Muir Beach/woods/Sonoma Valley was the next day…. sorry.
After the Taste of the City Tour, we took the trolley back to Union Square and went shopping. DH bought a pair of shoes and some belts. I’m not really keen on shopping on vacation, at least in the kinds of stores that I can go to at home. Also, I was kind of tired, still, so I just looked and listened.
That night we ate at a restaurant recommended by a new colleague, Asia de Cuba. The food was good, but pricey, and the service was excellent. It was more Asian than Cuban, at least in the spice and cooking method departments. I really like the Cuban food that I have had, especially this roasted pork dish (name?) that I had at a little restaurant (name?) in St. Augustine, Florida.
Anyway, after another latte (decaf vanilla caramel latte for me and a wicked-looking hazelnut latte for DH) at another coffee shop, we headed home.
Day three was spent entirely on the road. This is the day we went to Muir Beach, Muir Woods, Sonoma Valley, Berkeley, and accidentally Oakland. We left San Francisco via the Golden Gate Bridge. I was hoping to get to the Japanese Tea Garden at Golden Gate Park, but alas there is only so much time in the day…
Muir Beach was so cold and I’ve never had such a hard time walking on sand!
The sequoias were awesome! I got into biology because I love trees, but a “latin-lovin” sadist botany professor drove me away from botany and I ended up in genetics, which is a whole other story….
We saw a banana slug (ick) on the hike around the Woods. They really do look like bananas!
We ate lunch in a little cafe, Cafe Z Epicerie, in Marin County. We both had paninis, which were very good. Next we headed to wine country… We decided to go to Sonoma Valley, as our “book” said it was less touristy. I finally saw the “green-ness” that I imagine to be California. The hills were green and the yards were filled with flowers along the way. The San Francisco area is much more tan/gray and dreary than I imagine California to be.
Anyway, we decided on the Bartholomew Park Winery and finally found it. I wish I had been able to get a better picture of the grapevine rows…
The people were very nice. They only sell to individuals (in person or shipping). DH tasted the wines and bought 4 bottles of a nice red wine (2002 Cabernet). I looked in their museum, which was interesting because the whole area was apparently a failed women’s prison. Who knew?
On the way back (via Berkeley and Oakland), we stopped at the Olive Press. It is the only olive oil “seller” we saw in our trip. I wanted to get some good fresh oil. We tasted the oils and bought some Koroneiki and some sherry balsamic vinegar.
We went into Berkeley to find the “street of bookstores” called Telegraph Avenue, but were disappointed to find only 3 bookstores. One, called Moe’s, was a good used bookstore where I got 2 cookbooks (a Slow cooker one and an Indian one). I will conquer Indian food one day! I can make paneer for goodness-sake, but can’t seem to add yogurt without it separating…
We couldn’t seem to find our way back to the interstate via Berkeley and ended up in Oakland where we got on the interstate going the wrong way. After much tribulation we finally made our way back home via the Bay Bridge, where I got a picture of Alcatraz Island.
We ate at a nice Persian restaurant just down the street from the hotel (The Opal). It was very good – they were playing instrumental Christmas music, though (why?)
The next day we packed up everything and headed to the airport. We had a bit of a scare when we came close to missing our connecting flight in Denver (but didn’t). I cried when I saw Bug at the airport. I had missed her so.
Even though she gets on my nerves sometimes, she has been such a constant fixture in my every waking moment for nearly 3 years now. I’m going to have to do better about letting her go, as she is fiercely independent like her dad.