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Bay Area Trip Report: Oh how I wanna be there in my city by the bay!

Bay Area Trip Report: Oh how I wanna be there in my city by the bay!

Sep 26th, 2009, 10:03 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
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You're forgetting to throw us the romance tidbits.

While you're at it...
zelphiacat is offline  
Sep 27th, 2009, 07:07 AM
  #22  
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zelphiacat,

I thought this was a PG rated forum
bkluvsNola is offline  
Sep 27th, 2009, 07:24 AM
  #23  
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Next day breakfast at the same place.

Since we were heading to Sacramento we decided to head in a generally southeasterly direction to I-80.

We stopped at:
Chateau St. Jean
Kenwood - stocked up on some bottles here for upcoming visit to aunt and uncle.

Then we headed to the Sonoma Town Center. There, we stopped at a grocery store that had cheese tastings. There were probably around 50 different cheeses, so that ended up being our lunch. Cheese and wine, can't beat that!

From there we made one last stop at Cline. Out of all the vineyards I've toured, this one is perhaps the most friendly of them all. There's an Italian guy, I think named Joe, who is very friendly. There was a newly married couple there from New York who he was teasing. The wife seemed to go along with his teasing but the husband was a bit tense and clueless on how to respond to an older man flirting with his new wife. Oh well, give him a few more years of marriage and he'll learn quickly (or she will) We ended up getting our tasting for free (it's usually free but we got the pay things and he still gave it to us for free). This is probably the most laid back vineyard in the valley. Lots of drinking and laughing going on...

From there we got onto I-80 and headed east towards Sacramento. We watched the car thermostat slowly increase from the mid 80's to the mid 90's as we arrived in Sacramento that evening.
bkluvsNola is offline  
Sep 27th, 2009, 08:32 AM
  #24  
 
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It's an Italian thing - being a natural flirt. BK: you passed Loveitaly's place and were very near us in Sacto - we should have had a mini-GTG!! When were you here?

Enjoying your report and it sounds like you and new love are hitting it off. Traveling together can make or break a relationship.

MY
MichelleY is online now  
Sep 27th, 2009, 08:40 AM
  #25  
 
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Hi bkluvsNola, you should have honked when you went by and I would have waived! Seriously, I am loving your trip report and am glad you two had a wonderful and interesting time.

And yes MichelleY, being a natural flirt sure is an Italian habit, lol. Gotta love those Italian men!
LoveItaly is offline  
Sep 27th, 2009, 07:35 PM
  #26  
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We arrived in Sacramento (On Tuesday 9/8) and I introduced my uncle and aunt to my new girlfriend. By the way, they were the first relatives to meet my ex-wife when I used to live out in CA but that's another story.

Last time I visited, they lived in Carmichael but since then they bought an old Spanish style home in Sacramento itself that they've meticulously restored and modernized at the same time. The setting is lovely too with old valley oaks and lush landscaping...

After a grand tour, we had dinner and wine outside on the patio and hit the hot tub after that.

Next morning we woke up and it was onto San Francisco to catch a 12:45 PM Giants game.

So, unfortunately, we didn't get much time to visit Sacramento. I've seen the main sites though like Old Sac and the Capitol on previous trips. This was just about stopping by and seeing my aunt and uncle and their new house.

Michelle and LoveItaly: I don't think I could explain meeting two women in a different city to my girlfriend, at least if I had any reasonable expectation of keeping her Are you both in Sacramento itself or outlying environs?

By the way, the weather in Sacramento was hot in the day (mid 90's first day and upper 90's second day) but was really nice and cool at night (in the upper 50's to low 60's) so we slept with the windows open. Austin's weather is similar to Sacramento's except that we don't cool off at night like you do in the summer.
bkluvsNola is offline  
Sep 27th, 2009, 08:13 PM
  #27  
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We found a parking garage near our hotel (Hilton on O'farrell) and decided to hoof it to the stadium. I'm guessing it was around a mile or two walk to the stadium.

AT&T Park had not been created when I was living in the Bay Area. I think it started to get under construction right as I was leaving. So, my only memories of baseball in San Francisco were of freezing in Candlestick Park. However, I was still wearing shorts, a (Longhorns) t-shirt, and sandals because we had come from Sacramento. So, I took a bag that had jeans, a sweatshirt, socks, shoes, etc... just in case I needed it.

But I didn't. The stadium blocks pretty much any wind from the west and north, and that's where the wind is usually coming from. It was around 73 degrees and sunny in the stadium. Really you couldn't ask for a better day to view baseball. No jacket needed at all. Sunscreen was though

The Giants did not win to the San Diego Padres and that may end up having big ramifications on their season. Right now they are #4 seed for Wildcard in NL and had they won that game they'd be 3rd seed.
bkluvsNola is offline  
Sep 27th, 2009, 08:13 PM
  #28  
 
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Yes, the Delta Breeze. I live in the Delta, south of Sacto. We are usually 8 - 10 degrees cooler than Sac. That is why we grow such great wine grapes out here, warm days/cool nights. Enjoying your report.
MichelleY is online now  
Sep 27th, 2009, 09:32 PM
  #29  
 
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loving your report.
please continue.
abranz is offline  
Sep 28th, 2009, 07:22 AM
  #30  
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After the game, we strolled along the Embarcadero, under the Bay Bridge, and decided to stop at the Slanted Door for drinks. Atmosphere is good but a bit rowdy. Not a real quiet and romantic place so I'm glad we just drank there and didn't eat there. Decent selection of beers though.

We walked back along Market to our hotel and rested for a bit then got ready to go out.

Once we got back to the hotel, gf's sister called and said she was going with her husband and mother-in-law (it was her last day) to a Persian restaurant in SF. She invited us along. We decided to take the cable car to get there - that's the best and definitely most romantic way to get around.

