A California Visit

What speaks loudest to me? Fleet week is here, where the Navy brings ships to the Embarcadero for citizens to tour. The Blue Angels are overhead practicing their moves. We are avoiding the traffic and crowds by not attending.

We had a family luncheon at Mark and Dawn’s home in Forestville, north of the Bay Area. We even got to visit with their son, Corey, who presently lives in Brooklyn, but was making a brief visit there. As usual the weather was warm and sunny. Sadly for the locals, no rain in sight. The drought is frightening. They served corn chowder with shrimp, warm sour dough bread both garlic and plain. Mark made a strawberry & raspberry crisp with a cornmeal topping and 2-layer chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. It was all delicious.

Peet’s coffee is still our favorite. I used to live across from the first store at Sixth and Walnut when I worked in Berkeley as a nanny. We were married outdoors just down the road from there at Live Oak Park. The first time I walked into one of their chain stores on this visit there was a sign about a new small batch blend called “Sixth and Walnut.” Later Bob bought some. First Peet’s coffee we have not liked! It is a mild roast and to us it almost brewed like weak tea. Next day we bought Major Dickinson! Then the next day we bought my favorite, which they do not market every place “Arabian Mocha Java.” Oh goodness. I love that blend!!

Hopefully before we go home we can find my favorite Bear Claw pastries, which I first ate here. Found some tiny green grapes at Trader Joe’s called Sark’s Little Thoms. So sweet! We are told they sell See’s candy in Cincinnati now, but it can’t possibly be as good to us as going to a store in this area. Besides, they give you a free piece of candy when you enter!!

Yes, we like to eat our way through vacations, especially when we have learned and loved local specialties. We also enjoyed the Golden Gate National Park. Bob, Karen and I had never visited. The sandy beach was not as fine as sand on the east coast. It was fun to watch the surfers in their wet suits. One older guy was doing his stretches on the beach in preparation for surfing.

When we got to the top of one bluff we could barely see the top of the north tower for the Golden Gate bridge. A day of heavy fog that never did lift around the Golden Gate bridge.

I was delighted by the fog horns. Bob thought they sounded Ike tubas. “Each foghorn has a different pitch and marine navigational charts give ships the frequency, or signature, of each foghorn,” says the Golden Gate Bridge highway and transportation website. The foghorns were on the entire span of our visit that day.

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