Birthday Weekend, Part I: Alameda and Oakland

I had the most amazing birthday weekend!  Per the agreement with my mother, I am now 21+ while she is 29+.  We’ll have to talk to Brady to work her into the equation but right now, things seem fair.

Oakland Alley

So.  Saturday was my birthday but the whole weekend was awesome.  On Thursday, my parents flew into town and I picked them up at SJC.  I drove them home and headed into work for afternoon clinic.  I managed to sneak out a few minutes early and we went to Shellshock for the $1 oyster happy hour.  I learned something new about my Mom.  She doesn’t like raw oysters.  Oh, well, there were plenty of other delicious items on the menu.  SMS met up with us a little later since he has a real job and the four of us had a great time hanging out.  We stayed for awhile, headed back to the house, had a night cap and went to bed.

Dad’s old hanger is actually 21, but this is a nice picture of the best parents ever!

The next day, I took the day off and I hung out with my parents.  Although it would have been awesome if SMS could have hung out with us, he’s trying to build up his vacation days.  Mom, Dad and I headed to Alameda where we lived from 1987-1989.  We passed by our old house, which is in slight disrepair.   They were surprised to see it since they were told it was demolished after the 1989 earthquake.  We headed toward the runway where Dad tried to figure out which hanger was his old squadron.  He figured out that it was the one that now houses St. George’s spirits where we celebrated by having a tasting.  The spirits were good as were Dad’s reminiscences.  

Swan’s Market, full of deliciousness!

We stopped by the Alameda Naval History museum which, unfortunately, is only open on Saturdays and Sundays.  So, off to lunch at Swan’s Market in Oakland. I had never been and it was absolutely fantastic!  There are several terrific restaurants/food stands/standalone shops crowded into a larger market building.  I think Dad won the ordering competition with his incredible meatball sub but I wasn’t too far behind with an arugula/farro/cucumber/almond/grapefruit/avocado/soft-boiled egg/lemon-anchovy vinaigrette/pecorino salad.  Yum!  We both got our dishes from the Hen House and I would definitely go back!


Mom ordered a lunch set from B-Dama which was fine, but not what she was expecting.  It was a Japanese-style lunch set but with American portions.  She ordered the karage, or fried chicken, but instead of popcorn-style fried chicken, it was basically super-fried and breaded chicken wings. I wasn’t super-fond of the miso broth, which was quite fishy/clammy.

Oh yes.  All is right with the world.

Since we had already eaten plenty of food, the obvious place to go was Fenton’s, an old-fashioned ice cream parlor that Dad took us to a fair amount when we were kids.  We ordered sundaes that were so good!  Afterwards, we were in a slight sugar coma but it was totally worth it!

We headed back down to Mountain View to meet up with SMS.  We hung out at the apartment for a bit before going out to dinner.  Since Mom and Dad had never been to In & Out, we decided to have our dinner there.  Mom knew In & Out as “the place Adele goes when she’s depressed her piano’s out of tune” but afterwards, she knew it as the place with Animal-style fries!

Then it was time to hit the road for Napa.  I had rented an awesome cottage on AirBnB and we had big plans for the next day.  The cottage was absolutely beautiful and an amazing place to stay.  We went to bed and we all slept very well!

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