Saturday, July 14, 2012

Straight outta Oakland

The final destination on my recent trip to the USA was the Bay Area, where we stayed for one week before coming back to London.

A friend of ours very kindly let us stay at her apartment in Oakland as it just so happened that she was out of town that week.  I haven't really spent much time in Oaktown in recent years, as when you're in San Francisco it is very easy to stay in your city bubble, and not venture over the bridge.  This time though, loverboy and I got to explore the East Bay together, and let me tell you, we did a lot of walking!


On our first day back in the Bay, following our week in Seattle, we met up with one of my bestest friends, who had just returned to the USA after living down under for the past three and a bit years.  It was awesome being reunited after all this time, and as he was also staying in the East Bay, we decided to spend the day in Berkeley.  I hadn't been back on campus since studying at UC Berkeley in 2003-2004, so I enjoyed wandering around, taking photos of the Campanile and revisiting the co-op where I used to live.  We also checked out the vintage shops on Telegraph Avenue and I ate a ginormous and delicious salad (just like they used to be!) at Smart Alec's.


Other enjoyable East Bay moments on this trip included a delicious dinner at Homeroom, which offers a menu primarily consisting of mac'n'cheese.  Fancy mac'n'cheese though!  I chose the Exchange Student (apt, following my recent return to Berkeley where I had previously been an exchange student) which was Greek-style mac with spinach, artichoke hearts, shallots and salty feta cheese.  Yummy!

We hit the pavements for a day of vintage shopping on College and Piedmont, after which we ended up walking to and around Lake Merritt, and then home, by which point my tootsies were kaput!  Matters were not helped when a pair of previously (and now since) comfortable shoes started rubbing my foot in multiple places.  Funny how on a hot day, a comfy pair of shoes can decide to be surprisingly uncomfortable, forcing you to buy a pair of plimsolls at the nearest Payless....

Our last full day was spent in Alameda, where we were invited to a bbq.  Our friends were great hosts and put on quite the spread (hello bbq burgers stuffed with cheese!)....this was also our first barbie of the season!  We couldn't travel half way across the world and not visit my favourite bar, Forbidden Island, so as we were in Alameda already, we headed straight to this tiki tavern for some delicious cocktails (FI make my favourite cocktails, hands down) and their super scumptious spicy chicken bites and coconut shrimp.

We had planned to spend our final morning either at Alameda Flea Market, or eating chicken and waffles, but sadly we didn't get to do either, as it really would have been pushing it to get to the airport in we will just have to wait until we return again....

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