Author Topic: A weekend in Nor-Cal  (Read 1223 times)

Offline Divora M

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A weekend in Nor-Cal
« on: September 03, 2019, 10:09:05 PM »
My sister who lives in Oakland, CA had a baby boy so it was time to check out Nor-Cal! I originally booked only myself a flight on United Airlines for 25K RT but then later decided I would make it a mother/son trip and added my 8 year old on the reservation. It would be his first time on the West Coast. After doing some quick research I got my itinerary planned and we were off. We landed very late Thursday night and went straight to bed. Friday morning we started off at the Berkeley Bowl, it is the most amazing fruit and vegetable store I have ever seen. Who knew there were 25 types of oranges and apples, it made choosing one very difficult! We saw different types of vegetables that I have never seen or heard of before. It was really cool and I would definitely recommend it. We then had lunch at Oakland Kosher which is a small kosher grocery store that also has hamburgers, falafels, shwarma, shnitzel sandwiches and more. My son got the hamburger and I got the falafel which were both good. Once we were full we were ready for the activity of the day, hiking in Redwood Memorial Park. It took us around 15 minutes to get there and park. Our goal was to start from the top of the mountain and get to the bottom. It was a very beautiful hike complete with redwood trees and streams of water at the bottom. We lost our way and couldn't figure out how to get back so we ended up walking for many hours. Somehow we managed to find our way and got back in time for Shabbos. We went to the daven at Beth Jacob Congregation and truly enjoyed it. For kiddush after shabbos day davening they had Flying Falafel's food for a sit down lunch. Sunday was our last day and we were going to check out San Francisco. I had booked us a tour of Alcatraz first thing in the morning. When we started driving there we noticed bumper to bumper traffic by the bridge and were told that there was a marathon going on and many streets were closed. I knew we would miss our tour of Alcatraz so i called them and asked if we could get a new time or refund, the woman on the phone said they were all booked for the rest of the day and they do not offer refunds for missed tours. I was very upset since my son and I had been so looking forward to going there. We arrived in San Francisco over an hour and a half later and parked our car and walked over to the pier where the boat takes you to Alcatraz. I figured it doesn't hurt to ask in person for a refund. I showed the women our reservation and asked if there is anything she can do, she said immediately it's no problem and we should just go on the standby line for the next boat and we would get on. I was thrilled! Sure enough we were able to board the boat with no problem. We sat on the top deck and enjoyed the ride, we even saw dolphins in the water! Once we got to Alcatraz they give you an audio tour to listen to as you walk through. My son loved it and cannot stop talking about it! While we were there there was a book signing going on by an actual inmate of Alcatraz who was in prison there for 5 years, that was the icing on the cake! Once we got back to San Francisco we walked along the Piers until Pier 39, we did some window shopping and ended up at a magician/acrobat/comedian show which was going on at the end of the Pier. He was really hysterical and even called my son up to be part of his show. After the show we went to the water where all the sea lions sun bathe and splash each other. It is really a sight to see. We continued until we got to the USS Pampanito in Fisherman's Wharf which was used in WWII. Of course you cant just see the outside of an actual submarine without going inside it so we got on board and checked it out, which is pretty neat but I am glad i only had to be on it for 30 minutes. At this point we are starving so we headed over to the kosher Krispy Kreme in Fisherman's Wharf. After regaining some energy it was time to make the hike to Lombard street, the crookedest street in the world. We were originally going to take a cable car up to it but decided not to wait for it to come. It was quite a hike up that street and definitely not for the faint of hearts. My son tried stopping many times and told me to just go without him but somehow we made it to the top. Once you get to the top tons of people are in the street taking pictures of the view and of Lombard Street. I am glad we got to say we did it! Once we got back down we got our car and drove to Frena which has two locations, we went to the one on Geary Blvd. It's kind of like a bakery with some hot food items and salads i believe. I got the egg in a basket and the Sabich and my son got the pizza bagel. They have sufganiot and hamentashen all year round and they were both very good. We still had a bit of time until our flight so we decided to check out the Pacific Ocean and drove to Lands End Lookout Point. You can just park your car at the top and walk down the steps until you hit the beach and water. It had spectacular views especially since we were there around sunset. My son even found a cave that we checked out and could see through a hole the waves crashing around it. We also walked down to the rocky area where the waves were crashing onto them. It was a wonderful ending to our trip. We got to SFO a few hours before our flight so we hung out at the United Lounge and my son had a lot of fun with their coke machine that you pick which flavors you want together and it makes your drink. We had the red eye flight and landed home at 6 AM on Monday, my son slept the whole flight so he was brought straight to school. We both had a great trip and very special memories.