Our first visitors

We had our first California houseguests this week. My mom flew out from Kansas and my sister came up from her new home in Orange County.

How gorgeous are these women?

We started with some bay area essentials.

First, breakfast at Bette’s Oceanview Diner. Since we went on a Monday we got a table right away, which is pretty much unheard of there. On Mondays their special is tangy sourdough pancakes. I tried them with sides of their soft cooked eggs and grilled tomatoes (subbed in for the sausage). They were really delish and unique.

My mom tried another special with poached eggs and spinach that looked yummy and healthy.

Tuesday we took them to San Francisco so we could catch the Ferry Building market. Only a few food vendors are there on Tuesday, but there’s still plenty to sample. I’ll just say that at this point all dietary restrictions went out the window, but I tried to be reasonable by splitting stuff and then walking all. day. long.

I finally tried the Blue Bottle caramelized waffle. It was so soft and yummy that we ate the whole thing before I could get a photo. Oops.

We also tried a Pepples Organic Donut in salted caramel. Again, yum.

I got some Miette gingersnaps to go. They are extra gingery and spicy, and so good with a cup of coffee.

We needed coffee because it was miserably cold that day. The weather seemed to change between cold and sunny to cold and rainy to cold and rainy and windy about every 20 minutes. I was definitely not wearing enough layers for that.

Next we hiked up to Coit Tower to see a better view of the city.

I was sad that I didn’t see any Telegraph Hill parrots. Maybe next time.

We of course had to stop at the hat shop. My mom got this one. I am in love with this one.

Before dim sum in Chinatown we had to show them our favorite bar, Vesuvio. Just love the signage.

Speaking of signage, several people had these cheeky signs on their garages.

We finally made our way out to the edge of Golden Gate Park to see the ocean. These crazy people were swimming in there. I repeat, crazy!

Later we drove across the Golden Gate to see it up close. It’s a sight that never gets old.

Do we look as cold as we were?

We ended their trip with dinner at Marica in Oakland. Though we’d been there before for seafood, we’d never had dessert. I decided one last splurge was OK (I’m definitely back to oatmeal now). So we had the “life-changing” chocolate souffle.

Des Moines-ians, you know I have high standards for a melty-centered chocolate dessert with homemade vanilla ice cream, but this one was by far the best I’d ever had. It was one of the best anythings I’ve ever had.

I am starting my bay area travel guide. More to share soon.


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    Miserably cold? I do not see thundersnow and a windchill, so you must be a true Californian already. Buck up, lady.

    Also, I love the giant knits. I can’t help but hope that book I got you inspired you!

    Joe is watching a National Parks documentary and just said we need to get out to SF. I said I agreed. It might take us awhile, but it’s definitely on the trip shortlist. Except I also decided we’re moving to Mexico after I finish my Master’s. Sooo.

    How about we have a phone date soon?