3 Day Weekend in Northern California

Collected Letters (2016), Liu Jianhua Installation at the Asian Art Museum, SF

After a half-day of clinic, I raced to the airport and boarded my flight to California.  Several hours later, I was picked up at the airport by SMS, which was such a treat.  Usually I arrive super-late and take a ride-share home but Friday was special!  We headed into Palo Alto and bought tasty salads from Sweetgreens.  We just ordered off the menu although it seemed there were a few pros who could go rogue and create their own!

The next day was a gray overcast day.  I wanted to go hiking but given the rainy past weeks, we thought the trails would be pretty destroyed and we didn’t have the right gear for fun in the mud.  Instead, we decided to drive along the coast between Half-moon Bay and San Francisco.  We hadn’t done that before and SMS wanted to get a better lay of the land so close to our home.

We zipped over the Santa Cruz Mountains on the 84.  It was a fun road with tight turns and moderate climb.  We arrived at the Coast and took a right to head North.  As we approached Half Moon Bay, I realized that Dad’s Luncheonette would be a perfect lunch spot.

Dad’s Luncheonette is a small cafe with the kitchen in an old caboose and a small bar/eating area that is semi-enclosed.  It used to be a hot dog stand but was bought by new owners and turned into a cafe with a small but delicious menu supplemented by a daily special or two.  There’s a cute NYTimes article that goes into more detail.  SMS and I ordered a hamburger sandwich, homemade potato chips, and Mom’s Herb Salad to split. The hamburger was delicious and gone before we knew it.  The potato chips were slightly thick with a great homemade fry texture- mostly crisp but with an occasional softer treat.  The herb salad was amazing and inspires me to throw more fresh herbs into my own salads.  Finally, I added on an order of rose doughnuts (I know!  Why did we pretend we weren’t going to order them?!), which were served piping hot.  They were more beignets than doughnuts served on a base of sweetened whipped cream and drizzled rosewater syrup.  So tasty!

After lunch, we continued our journey up the 1, admiring the scenery along the way.  We stopped at Devil’s Slide Trail where we looked down the steep cliff, which scared me because it seemed so prone to landslides, I wasn’t quite sure what was holding us up!  I wanted to walk along the trail further but it started to sprinkle and someone was acting as if we might melt if we got wet, so back into the car!  (To be far, it was chilly and windy, in addition to the sprinkles.)


In the distance, there was a very decrepit, abandoned house balanced on a packed dirt hill.  There were no signs offering an explanation and it certainly seems like a place that would have an interesting back story!

We ended up in San Francisco in my favorite neighborhood- Outer Sunset!  We went to Andytown Coffee Roasters for my favorite Snowy Plover drink (espresso, sparkling water, and whipped cream for any newer readers)!

We walked around the neighborhood and went to the Three Fish Studio (CA themed prints/letterpress), Mollusk (surf shop), General Store (clothes and housewares), and Blackbird Bookstore (books).  All of these stores have beautiful things.  There is a friendly vibe, along the lines of a friend who will always be so much effortlessly cooler than you that it’s ok, she can be charitable and hang out with you without losing any of her ineffable sangfroid.  This is especially true in Mollusk, which has very boho, shapeless, “is it too sheer?? if you have to ask than yes” clothes that would look awesome on someone, just not me.  Hahaha.

After walking around the neighborhood, we stopped at the 16th St Tiled Steps and took a short, very vertical urban hike to the Grandview park along the beautifully tiled staircase going from sea to stars with a succulent-heavy garden on either side.

Then, we went to the Asian Art Museum for a quick visit where we saw the special exhibit, Kimono refashioned.  It was very cool and I am always amazed at the rich detail in the fabric.  After closing, we headed to Pläj, an amazing restaurant serving delicious food and cocktails!  I had the Swedish Gold cocktail, made with Farallon Gin, Mustard & Dill Shrub, Lemon, Honey, Black Pepper.  It was a delicious, savory cocktail that I tried not to sip too quickly.  I wanted it to last forever!  For dinner, we split the Taste of Herring dish, which featured three kinds of herring preparation: red onion & lingonberry; caviar & dill; and grandma’s classic.  We also had the bread (always a win!) and the Råraka & Caviar featuring potato røsti, skagen cream, anchovies, and Whitefish caviar.  We split sorbet for dessert and since there are still several things on the menu we’d like to try, we will definitely be back!

The next day, we went over to Akshay and Jyotsna’s house for a delicious Bobby Flay-inspired brunch.  Jyostna prepared a delicious feast of whitefish dip/salad, bagels with lox, and assorted accompaniments.  It was great, both to eat and catch up with friends.  They had recently come back from a work/vacation trip to India and my eye was immediately drawn to Jyotsna’s new ring.  So much so, that I am going to get one made!  Matching friend rings!

On Monday, we stayed local without any significant driving.  We went rock climbing with Kat and Michelle, which was fun.  I definitely need to work on my upper body strength so that I can climb more proficiently!  Afterwards, we went to Vino Vivo for a drink before heading our separate ways.  Across the street, the local Macy’s was having a closing sale so Mark and I wandered through.  Neither one of us was in a real shopping mood, so it was a pretty quick trip.  I took a quick look at the bras since they are usually so marked up/expensive but alas, nothing for us ladies smaller than a 42DD.  If you are that size, I know a place where you can stock up!

Later that evening, we went to Watercourse Way where we went to Room 1 for the first time!  It’s the room with a wooden onsen in addition to a cold plunge that felt extra cold and a dry sauna.  It was delightful and my muscles were so happy.

The next day was a work day so it was off to work for SMS and the airport for me.  I hung out in the Centurion Lounge for a bit (yay!) and had a filling, veggie-filled lunch before heading off.  I know it’s an airport lounge, but I seriously love that place!

Finally, over the course of the weekend, I got two runs in- a 9 miler and a 4.5 miler.  The 9 miler was from the apartment, to the Stanford Dish path x 1 loop and back.  It was a beautiful day and I stopped (briefly!) to take some pictures.

Rodin’s Burghers of Calais on the Stanford Campus. One of my favorite statue groupings!
My favorite Burgher


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