There’s no place like home for the holidays. It’s hard to believe it’s been over 2.5 years since we last visited California in July 2011. Naturally we had a busy agenda given the holiday season, dividing our time equally between San Francisco and our hometowns of Tracy and Sacramento. My sister, BiL, and 18 month old niece also flew in from Hong Kong so we had ourselves a family Christmas at our parents’ new house in Elk Grove.
If you can believe, it’s been over five years since my family have been under the same roof; the last time was when Keenan and I got married in 2008. It’s the downside of having two daughters living abroad, but it’s also a good excuse to get together in different parts of the world, be it California, Europe, or Asia.
We made the most of our 12 day trip -- spending time with our extended family; squeezing in coffee/lunch/happy hour/dinner dates with friends; drinking amazing Californian wines and craft beers; and enjoying all the natural beauty the San Francisco Bay has to offer. It was also unseasonably warm in northern California with plenty of sunny blue skies that we found ourselves wearing shorts and T-shirt in the middle of December. The perks of Californian living!
The food and restaurants in San Francisco is among the best in the world. Although we didn’t make it to the latest “it” restaurants, we visited some old haunts and neighbourhood gems, including the beloved Pizzaiolo Restaurant in up-and-coming Temescal in Oakland; Lers Ros Thai in TenderNob for some authentic Thai Food; Universal Café in the Mission; and Barbacco, a buzzy Italian restaurant in the Financial District, all in the company of great friends.
Back in the good ol’ suburbia, we made frequent trips to Trader Joes and Target (oh, how I miss you both) and celebrated Keenan’s birthday with an extended family dinner at a local Indian restaurant.
It was a great trip home, a much needed trip to keep our wanderlust souls grounded. We feel truly blessed to call London and the San Francisco Bay area home, both places are special in their own ways. After living in London for half a decade, we’re starting to miss California and ponder whether a move back Stateside is in the cards in the next 3 to 5 years? We’ll see…