A Day By The Bay

We live on the Peninsula of the Bay Area in California. We get warm sunny summer days that cool off in the evenings through the mornings. Perfect, for me! San Francisco, on the other hand, can be covered in fog and be on the cool side in the summer. (I always think fall is the best time to visit San Francisco.) Bob and I debated, one sunny Saturday morning, whether or not to risk a morning drive into the city to go to the Ferry Building and Farmer’s Market there. We bundled up in layers (always the best option when heading out and about in the Bay Area) and drove the short twenty-five minutes to the Ferry Building. It was still early, 10:30 AM, but as we walked from the parking structure to the building, it was already warm enough for us to peel off a layer. Gorgeous weather!

We started off by walking all the way down to Pier 33 for our early lunch reservations. The restaurant we went to was fine, but doesn’t warrant the time and space for a write up. We did pass another restaurant on our walk back to the Ferry Building that we hope to try next time.

By the time we arrived at the Ferry Building close to 1, it was bursting with people. It felt like summer with sunshine and warm temperatures. We spent a good couple of hours wandering the building, tasting, buying, and then heading outside to the Farmer’s Market for more tasting and shopping.

Our favorites stops in the Ferry Building include Chris Cosentino’s Boccalone (sausage/salami slices in a paper cone!),  Cowgirl Creamery (great variety – and we end up buying different cheeses every time, although we prefer stinky salty cheeses), and Recchiuti chocolates! Recchiuti is currently my favorite chocolate confectioner in the area – introduced to me by my Manhattan friend, Daphne (thank you)! The chocolate is creamy and rich and the flavors, amazing! My current favorite is the sesame nougat (milk chocolate caramel ganache and a crunchy sesame disk), but I also love the force noir (their darkest chocolate ganache with a touch of vanilla bean) and the fleur del sel (burnt caramel with French sea salt). Actually, I love them all and always have a hard time choosing which to bring home with me.  I tried Miette for the first time, although I’ve always been tempted by the gorgeous cupcakes and pastries in their display case, but never patient enough to wait in the long line. This time I did and bought each flavor of macaron offered. While I still favor Lette in Newport Beach, CA (which are comparable to the macarons I had in Paris) – Miette’s macarons were indeed fine. My favorite was the vanilla (which is odd for me since I’m a chocolate girl) and the hazelnut.

It was a lovely way to spend a sunny summer morning!

Categories: California, Good Eats, hometown tourist | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment


Saturday, Bob and I went to the California Academy of Sciences located in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. We wanted to visit the new earthquake exhibit which we found illuminating. It was a bit daunting for Bob to discover that our little house on the Peninsula sits uncomfortably close to the San Andreas fault, but as someone who has grown up along it, I didn’t worry. (We DO carry earthquake insurance.)

The main reason for my desire to go was the same that prompted me to purchase a membership – butterflies. For some reason, butterflies make me insanely happy. Maybe it started with my visit to the monarch wintering grounds in Mexico well over a decade ago. (See my travel article on that visit here.) Here are some photos of my joy.

(I know this isn’t a butterfly, but I love him just the same!)

I hope you’re enjoying your summer!

Categories: California, hometown tourist | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Japanese Tea Garden

A few days ago, Bob, my 17yo daughter, and I drove into San Francisco to spend a few hours in Golden Gate Park. We started off at the DeYoung Museum (of which we’re members) to see the Real to Real: Photographs from the Traina Collection exhibit. We enjoyed the photographs immensely. My daughter was thrilled to see photos by Lee Friedlander displayed, including one of her favorites.

After wandering the museum, we headed over next door to the Japanese Tea Garden. I have fond memories of visiting it often as a child and love being able to revisit it as an adult. We started off having tea and snacks and then leisurely wandered the garden.

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A lovely way to spend the day!

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Surf City, USA

We had a lovely week visiting my parents in Huntington Beach, CA. We love going there – we jokingly call my parents’ house our Beach House. It’s not a bad drive –  6 hours with one stop for gas and lunch in Kettleman City. We end up visiting three or four times a year at least. We fall into a routine and I sleep much more soundly. The beach is a short 1 – 2 miles away. Bob and I take Trixie on a walk to the beach at least twice a day. We love standing at the railing above the bike path, gazing at the ocean, watching the surfers and beach go-ers, listening to the soothing sound of the waves, and inhaling the scent of sand and salt.

That’s Bob and me in shadow. Trixie didn’t show up since she’s shorter than the shrubs. 😉

We tried a new thing this trip and rented one of those bicycle cars. Oof! Those things are heavy. Our fantasy of biking to Newport were quickly dashed and we never made it out of HB. We did have a great time, though!

Bob didn’t last long at the driver’s seat. Our daughter took over and did a fine job (except when I got out to take some photos and she peddled off a bit as a joke. ha ha).

I took a short break.

HB Pier and a couple of beach volleyball players.

I do love my new camera. The zoom is awesome and for the first time ever I was able to take some decent surfing photos. I do have to have a steady hand. Still figuring out the new camera, but having fun!

We had a great time as always! Coming soon, a sweet post on cupcakes and macarons!

Categories: California | Tags: | 6 Comments

Hiking Crystal Cove State Park

Bob and I are frequent visitors to Huntington Beach, California where my parents live. It’s about a 6 hour drive from our house to theirs. One of our favorite hiking spots is in Crystal Cove State Park which is located off PCH (the Pacific Coast Hwy) in Newport Beach. From the parking lot, we walk along a wooden boardwalk (where we’ve previously come across rattlesnakes) bordered by flora and fauna of the Southern California coastline. Off the boardwalk is a windy dirt path along the cliff that takes you down to the beach. At low tide, tidepools are filled with marine life. More often than not, we have the entire area to ourselves. Recently, we took our 17 year old daughter with us. She was, let’s say, less than enthusiastic to go hiking with us, but she ended up having a fabulous time!

It was difficult to choose what photos to share with you. We saw plenty of verbena, lupine, ground squirrels, phoebes, pelicans, anemone, crabs, lizards, and more! Bob got me a new camera (Canon PowerShot SX260HS) for my birthday – still a mostly compact, automatic one, but this one does give me the option to take the camera off of “Auto” and it has a 20x zoom. I had a blast using it and look forward to learning to use it better.


Categories: California, hiking | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

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