It is hard to believe that it has been well over two years since our last trip home to San Francisco. Amazing how fast time flies! The anticipation of flying back to our native California has been building up since last summer when our friends announced their engagement to wed in North Lake Tahoe. Keenan and I were beyond excited to reunite with family and friends as our plane descended over the gorgeous Mendocino Coast, a little reminder of just how lucky we are to call one of the most beautiful regions in the world “home.”
Having been away for so long, naturally we had a jam-packed agenda for our 12-day trip back to the City by the Bay, bouncing around like ping pong balls all over Northern California to see family and friends. We also enjoyed some culinary delights in San Francisco, Napa, and Tomales Bay, which will be a subject of another post. For now, I will share highlights from our trip back to sunny California.
Family Time: We spent majority of our first weekend visiting family, arriving in time to meet our newest and fourth nephew born on 15th July 2011. Baby Chase was welcomed with love by his three older brothers, proud parents, "pop pop," Uncle Keenan and Auntie Lily. Chase is as sweet as can be. In addition to spending two days in Sacramento with my parents, where my Dad cooked up a fantastic Chinese meal, we also had a family lunch with Keenan’s extended family in Fremont. It is crazy how fast the kids grow – all the boys are shooting up like a beanstalk! The extended family is getting bigger and bigger -- Keenan's cousin is also expecting in August with her second son. 11 boys in this generation and not a single girl yet!
Friends: We are truly blessed with so many amazing friends in the Bay Area, some we have known since we were in diapers. It was great hanging out just like old times. We finally got to meet our friend’s 1 year old son, Ben, at a dinner party at his Godmother’s place and reunited with my graduate school friends at a birthday party. Special thanks to Shali for hosting us at her adorable Nob Hill apartment during our time in San Francisco. I loved waking up to the sound of the cable car! We also scheduled several larger social events, including a fun Thursday happy hour at Sens overlooking the Justin Herman Plaza and the Ferry Building. It was great to see everyone!
Classic SF Giants vs. LA Dodger Game: Growing in Northern California, you were taught to despise Los Angeles. Period. Upon learning that the classic divisional game coincided with our California trip, I planned a big group outing with 25 friends at AT&T Park, which I consider as one of the most scenic ballparks in the country. After drinks at nearby 21st Amendment, we made our way to our seats in the View Box, which as the name implies, had an amazing view of the Bay Bridge, and we enjoyed the company of wonderful friends, delicious garlic fries, and a great game of baseball. And the weather was absolutely perfect for an evening baseball game. The Giants sealed a close game at 5-3 with Brian Wilson as the relief pitcher. Go Giants -- here's to another Championship this year!
D&L’s Wedding in North Lake Tahoe: The highlight was our trip was attending the wedding of dear friends Dave and Leah in Incline Village. They had a beautiful evening ceremony on the Aspen Grove, followed by a reception at the Chateau. The bride and groom looked incredibly happy, dancing the night away and chatting with their guest. I am sure they are enjoying their sweet honeymoon in Maui. Mazel Tov!
Our friends rented out a cabin for the wedding, so we spent the weekend playing tennis in the courtyard, lounging by the pool, and catching up on the past two years. On our way back to San Francisco, we stopped by Kings Beach for a little Taco Ball fix and snapped this beautiful photo of Lake Tahoe with the golden sand, pristine water, and snow-capped mountains.
Beautiful California...almost makes us want to move back…almost. Thank you all for making the time to hang out with us! We certainly hope it won’t be another two years before we return to the City by the Bay. Stay tuned for highlights of our culinary tour!