Kail stayed behind in Michigan while I headed to the Berkeley area in Northern California to visit my friend Catherine, who had moved there from Washington earlier in the year. Catherine and I have been friends since college way back when — and a lot has change since. She now has two little ones, and I’ve got my own bun in the ovenWe’ve stayed close over the years despite my globetrotting, celebrating marathons, marriages, children, new jobs, and other milestones. I was so glad to be able to visit her.We scrapped our plans for a Sonoma winery tour, given that I was 16 weeks pregnant, but we had a great time visiting other sights in the Bay Area and catching up. It wasn’t a very long trip — three days — but we managed to do a lot.You can see the Golden Gate Bridge in the hazy distance.Most importantly, I got to test the waters in childcare with her adorable then-three-year-old and two-month-old daughters. I had been so focused on pregnancy at that point — I hadn’t even started thinking about newborn and infant care, let alone toddlerhood.We went on a nice hike, baby in tow, in Tilden Regional Park, which boasts sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay. We brunched in Berkeley. We also took a day trip to Sausalito, enjoying a waterside lunch and stroll, along with some window shopping and — my favorite part of the trip (a feeling shared by the three-year-old): an ice cream cone as big as my head at Lappert’s.I’m a child.I had a great time catching up with Catherine, but I also missed Kail. We spend so much time together — a byproduct of Foreign Service life, I think, but also just in our introverted, homebody natures — that it’s weird traveling without him. I can’t help but feel that it’s not as fun having experiences and creating memories if I can’t share them with Kail. [Cue sappy music/your gag reflex here.]We spent even more time apart later on, when he returned to Amman and I stayed behind for an extra couple weeks in Virginia. We survived.Next up: Virginia Beach.