Sunny San Francisco

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I don’t see enough of my wonderful son, and that’s for sure. So I managed to take a Friday and Monday off from work to spend the weekend with him and Megan. “What would you like to do Mom?” he asked. “Walk” I replied. And so we did. Dan lives just a few steps from the Golden Gate Park so when he arrived back from school on his bike, we headed across the park. Dan doesn’t really like what they’ve done in this park because they have brought in so many non-native species, but it is quite beautiful nonetheless.

Dan also needs to eat a lot, and food features prominently in all visits. Our first stop was at Nopalito on 9th in Inner Sunset. The idea was just to have a beer, but then Dan ordered enchiladas in a mole sauce, so I ordered an empanada and a margarita and it was all deliciously like nothing I’ve had on the east coast. Then we had a great walk up Strawberry Hill in the Park, and eventually back home. Dan grilled vegetables and tilapia for great fish tacos–my favorite!

Friday night rain was supposed to continue through Saturday, but when we awoke the overnight rain had stopped and air smelled clean and fresh. So off we went on a walk to the Presidio. As we approached the Golden Gate Bridge the skies cleared, and we were treated to amazing views, the flight of four pelicans across the water, and a healthy 6 mile hike. I got a little dehydrated , so we needed to stop for some water, which quickly turned into a delicious lunch at Cafe la Flore.

That afternoon we stopped by at the party of one of Meg’s college friends.There were a lot of pretty young Californians and their house was really nice. They made me feel welcome, but Dan and I decided to watch a little football and were soon joined by a group of Arizona fans. I’m thankful that I can still hold a conversation on college sports, even after all these years.

Then we were trying to figure out what to do about dinner (food never being far from the horizon). I wanted to take them some place with a cool atmosphere (ie no fluorescent lights) and a decent wine list. Meg, with the help of her friends, decided on an Italian place in North Beach, and it was such as beautiful evening, we walked. We had a few moments to spare so we stopped for a drink on Washington Square Park and watched the SF Giants beat the KC Royals. Then a delicious dinner at Trattoria Contadina. The food was good and the atmosphere was great. I called Ray for a wine recommendation, but then I went rogue and made my own decision–Chianti Classico Riserva No complaints from the kids. We then uber-ed back and collapsed!

Sunday morning dawned crystal clear. Dan made pancakes and then we walked to the Farmer’s Market on Clement in Inner Richmond, which is only about a mile from their place and right next to Chinatown. The colors were gorgeous and we bought a ton of great produce!

Back home, a little lunch, and then the much anticipated bike ride. We rented a bike for me right near by and headed out through Golden Gate Park to the shore, rode along the beach for a few miles, and then around a small lake before circling back. A little hillier than my usual rail trail, and very windy on the way back, but I loved it, and was able to keep up.

In the park we were entertained by choreographed skaters and dancers. The pre-Halloween costumes and spectacular sunshine added to the festive atmosphere. Such as joyful place. We rode over to Haight to do some more shopping and then came back to make soup and salad for dinner. Market tomatoes, avocados and burrata were outrageously delicious. My usual squash soup turned out well. The last night I decided it would be best for me to stay in a hotel near the airport to minimize everyone’s Monday morning stress. I got a good deal at ALoft from Hotel Tonight. Easy shuttle to the airport, gorgeous flight to Boston, and home.