Chris's good friend from high school recently moved with his wife to the Silicon Valley area and they were so sweet to host us for New Year's Eve! Chris's friend even met us at the airport to take our bag so that we could explore the city for the day before heading to Mountain View, what a host! We had so much fun in San Francisco and the Bay Area - it was four days of delicious food, city sights and beautiful scenery, and lots of laughter.
I got some great food recommendations from Eat Make Read and Tracy from Shutterbean was so kind to email me her SF faves. Once we were bag-free, we immediately set to checking out the recommendations. They did not steer us wrong! First, we went to the Ferry building where we waited in line to get cafe au laits at Blue Bottle Coffee Company. The line was so long we got some macaroons to snack on from a nearby bakery!
Then we grabbed some empanadas and headed outside to eat them on the pier. Mmmmmm....
Later we checked out the Bi-Rite Creamery for some yummy ice cream (although we both thought that our local Udder Delights is better...but we might be biased!).
We loved walking next to the water on our way to the Palace of Fine Arts.
Just as the sun was going down and we were crossing the street, the Golden Gate Bridge popped out!
That night we met up with our friends at Millennium, a fancy vegetarian restaurant in the city. There were so many vegetarian and vegan restaurants everywhere we went, it was magical.
On Friday we checked our the Stanford campus and drove to Pleasanton to see where Chris used to live when he was in middle school! Since Chris moved around a lot growing up, I've never seen any of the places he lived. It was so cool to see his old school and house!
That night we had dinner reservations for Chez Panisse. We had to make the reservations a month in advance and it's what I was looking forward to most on our trip. Chez Panisse was started by Alice Waters, who also founded the Yale Sustainable Food Project. Chris and I were both a part of the YSFP when we were at Yale, before we knew each other, and it was through the YSFP that each of us started getting interested in eating more organic and local foods. So dinner at Chez Panisse felt like quite a pilgrimage!
The restaurant was so cozy, my favorite kind of restaurant, and the food was truly incredible. It's definitely a meal we'll always remember. Afterwards, we were able to walk through the kitchen and talk with the chefs, it was so cool!
On New Year's Eve we went for a great hike. Ah, the mountain air and tall trees!
For New Year's Eve we had a cozy and really fun night in and had wine and cheese and played Catch Phrase and You Don't Know Jack. It was the perfect end to 2011 and a great way to start 2012!
Thank you so much to our lovely hosts James and Kathy...we hope to be back soon!