Monday, October 3, 2011

California- Day 1 + San Francisco

Since Thursday I've been touring all around the 'Silicon Valley' area aka San Jose, CA with my aunt and uncle. I must say that when I'm retired, I hope I have as much energy as they do. It has literally been non stop on the go since I arrived, and even though today is my last day, we still have a trip planned later to Carmel and are having my cousins over in the evening for dinner + corn hole.

First 2 days in review:

  • Was picked up @ the San Francisco airport from my Aunt Nancy in this bad boy, Lexus 430 convertible (ahhhmazing)

  • Once we got back to her house, went shopping for dinner ingredients then killed time by having an olive oil tasting (never done this before)
LtoR- Italian Herb, Garlic, Mushroom & sage, basil, balsamic vinegar, and not pictured Cilantro + red onion- all equally delicious and quite flavorful.
  • Afterward we went out on the deck for hor d'oeuvres until Uncle Ted comes home
Pub cheese w/ spices and peppers in it, sesame seed flat bread crackers, bleu cheese, grapes.

and of course, my favorite beverage.
  • Next pic is a HUGE deal. I don't like cats, they don't like me. I'm allergic, some affect me more than others. My aunt has a large maine coon who was like a miniature tiger. His face reminded me of the chesire cat on Alice and wonderland.

  • Home made breakfast- scrambled eggs with cheese, onions, tomatoes, basil olive oil. 1 regular croissant, and 1 filled with chocolate!!

  • Needed plenty of fuel for our day trip to San Francisco!
Outside the Ferry building- tons of shops and restaurants inside

walking through China town

  • After A LOT of walking we completed Chinatown, North Beach (italian) and arrived at Ghiradelli Square!

A chocolate lover's paradise...

I forget how many lbs of chocolate it was, but the picture doesn't do it justice of how big or thick it was.

  • I actually didn't buy ANYTHING in the shop. As soon as you enter the store they hand you a free ghiradelli square, today was a pumpkin caramel spice- yum! My aunt got a big bag of the little individually wrapped square chocolates that she likes to have around the house for guests...
to put on their pillows in the morning! fine by me

  • After our chocolate fix, we went and had some wine tasting at Cellar 360

view of the tasting bar (forgot to take my own photo) 
  • After our wine, we walked around the city for a bit, taking in all the sites. We tried to get tickets to see Alcatraz, but all sold out for 2 days :( 
Alcatraz in the upper right

Last time (and only time) was in San Fran, we checked out Fisherman's wharf, so with limited time, we don't stop.
  • During our earlier walk to Ghiradelli Square, we saw signs for an Oktoberfest for the entire weekend at Pier 48. We decide to check it out, yet no one knows where Pier 48 is except that its FAR from where we are. We talked to a bicycle guy who gives rides on his back carriage and he says he can take us back to the Ferry building (which is pier 1 and all piers after it are the even piers where then we would have to take the Muni train to our destination). IF you are EVER trying to get around in San Francisco and don't want to wait for the bus, I HIGHLY recommend the bicycles with the attached seating. I'm sure there is a certain name for them, which escapes me.  ** Also of note, I saw 2 male naked bicyclers in the square by Ferry Building- can cross that off my bucket list**
  • Made it to the Oktoberfest! It was held inside a giant empty building at Pier 48

Instead of buying your food / beer, you bought tokens and then traded them for everything. Felt like I was at a fair

Part of the band- by the end the entire stage was full

One of my fav European Beers- Franziskaner Hefe-weiss and a Bavarian pretzel- heaven! 

  • Eventually left the Oktoberfest to catch the T-train- got to pass the AT&T Park where the San Francisco Giants play!
  •  The body of water is the McCovey Cove which is where fans will sit in boats, kayaks, etc on game days in hopes to catch a home run- how neat!

  • Make it to the T-Train, connect to BART, (people watching at its finest)  then get to our car and make the way home to Los Gatos. I was so sore from walking all those hills- even my rings were tight from being swollen - thank goodness the race is on a Sunday vs Saturday!

More to come (and race report) later


  1. ummmm seriously!? what a fun trip. everything looks like a blast! and sounds relaxing! cant wait to read more and about the race of course!

  2. Wow, u have been crazy busy taking in the sites! I really want to visit California soon! And I'm not a cat person, but what a cool cat!

  3. So cool!! I haven't really thought of going to visit SF before. I usually just hit the airport on my way to other places. But now I really want to go!!

  4. Reading this I seriously miss Cali! SF is my all time favorite city!