After a fantastic night’s sleep, we took the boys down to a breakfast buffet… always their favorite. Philip got a few things done work-wise, and we left around noon for Pleasanton, a suburb of San Francisco. Our coffee choice for the drive was plain ‘ol Starbucks, but it sufficed. The drive through the central valley was scenic. I loved seeing all of the orchards and vineyards- I just wished there were little signs next to the roads telling we were observing! I wish that in Texas too.
We got in to Pleasanton (which really is so pleasant!) just before dinner, and got to share hugs and a meal with my oldest cousin James, his beautiful wife Svetla and their 9 year old son. My boys were quite excited for these few days with him because they don’t get to see him much. It was a relaxing evening and stayed up entirely too late chatting. I make note of this because, being 10 years younger than James, we never really connected on a friend-level. He was in college when I was in junior high. I knew he was the smarty-pants-calculus-and-number-sense genius of the family, so maybe it was that that kept his persona in the “unreachable” phase. To my pleasure, and hopefully his, both Philip and I have a lot in common with he and his wife, so it was easy and comfortable.
We planned Saturday to explore San Francisco. Philip nor I have been there, and the only thing we know is from pictures and Full House. Turns out, the weather which is usually 70s ended up being upper 80s! We waded through the inevitable California traffic, crossed the Oakland Bay Bridge and caught our first glimpse of this city that has captured so many hearts.
We parked at Alamo Square and walked over to a close deli (Alamo Square Market), ordered sandwiches and took them back for a picnic in the park. This is the park that overlooks the Painted Ladies. This might have been the best sandwich I have ever had! It was amazing! Get your sandwich on a Dutch Crunch Roll. You’ll thank me. (Now let me wipe my saliva…) After lunch and some people watching, we walked several blocks (WAYYYY to much walking for the kids in their opinion- ha!) to get ice cream at this little spot that only has 4 flavors, but makes them right in front of you in liquid nitrogen. Smitten is YUMMY. Go there. Enjoy it.
Next we drove over to the Presidio to get a good view of the Golden Gate Bridge. The kids were complaining of all the hills and walking, so they opted to climb a tree instead of walk around some more and we snapped some pictures. You can see the bridge in the background.
Then, we crossed the bridge over to Sausalito. Now that was my kind of town. A little more charm, a few less people. We grabbed some espresso and found a street performer with a gregarious cockatoo, entertaining passer-bys. He brought Deron and then Jude and then me! So fun. I’ve never fed a cockatoo before… especially from my mouth!
We were all getting tired of the heat by that point, so started making our way back to the house, had an easy dinner of leftovers, bathed the kids and went to bed.
I had planned this day to be one of preparation and laundry, work, and relaxing and boy did we need it! I think I did 6 loads of laundry that day, vacuumed out the van, threw out food we hadn’t eaten, and wiped out our cooler. Svetla, the boys and I went to watch James in a soccer game he was playing in at a nearby park and then went to a cute lunch place where the grapefruit and orange and lemon trees hung around us. The restaurant was practically empty, but the large outside patio was completely full! Oh, how I will never grow tired of the fruit trees and beautiful weather in California…
We made some espresso, read and napped outside during the late evening, then picked lemons from their gorgeous lemon tree, and ate dinner on the patio. What else would you do? California living… Ahhh….