Saturday, December 1, 2012

California Love

Ok. I've been putting it off long enough. Not really intentionally, but for the love of chocolate I just need to finish telling you about my visit to California. And then some other random things, naturally. 

So I spent 2.5 days in San Francisco. My second favorite city ever.

OHMYLATUS!!! A cable car!!! 

 This was the view from our place in Ghirardelli Square. I died from EXTREME excitement about 58 times that day. Amazing. I couldn't believe I was in San Francisco. It's on my bucket list and I was there. Golden Gate to my left, Ghirardelli Square below, Alcatraz in the distance and the splendid city waiting for me to tear it up to my right and behind. 


Heck yes you better believe we marched right down there and indulged in some hot chocolate. Mmmm MMMMM!!!

Then we walked along the wharf, the piers, and mostly along the waterfront. We just had to pop into Boudin because everyone in San Fran knows about it and I wanted to too.

Crab-shaped bread? I don't think I need to say anymore about how cool this place is. 
Plus it's bread

This dude was awesome. He created this piece with spray paint and odds and ends in a few minutes. It was pretty cool to watch him. This picture doesn't even do it justice.

We happened upon this snazzy merry-go-round and the following conversation was had:
Mom: Gabe, do you want to go on the merry-go-round?
Gabe: YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Will you go with me????
(Thinking with full confidence she would say yes)
Mom: No.
Gabe: WHAT!!?!!
There was no merry-go-round riding. Some people. GOSH.  

This is one of my favorite shots. 

The next morning (Monday) I woke up at 7am. That in and of itself is impressive because I woke up WITHOUT an alarm. Who needs an alarm when you've got excitement? Well I had it by the bundle because I got ready as fast as I could, thinking the parentals would be up and ready to go. FALSE. About 1.5 hours later my mom popped into the living room where I was watching TV. I was starting to doze. But then the excitement came flooding back and we headed out to explore the city.

I looked out this window every chance I could get. While I was waiting for the parentals, I think I hung out of the window for about 45 minutes just watching people. 

With a view like this, how could not just sit and watch and take it in?

OK. I rode my FIRST cable car. It was one of the highlights of my trip. Seriously. 

I know I say this often, but I really had the excitement of a 6 year old. I was standing on the very front because I wanted to see as much as I could. It was AMAZING. I loved it! And we passed another cable car going the opposite way and they were this close |--------|. I gave a high five to a girl riding on the other cable car. Made my day. 


The Bay Bridge
We also wandered through the Ferry Building and sampled olive oils, baked goods (of course!), and gelato (6 flavors to be exact and they were goooooood). One of the many reasons I love my mom: she loves ice cream/froyo/gelato as much as I do so we do a lot of sampling and eating. Kind of like how we had froyo almost every day...Dan laughs at us. But he's a foodie too, so he gets it. Love it.

The Rents. Cuuuuuuuute!

THEN. We went to Sausalito which, of course, required us to stop and take some touristy pictures. 
It really is a beautiful bridge. 

Sausalito was really neat too. Quaint AND we had the best tacos I've ever had there. We ate at Copita Tequileria y Comida. HOLY CATSCANS. Go there. If you go to Sausalito, go there. We each got an order of three small tacos and shared. Great idea and each was very distinct and unique. I'm salivating just thinking about it. 
Photo from here

Then we cruised along on the opposite side of the Golden Gate. So beautiful. 

Then we decided to explore some parts of the city. We googled it and found this:

I know what you're thinking: By Jove, it's not!!! Yes. Yes that is the Mrs. Doubtfire house. 2640 Steiner Street. *sigh* I love that movie. 

Tuesday Dan had to work so the Madre and I decided to head out to Golden Gate Park. This darling mother of mine was proud of herself for driving in SanFran all on her own. Me too. She did very well. 

Golden Gate Park is H.U.G.E. We hardly scratched the surface of it. We wondered around and discovered several little gardens, some open, some not. Next time, we are spending the day there. We lucked out in that the Conservatory of Flowers was open for free to the public (free the first Tuesday of the month!). 

 Then we picked up Dan and headed back home. But first, we stopped in Oakland to see the LDS temple. STUNNING view from the temple. Oakland in the foreground and San Francisco in the background. What a spectacular sight. 

The view had nothing on the actual temple itself. 

Over the next few days, we did some exploring of some of the little towns nearby. My favorite was Danville. We spent some time wandering, a tiny bit of shopping (Papyrus because I have an obsession with stationary), and of course, popping into our 8th(??) bakery. That cupcake was good. We split it. Tasted homemade. Gabe and Madre approved. We know a homemade cupcake from a boxed mix. You cannot fool our tastebuds. 

 This is staged but at one point as we were finishing up dinner, I looked up and for once I was not the one on my phone (blowing up Instagram and Facebook with pictures). These two were!!!! So I giggled and told them to pose so I could capture it. 
Family dinner in the 21st century.

One of the last days there, we headed up to Napa Valley. 

We stopped at (!!!!!!!) The Culinary Institute of America.
And sampled some of their baked goods. Mmm! And watched some of the students hard at work. I want to go there. Yeah today we're learning how to make chocolates. Darn. What are you studying? Oh Organic Chem? *evil snicker* 

This day was probably my favorite food day. We ate at Bistro Jeanty 
Some superb French cuisine. 

