Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A weekend with the Gillhams

My parents heard we were moving and decided to make a mad dash to visit us in San Francisco one last time before we left. They have rediscovered a love of this city which, until their visit in February, they hadn't visited in 28 years. And my sister has just discovered her love of San Fran, so she came along, too. Just like the last time they visited, we managed to pack 2 weeks worth of activities into four days. On their first day here, we climbed up Telegraph Hill and went to the top of Coit Tower, something I didn't even know you could do. The amazing views of the city almost made the horrifying elevator ride to the top worth it.

I can see my apartment!
On Friday night, we ate at the Tiki Room, and as we walked up Nob Hill to the Fairmont Hotel where the restaurant is located, we were treated to some pretty spectacular views of the fog rolling in over the Bay.

On Saturday, we headed up to Napa Valley, where we tried to instill a love of wine in Christina to no avail. But my dad discovered how much he loves good sparkling wine, and the scenery was spectacular. It got up close to 90 degrees, and that's the first time I've felt hot weather like that since we moved to San Francisco.

We took Stasia to the dog beach, and it was so windy she almost blew away!

It was cold and foggy in the city on Sunday, so we went to Sausalito, where is was sunny and gorgeous. You can add "micro-climates" to the list of things I love about San Francisco. On the way back we stopped in the Marin Highlands before crossing the Golden Gate Bridge back into the city. The fog blowing across the bridge was a pretty amazing sight.

We also ate at (my favorite pizza place) Tony's, had pancakes at Mo's, spent plenty of time on the Wharf and plenty of other things I'm forgetting. Suffice it to say that it was a great weekend, and I'm so glad they got in one last visit to the City By The Bay.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

San Francisco with the Birks

Adam's family (his mom, dad, brother Justin and sister-in-law Staci) came to visit us last weekend, and we had a really great time showing them all around San Francisco. Everybody arrived on Friday afternoon, and we spent the night catching up over some amazing food at Hillstone, a great restaurant just down the street from our apartment. We stuffed ourselves with cheese toast, grilled artichokes and Hillstone's AMAZING french dip sandwiches.

The next morning, we headed to Mo's (which I blogged about previously here) for some of their amazing pancakes. Alan and Randi love to overfeed us, and in true Birk fashion, we all ordered a seperate entree plus 2 plates of pancakes for the table to share. Thankfully, the pancakes lived up to all my talk about them, and I was very impressed with us when we managed to finish almost everything on the table! As punishment for our glutonous breakfast, we decided to walk up Telegraph Hill, and we took the steepest possible route up. Then we headed down to Pier 39 (the seals have returned!) and over to Ghirardelli Square, where we rewarded ourselves for all of our exercise with delicious hot fudge sundaes!

The highlight of the weekend was without a doubt the party that Alan and Randi threw at our place on Saturday night. Adam has a lot of family here in the Bay Area, and they all came out to celebrate Staci and Adam's 30th birthdays!

All the attendees who stayed really late were treated to a moonrise over Telegraph Hill that we viewed from our roof!

In all we had 21 people in our apartment. Thank goodness the weather was beautiful and we were able to spend most of the evening on our porch, because I don't know if we could have fit that many people inside! Randi and Alan hired a local caterer, and he made the most delicious food! We ended up with a lot of leftovers, and for the last week Adam and I have been living off of pulled-pork sliders, braised short ribs, ham and cheese pastries, macaroni and cheese, brownies with hot fudge sauce, apple cobbler and Randi's horseradish mashed potatoes. I've probably put on a few pounds, but we've been enjoying ourselves.

The rest of the weekend included lots of walks (to Chrissy Field and Chinatown), LOTS more food (including plenty of leftovers, an amazing dinner at the Sliding Door, pizza and a great breakfast prepared by Justin) and plenty of time spent lavishing attention on Stasia. The weekend was a huge success, and I think everybody had a really great time.