After over nine months of confinement in Illinois, I finally reinstated my nomadic ways by flying to San Francisco. Last year I spent every free moment traveling on planes, trains, and in rental cars, galavanting around Europe, so nine monts in the midwest has induced excessive stir-craziness.
Last week, mother and I flew to California and spent three days exploring San Francisco, San Jose, and Berkeley University [the ultimate motivation of the whole trip]. Although the weather was “cold” for San Francisco natives, we could not get enough of the sun, 60 degree temperatures, and greenery, all sorely lacking in our unseasonably cold Chicagoland area.
Although extremely unprepared and without any solid plans, we managed to seek out some fabulous food, visit all the major tourist sites, and explore Berkeley University during our short visit. An amazingly fresh [and cheap] sushi dinner presented itself in the form of a hole-in-the-wall, strip mall restaurant called Cha Cha Sushi in San Jose. Apparently it’s common to find sushi in seemingly sketchy venus on the west coast, because the seafood is so fresh anywhere you go. Also of note, we ate lunch at Cafe Gratitude, a vegan restaurant in Berkeley, which is frequented by Jason Mraz and mentioned in one of his songs. I’m convinced that the bay area only serves up awesome food, because we did not experience a single bad meal during our entire trip, including at the airport! Fresh and healthy things aside, the bay area is also home to a small chain of french bakeries called La Boulange, where I ate the best croissant I’ve tasted outside of Europe. That is a bold statement coming from me, considering I consumed a croissant at LEAST once a week the entire nine months I lived in France.
It might seem like we only spent our time eating and drinking coffee in San Francisco… and that is essentially true. Yet, we did make some time to see the Golden Gate Bridge, walk along the warf, wander through china town, climb up to Coit Tower, visit the architecture department at Berkeley’s Wurster hall, peruse the vast collection of architecture books at William Stout, and narrowly avoid death by cable car.
Now, I am off to bake up one of these french onion tarts… only good things can come from mixing caramelized onions and cheese