After our mini-vacation, we returned to South Lake Tahoe for a few final days. The highlight of this time was a boat tour to Thunderbird Lodge. Steve and Wende’s new neighbor in Tahoe runs these tours in addition to tours to Emerald Bay. Their business is called Cruise Tahoe.
On our way back to South Lake Tahoe following our mini-vacation, we stopped off for one night in Placerville, CA. More or less midway between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, Placerville is on Highway 50 in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains. They describe their location as “above the fog and below the snow line” which gives them something of a four seasons climate.
Continuing our mini-vacation to the San Francisco Bay Area, from Oakland we headed east to the town of Oakley, home to Valerie’s long time friends, Roger and Jo Anne. They have been friends with Valerie and her kids for many years.
On our first day, we took a day trip when Roger drove us all back west to San Francisco, across the Bay Bridge and then south to Half Moon Bay. This is a small beach community that seems to have mostly avoided allowing itself to be overrun by development. Just to the south of the town is a four mile stretch of beach that is the Half Moon Bay State Beach with a walking path, nice broad beaches and a campground. We had lunch at the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company. This is a beautiful stretch of California coastline.
The next day, we took a walk around their neighborhood with Roger and saw some of his favorite neighbors, sheep, goats and emu. Before leaving we enjoyed a beautiful salad that Jo Anne prepared for us.
Next stop: Placerville, CA
Next up on our mini-vacation to the San Francisco Bay Area was a quick stop in Oakland to visit with Valerie’s cousin, Marcy and her significant other, Marc. They have an apartment near Jack London Square in Oakland. This part of the city is very lively with lots of restaurants, breweries and other activities. Their apartment is in one of the recently completed buildings nearby.
We started our visit with a stroll around Jack London Square and they treated us to a wine tasting at Rosenblum Cellars, a winery right on the Oakland waterfront. Afterward, we had a terrific brunch at Fat Lady restaurant. In the evening we went to a nearby brewery that was having a comedy night with 5 local stand up comedians.
We started off our Sunday with a nice hike in nearby Redwood Regional Park. This a huge park with miles of hiking and mountain biking trails in the hills east of Oakland. There are some nice spots with good views to the west to Oakland and the San Francisco Bay beyond. After working up a good appetite, we had brunch at one of their favorite spots, the Chop Bar which very recently moved to a new location which is just downstairs from their apartment. Quite delicious.
Our time with Marcy was all too brief but filled with fun activities, food and beverages.
Next: Oakley, CA
Our first stop on this mini-vacation was Berkeley, CA. The city of Berkeley sits on the east shore of the San Francisco Bay. Berkeley is home to the oldest campus in the University of California system, the University of California, Berkeley, which was founded in 1868.