Posted by: Travis | March 17, 2008

Another Bay Area blitzkrieg.

Our friends Katie and Beth, who are still in grad school, decided to come out and visit Rachel and I on their spring break. I miss spring break. They had to work on friday, so they caught the last flight out on friday night, meaning that they arrived at the San Jose airport at 1:30 am. Needless to say, we went to bed within 5 minutes of getting home.

Saturday morning we got up and headed out to Butano State Park, which is just off the coast, for a little hike. It was muddy because it rained the night before. After some intense climbing, slipping and sliding in the mud, and seeing an acceptable number of newts and banana slugs, we decided to cut things a little bit short and make a move back to the car. I was hoping for a 5 or so mile hike, but it probably came in closer to 3.

After that we climbed into the car and headed up the coast, making it to Half Moon Bay before cutting back inland for the trip home. Upon our return we showered and watched some college basketball, then climbed back into the car and headed north to San Francisco. First stop was the Ferry building. How did it take me so long to find this place? Its set up like a mall, except that its all about food. Every shop has a specialty. Whether its olive oil, mushrooms, fresh produce, sea food, hard to find cuts of meat, truffles (not of the chocolate variety), or rare spices you are looking for, you can probably find a shop here that employs someone who’s job it is to know more about what you are looking for than you ever could. On Tuesday and Saturday mornings they have an enormous farmer’s market here that is very well known across the country. Any guesses as to where i will likely be this saturday morning? See you at the Ferry Building.

I cut things a little bit short at the Ferry Building because i knew i would be coming back. I just gave it the once over because i didn’t want to bore the people i was supposed to be entertaining.  After that we did a little driving tour of San Francisco. Katie and Beth will be coming back up to the city once or twice while Rachel and i work, but they will be using mostly public transportation, so we thought giving them a little preview so that they could better pick and choose how to spend their time would be a plus. Then we hit up some dinner at a place that i had read good things about in the SF Chronicle called Firewood Cafe. Long story short, it ended up being located in a mall food court. Everyone laugh at Travis, what a jack ass. Actually im pretty sure it bothered me more than anyone else. The food turned out to be pretty good. Rachel and i split some tortellini and a honey mustard rotisserie chicken.

After dinner we got back into the car and headed home to hang out and relax from an exhausting day.

Sunday morning we got up early and spent the day in Wine Country. I’ll be writing a separate blog entry about wine country to keep things from getting too long. For the most part we tried to stick to small places and hit only one or two big ones for the sake of contrast. The research i did on yelp last week paid off huge. The day was lots of fun, but by the end i was exhausted, and wined out (i wasn’t aware this could actually happen, but as the waiter at the place we ate dinner in Napa brought out a glass of wine for the table next to us, i could feel my head start to hurt and my stomach turning in fear). They day was a blast though, and ended up being much more fun than i was anticipating. I was anticipating it being fun, but given my low tolerance for snooty rich people, i was a little bit worried. Turns out if you do some research ahead of time and stay away from the theme park, Vegas-style giant wineries, you can have a blast.

Katie and Beth will be here through friday evening, but unfortunately Rachel and I have to work. As a result, Katie and Beth will be using the Caltrain, walking a lot, perhaps borrowing a car, and going places with us at night to explore the area. I miss spring break. It should still be a fun week though. For a list of the wineries we went to, check out my next blog post.

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