The restaurant name was Maykadeh Persian Cuisine. It's very good and at the corner of Grant and Green. I had a salad with a cucumber dressing and then chicken kabobs with basmati rice. The kabobs were out of this world delicious! The portions are very generous as well. While we were there, a former soccer champ from Iran was eating there and getting lots of attention. I don't really follow soccer but it was cool to see the attention the young Iranian waitress was giving that soccer player. Autographs were signed, pictures were taken, etc...

Later that night we walked along Powell to find a dessert shop as we hadn't eaten dessert. I had a chocolate canoli.
bkluvsNola is offline  
Sep 28th, 2009, 08:44 AM
  #31  
 
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Love your report and love that the Padres kicked butt over the Giants..
ksucat is offline  
Sep 28th, 2009, 09:31 AM
  #32  
 
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<<>>

Whole lotta good it did the Padres Let's see, 21.5 games backwith six to play, nope, not gonna make it this year

Sorry for hijacking your thread bksluvsNOLA. I love your report, and glad you had such a wonderful time re-visiting the Bay Area.
sf7307 is offline  
Sep 28th, 2009, 12:24 PM
  #33  
 
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sf7303,
She shoots, she scores!
Know how to knock a grown man down with those stats..
Whatever...there is always next year!
Go Padres!!



the Persian restaurant sounded wonderful btw..thanks for the tip and glad you got to see a famous soccer star!
ksucat is offline  
Sep 28th, 2009, 12:53 PM
  #34  
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Okay, the next day it was time for a little coastal driving. So, we headed to the Embarcadero and hugged the Bay all through SF, through the Presidio and then along past the Cliff House to Hwy 1 on the Pacific. The weather was foggy and sunny at the same time - almost dreamlike with warm sun beating down but moist cool fog. We kept driving along, admiring the beauty and then stopped at Nick's in Half Moon Bay for dungeness crab sandwiches. Mmmm boy those things are good! Lump crabmeat with lettuce, onions, and tomatoes and a side of fries. All with a view of the Pacific Ocean. You just can't beat it. I highly recommend this place.

From there on, we meandered along the coast. We stopped at Pigeon Point Lighthouse and a couple of other places. It was blustery at many of those places and in the low 60's.

Finally we arrived in Santa Cruz to sunny and 78 degree weather. We went to the surfing museum and then checked into the hotel and "relaxed". That night, we went to Capitola and walked around. We ended up eating at Margaritaville (I know it's cheesy) but they were playing the first NFL game of the season (Titans/Steelers) and it was a good place to catch the game. We were able to eat fantastic fajitas and watch a good game. I like that my new girlfriend is an NFL fan as it gives us one more area of common ground - my ex-wife hated football.
bkluvsNola is offline  
Sep 28th, 2009, 01:07 PM
  #35  
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We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Santa Cruz. By the way, this hotel is brand spanking new and is very convenient to Santa Cruz. It's right off Hwy 1 which would make you think the noise level would be high, but it wasn't because the walls are sound proof. The breakfast is free and quite decent, about what you expect from HI Express. The room and bathroom are about the nicest I've seen for a HI Express, I-pod docking station was nice.

The next morning, after eating breakfast, we checked out and headed up to Henry Cowell State Park. I was itching to see some Redwoods so we went up there.

It's a very interesting park. The main trail is around 0.8 miles around the primary redwoods and then there are plenty of additional trails all around. We probably hike around 4-5 miles of trails. At one point you can see the Pacific Ocean from one of the peaks. This is a fantastic hike and I highly recommend it.

After that, it was time to head back to San Jose, do some grocery shopping for my upcoming Cajun cooking. I was going to be serving a spring salad with pecans, apples, feta, and champagne vinagrette, a chicken and sausage jambalaya, and the "best ever" chocolate cake with ice cream and chocolate sauce, a modified Mississippi Mud.

This was all going to be served with some great Zins that we got from Sonoma.

So, the rest of the afternoon I was in chef mode, with my gf as sous chef.

I found out that the list of people coming over had been expanded when they found out Cajun food was on the menu. This tends to happen I found out that an Italian chef was actually going to be visiting as he was interested in learning more about Cajun cooking. Man, it's difficult to cook for a chef as you know their standards are high...
bkluvsNola is offline  
Sep 28th, 2009, 01:16 PM
  #36  
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To make a long story short, everyone absolutely loved the Cajun food. They had never had real Cajun food and I think they'll all be contemplating a trip to New Orleans real soon !!!

The next day it was time to return to Austin. We returned to rain and 75 degrees in Austin. Wow, fall had come to Austin in the week we were gone, and it was the first time rain had fallen in months!
bkluvsNola is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 01:51 PM
  #37  
 
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Hello bkluvsNola-

Pretty sure this is where you had your breakfast
near your Hyatt in Santa Rosa. We dine there often.

http://www.omelette.com/

and this is the cheese grocery in Sonoma town

http://sonomacheesefactory.com

Great trip report !

R5
razzledazzle is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 05:12 AM
  #38  
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razzledazzle,

Yes, it was Omelette Express - I recognize the picture. This place has some of the best omelettes I've ever had. Almost measures up to Camellia Grill in New Orleans...

Yes, we also tasted the cheese at Sonoma Cheese Factory.

Thanks!
bkluvsNola is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 08:45 AM
  #39  
 
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<<>>

I'm putting this on my list for New Orleans in April! (any chance you've been to The Coffee Pot in Sedona and can compare it to that?)
sf7307 is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 12:17 PM
  #40  
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sf7307,

Haven't been to The Coffee Pot so I can't compare...
bkluvsNola is offline  

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