Posted by: vlibrizzi | April 22, 2010

NoCal-Oregon Road Trip: San Francisco Bay Area

This week, Polly and C. are spending a vacation on the West Coast!

We arrived in San Francisco early Saturday morning (note to readers: taking the 6 am flight from Logan to Kansas City and then to SFO is a cost-efficient decision, but not easy to wake up for…yawn!)

Once we arrived in SF at around noon, two friends we met while in France (and who are now living in the Bay Area) picked us up at the airport and drove us all to Half Moon Bay for a picnic lunch on the beach. We ate strawberries, cheese, and a baguette, while sipping on great wine and catching up on the past few months…It was the perfect way to start a vacation!

Plus, being able sit on the fairly-secluded beach (although it was a bit windy) didn’t hurt either.

Here’s a photo that C. took from where we parked our car. From there, we hiked down to the beach (not an easy feat…until we found the easily accessible walkway down the beach…oops!).

The beach was so peaceful and quiet.

Later that afternoon, we spent time with our friends in the city where they now live (Mountain View, CA). We walked through the quaint downtown which reminded us a little bit of Pleasantville (from the film). All the “google-y” folks were walking the streets on a sunny Saturday afternoon, pushing their baby carriages, and visiting the farmer’s market. It seemed like a pretty perfect way to live. We could see why our friends wanted to move there.

Besides being just so darn cute, Mountain View’s downtown had a lot of restuarants and shops to offer. We had dinner at a very trendy Vietnamese restaurant called Xanh. I recommend eating outside on the patio and ordering the crab or spicy tuna rolls. Yum-o!

Later that night, C. and I were pooped and headed in early. We had a busy day of visiting with friends in San Francisco on Sunday and needed all of the rest we could get. 🙂

So, then on Sunday morning, after saying “a bientot” to our friends, we hopped aboard the very clean, and easy to use, CalTrain to San Francisco. The ride was long from Mountain View (almost 1.5 hours), but the train took us through some nice small towns on the way to San Fran. So, I just sat back and enjoyed the scenery while C. caught up on the news and his emails.

Once we arrived in SF, I met up with two of my oldest and dearest friends from when I used to live in Phoenix. When they heard that C. and I would be on the West Coast, they volunteered to fly out to meet us for a day or two in SF.

 So, while C. met our road-tripping friends at the airport to pick up the rental car and then to give them a quick tour of San Fran (They visited the Embarcadero and then took a taxi over to the Golden Gate Bridge, which you can see a photo from on the left), I spent the afternoon with my two Phoenix friends, catching up, having tea (at a great place but I forget the name of it…K or S, if you’re reading this post, could you remind me of the name?), and doing some shopping. And if you ever thought that shopping was not a worthwhile endeavour, please read on…

Later that evening, my Phoenix friends and I met up with C. and our roadtripping friends at a wonderful (no, breathtaking!) restaurant in SF called NoPa, which we heard about from…two Anthropologie employees. I took a chance while checking out at Anthropologie to ask the cashier what her favorite restaurant in the city is. With little hesitation, she said, “You have to go to NoPa.”  Then, another employee seconded her comment, and we were sold. Even while we were in the taxi on the way to the restaurant, our taxi driver told us that it is his favorite restaraunt, too! And, I can surely see why. The food was fabulous!

C. inhaled his grass-fed hamburger and I couldn’t get enough of the fried fava beans with garlic aioli and the arugula salad. Then, we shared sopapillas with honey for dessert…yum!!! And their fun drink list made me happy too. I had an amazing sazerac and my friends had kumquat caipirinas and a special st. germain martini which was off the menu (shhh!!).

As the evening was winding down, and we were posing for a farewell photo (to the left), I couldn’t help but think of how it was such a treat to begin our trip with friends we’ve met from all over the world…from Phoenix, to Fontainebleau, to Waltham. I felt very blessed and thankful for having such great friends, and being able to spend time with them.

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