Last weekend, we welcomed friends Andy and
Jamie from Albuquerque as our first guests here in Oakland!
If you're wondering how they managed to get out here so fast, we
had actually arranged the visit prior to our departure from New
Mexico. Back in May, Andy already had plans to be in
southern CA for work in mid-July and thought it would be fun to
tack on a visit to us and then drive down the coast before his
work meetings began later in the week. And luckily, Jamie
was able to make the trip as well. Considering Scott's
hectic work schedule and it being the last full weekend of us
living in our sublet before moving into our new apartment, the
timing turned out to be a bit crazy and so we didn't quite
manage to roll out our usual red carpet for our guests as we
would have liked. But despite the circumstances, everyone
seemed to enjoy the visit, guests and hosts alike.
Saturday began with a delicious breakfast
at home of coffee, gourmet pastries, baguette, salami and
cheese, followed by a walk through the neighborhood for a tour
of our partially moved-into new apartment. Just
before lunch, we set off on the BART train for San Francisco,
having planned a day of low-key sight-seeing followed by dinner
at Bix, an old favorite restaurant of ours sandwiched between
North Beach and the financial district on a quiet alleyway.
For more than a week before Jamie and Andy's arrival, Caroline
obsessively followed the weather forecast, watching it get
colder by the day. The Saturday forecast for San Francisco
was in the high 50s, not atypical as July is known to be quite
chilly in the Bay Area, especially near the water. Heeding
the forecast, Caroline dressed in layer upon layer, preparing
for the worst. The weather in Oakland seemed quite mild
and everyone else (wisely ignoring Caroline's paranoid warnings)
put on more summery clothing prior to leaving to catch the
train. But Caroline wouldn't be fooled...and then
proceeded to spend the day sweating like a pig (explaining why
she might look a bit damp in the photos...), and carrying most
of her clothes around in her bag! Lesson learned?
Probably not! Thanks for nothing, Mr. Weatherman!
Fortunately (for everyone, even sweaty
Caroline), it turned out to be a lovely, summer day in the City.
We passed the afternoon leisurely strolling about, starting with
a brief tour through the gourmet delights at the Ferry Building
and lunch on the waterfront deck at Red's Java House.
After some shopping and an afternoon coffee in Union Square, we
hopped a very slow-moving cable car (the cable broke down twice
while still in view of the turnaround in Union Square!).
Despite the delays, we still made it in time for pre-dinner
drinks at the bar before our meal at Bix. The food at Bix was
perhaps a bit lackluster this time, but the service was superb,
the live music fun (if a bit loud) and the overall ambience
enjoyable. After dinner and a lot of drinks, good
conversation and laughter, we took the long way back, on a
round-about moonlit stroll through North Beach and by touristy
(although quiet in the dark of night) Coit Tower, back to
Oakland and home to our beds after a fun but exhausting
We took it a bit slower on Sunday, having
breakfast and a light lunch at home, followed by (messy and
rather bland) gourmet ice cream cones in Elmwood and a walk
through the neighborhood. After a short driving tour
through the Oakland Hills led by Scott, we enjoyed happy hour on
our deck, consisting of fresh fruit, cured meats, cheese,
baguette and lots of wine, which Andy had fun shopping for
earlier in the day. We capped off the visit with a casual,
but spicy dinner at House of Curries before saying goodnight and
goodbye prior to our guests' morning departure. We just
wish we were able to accompany them for more fun on the
remainder of their journey, ending in San Diego! Have fun,
& Andy, as they exit the Apple Store in Union Square
Caroline & Jamie in Union Square
Jamie & Scott wait patiently in the cable car line (while Andy
pops in the Oakley Store just around the corner)
Laughing at Scott's typical dry wit?
Catalog-posing with the view of San Francisco from the Oakland
Jamie, Andy and Caroline pose with the view of the Bay from the