toss them in the garbage and use a towel to open the door. Now the bag/box with pie in it is germy. Or gloves off for bathroom break. Gee if I use the restroom at Colette’s what’s the point in wearing gloves in the first place. If no restroom use then walk back to car, take off ONE glove, remove keys with ungloved hand, open car, take off other dirty glove and put both gloves in their to-toss place in car. Wait now I’ve just germed the Colette’s box. Sanitize the box. Sanitize the bag. Sanitize my hands again. D) Drive to Sequoias. Call mom to meet me at the front desk. This gets tricky as she likely won’t remember the rules. Convince her to meet me maybe at the front. E) Shove keys in pocket.  New gloves on. Drop off mini pies! Security re-sanitizes the box. See mom and have staff probably hold her back. Wave and jump up and down. Instruct her on walking up to pick up the box all while social distancing. No problem, new rules are easy for seniors. F) If I didn’t pee at Colette’s, dang it. Can I pee here. Is that a good idea. Do I wear gloves or not. G) Decide locating a tree is a better idea. Go back to car, deja vu. Take off one glove, remove keys from pocket, open car with ungloved hand, take off other glove and put in dirty glove toss pile, sanitize hands. H) Drive to park around the corner. Hike up trail and hope to veer off. Find a tree. Watch for rattlesnakes and hikers. Walk way far to find a spot. Now back to car, sanitize, check for ticks. I) 1 hour home. Strip. All clothes in laundry and shower with tick re-check.

 That’s a day well spent. I’d offer you a graph with stick figures and arrows but you get the idea.  But you know what…I’m slounging here in PJ’s pigging out and fantasizing about putting on flattering clothes – if they still fit – and a fancy hat, posturing at a sidewalk cafe watching the world go by while I eat a French tart displayed on a doily. Maybe sipping something bubbly. Until that day is possible, I can put on that fancy hat and bring Paris to mom. Mademoiselle Colette’s is worth it.



I dream of sparkling pecan pie

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Surfing and Strolling near Mademoiselle Colette

SURFING: As the crow flies from Colette’s , you’ll find yourself just south of Mavericks, and just north of a place nicknamed, ‘ Don’t Eat Us Creek. ‘ A more reasonable (flat!) spot is just south of Mavs I’m gonna call Demented Hitchhiker. Thanks to upwellings there, the water is particularly icy and you might find yourself unable to change or get into your car because your hands are frozen. Of course you parked right off the highway, so every single passing motorist sees you jumping up and down waving your arms in circles trying to get circulation back. For twenty minutes. YOU are Demented Hitchhiker.

STROLLING: Wunderlich Park and Windy Hill Preserve are kinda sorta nearby! Lovely hikes but for gods’ sake don’t fool yourself into thinking you don’t need a map. ” Just an out and back,” you might think. Ha! No! Windy Hill Preserve is now named for the wind between my ears when I decide I’m an experienced hiker and am going to improv a route. Pro tip; after these kinds of tours, extra pie is required.


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