I had been home for 2 weeks without going somewhere more than 30 miles away and I was beginning to itch, so I went to see my friend J.S. in the Bay Area. Instead of driving, I took the Megabus, which has new, comfortable, reliable buses to San Francisco (and Sacramento) starting at $1 each way. The trip took 4.5 hours, one hour longer than driving, but it was totally worth it as I could relax, listen to music, and read a book. Upon my arrival we went to the Japanese restaurant B-Dama where I had a sea bass with a delicate sake lees sauce. Then off to a cheesecake place for dessert.
The next day we drove to Big Basin Redwoods State Park, the oldest state park in California, but on the way we stopped at a Persian restaurant in Saratoga to grab a sandwich and some baklava. I love going to the Bay Area to see all the diversity. In Reno I am probably the only foreigner for miles.
The hike to Berry Creek Falls and back took 4.5 hours. We started at the Skyline to the Sea trail to the waterfall and took the Sunset trail back. Definitely the way to do it since most of the time it was an easy downhill. The map says this is supposed to be a strenuous hike, but I think even my mom could do this one. Besides the obvious tall redwood trees, the best part of the trail are the little yellow banana slugs. So cute.
After our hike we had some wine at Soif in Santa Cruz. I tasted a couple of their organic wines and had some manchego cheese and membrillo (quince paste), which reminded J.S. and I of the time we spent in Spain.
The next morning was raining in Santa Cruz. A couple of weeks ago my yoga instructor asked the class who didn’t like rain: I was the only one who raised the hand. She then said we have no control of the rain, so the only thing we could do is love it or hate it. In Santa Cruz I decided to love it. The fog and the mist lent a whimsical feel to the town and I felt relaxed and inspired. It was a welcoming break from the hot weather and non-stop days I had been experiencing in Reno. Speaking of Reno, I took the bus back and felt so hippiesh. There is something about taking a trip on a bus or a train with a backpack that just yells freedom. It helped that I was reading The Quiet American which also reminded me of all my free-spirited adventures in Vietnam.
Ps.: I forgot to mention one more thing – the Lobster Roll from Sam’s Chowder House. It is one of the Top 5 Sandwiches reviewed by the Today Show. Just toasted bread, lots of lobster, and melted butter. No mayo!