They were very well known know for their tomato soup with a puff pastry top.
Dan got some and let me try it. Friends, let me tell you, it is really good. 
My mom and I got the exact same thing. We started off with their special soup of the day: Butternut squash pear soup with a dollop of bleu cheese. Now, I do not like bleu cheese. Not one bit. However, this soup is the exception. It was exquisite and just the right portion size (I'm not saying that because I'm a dietitian; I'm saying that because it was satisfying without ruining my appetite for the entree). Then we got the Salade Mâraichère, which was to. die. for. It was  a green bean salad with warm goat cheese oven roasted tomatoes, and honey vinaigrette. I don't care for green beans that much, usually because they are the nasty kind from the can, but these beauties were fresh and perfect. Trust me when I say, my mom and I oooooohed and aaaaaahed while eating this. INCREDIBLE. If you are in Napa Valley, go to Bistro Jeanty. It's a fun restaurant, very French feeling, with a splendid menu. As we were leaving I saw that they are well known for their frites (fries). I was a little crushed that I didn't know this before, because you better bet you bottom dollar I would have ordered some. Oh well, another time. The meal was perfection. 

And then to top of the perfect lunch, we popped into Bouchon Bakery.

  I sampled a really good macaroon when we were in the Ferry Building but their macaroons looked exquisite so I got a hazelnut one.
And I'm pretty sure my eyes popped out of my head a little because it was 
I never understood why macaroons were such a big deal. Well. Friends. I have been converted. I see. I get it. And I am a big fan. BIG fan. Next time I'm in San Fran I am buying 5 of them. And no, I will not share, sorry.

And then the sad time came for me to leave. BUT as promised, a story to accompany this photo: 
There is a deli called Brass Bear and when my mom got married and I went with my new sister, they raved about it. It's a tradition and a family favorite for them. My mom and I came here for lunch so I could try it and INDEED it is yummy! Sourdough friends, it's all about the sourdough. Well, my mom had to mail something and Dan said I needed to get a sandwich for the flight (like I'd say no to Brass Bear. Come on people.), so I ran, yes, ran to Brass Bear and stormed in a little winded and the owner took my order. He was amused. I'm sure it was amusing to see me burst in, try to regain my composure, and then order my sandwich all the while trying to breathe normally and act like I was a regular or something. I got the dutch crunch this time instead of sourdough, because that also comes highly recommended, and it was wicked good. So now I feel maybe a little more like a Reeve girl. :) 

And then I flew home and was a little sad to say goodbye to California and my family.  

But it's ok because I'll see them in 14 days. YESSSSSSSSSS! IN NEW ENGLAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now on to the latest and greatest. I ran 6 miles this morning, because I'm trying to PR the next half marathon in February. Well. I might have gone a little nuts this weekend. I ran Thursday and then went to the Barre class that evening. I woke up yesterday feeling a little sore but it wasn't until I really starting moving around that I realized how sore I was. Well, I decided to make use of the time I have with Amy's Garmin watch and ran 3.5 miles yesterday and then I went to an hour and half yoga class with my friend Britney, which kicked my butt but I loved it. BUT, I was feeling pretty sore last night. Well, this morning I woke up and thought I might not go running because everything hurt, but then I thought of Amy's Garmin watch and how disappointed she'd be if I didn't go and how disappointed I would be if I didn't go running so as I was walking Scotty this morning, I gave myself a pep talk and decided I would do 5. Then as I was getting changed I thought I would aim for 5 but maybe 6 (which was my original goal a few days ago). Then I started running and right off the bat I knew it was going to be a rough run. It was. At mile 3 I was really feeling it. MILE THREE. I was really frustrated with myself, but I pressed on at a very unimpressive pace. Well I did it. I ran 6 at a 9:19 pace, which I was surprised about but I was trying to break my 8:36 10K pace. I realize that was a little unrealistic given how sore my legs and butt are, so I'm pleased with the time and that I did it. 

So, I have a Christmas party tonight at church and then my pal Gloria and I are going to see the final Twilight movie. Yes, I am going. Yes I have seen them all and yes I read all of the books. And yes I want to see the last movie. And, yes I am excited. YES!!!!!

Oh! And. I forgot to mention this but last Sunday evening my brother opened his mission call AND he has been called to serve a 2-year proselyting mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in.....
Pretty. Dang. Awesome. I've already informed the parentals I will be joining them to pick him up in 2015. AWESOME. I am BEAMING with pride and happiness for this stud. Also I see him in 2 weeks and I am freakin' excited. You have no idea. 

And finally, HAPPY DECEMBER! This is my favorite Christmas song of the day. Pentatonix is the acapella group that won "The Sing Off" last season. I love acapella and I LOVE "Carol of Bells" and I love this video. Please watch and enjoy. 


Jenna said...

Congrats Dane!

Jean said...

holy cow girl you know how to travel right! san fran looks beautiful, on my bucket list too!

Shannon Gish said...

The pictures and your awesome commentary makes me feel like I was right along side you on your trip. CAN.NOT.WAIT until you are back in New Hampshah for Christmas. Loveyourguts!

Kayla Lynn said...

wow, awesome pictures and great stories to accompany them! it looks like such a lovely time :)

Uncommon Gemini said...

Hey Gabe-Looks like you stayed at the exact place I did when we went...some years ago! We went in June, thought it'd be warm. We nearly froze! LOL. Had to buy sweaters & long pants! The day we went to Alcatraz, it was 48 degrees! Didn't Mark Twain say "The coldest winter I ever experienced was summer in San Francisco"? Man, that was true. Loved it though. Glad you had a good time. It's good to live the bucket list.
Uncommon Gemini