Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Bay Area Feeding

It is said that Burning Man is magical (Oh no hippie alert!), that humanity is pure and good there.  People follow their hearts and do what feels right, no matter what it is (seriously - no matter what).  And so Sam and I met a jolly wonderful man who I'll call Preston here.  He gifted us the experience of seeing each other again.

Sam, my boyfriend in case that wasn't obvious by now, moved out to Sacramento at the end of July bringing me back to familiar territory: the long distance relationship. Preston felt compelled to bring us together, being touched by our genuine love for each other (magical and poetic!). He used his miles to fly me out to San Francisco for this past weekend.  Sam doesn't often have 2 days off, let alone the three for Columbus Day, so this was our last opportunity to meet up until New Years.

And so the adventure:

Feeling spoiled and blessed by such a generous gift, I needed to be humbled (right?), so I slept at O'Hare Airport on Friday night.  It was actually because I had an early flight on Saturday and didn't feel like waking up at 3AM to take 1.5 hours of transport to get to the airport, but I was also humbled in the process!  Note: Security closes at some point in the evening before 11PM, which means you cannot go through.  I found a set of seats, slid my body under the arm rests (thank goodness they aren't attached to the bottom of the chair) and slept relatively well.  5:00AM rolls around and I go through security and pass out immediately on the flight.

Arrival is full of big smiles and warm embraces and the awareness that the airport traffic cop is staring at us, counting down to kick us out of the "no waiting" area.  Off we go!

Berkeley is where we decided to stay.  Using Airbnb, similar to couch surfing but you get a whole room and often the whole house for a low cost, we stayed comfortably in this awesome college city.  Right near anything we might need or want.

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Saturday consisted of a lot of not much.  The perfect break.  Lunch at Taste of the Himalayas (delicious Saag, Samosas the size of, well, the Himalayas, and delectable Garlic Naan).  Unfortunately I was way too out of it to think of bringing my camera.  This is not what we ate, but similar enough for visual demonstration.

Pumpkin Spiced Latte at Peet's Coffee & Tea (they have vegan ones here!)  I also like Peet's because they carry vegan cookies and muffins.  There is one nearby me in Chicago that I have yet to visit.

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With latte in hand, we visited the Bancroft Hotel, labeled the Greenest Hotel in Berkeley.  This is saying quite a bit since this whole area is very progressive and green in its ways. We met the Catering Director and discovered we had an awful lot in common, like loving food and food events!  Imagine that.  She gave me her card.

Back home we went.  Eddie Izzard found his way into the DVD player and many laughs followed.  Eventually dinner happened - leftover Indian - and an excursion to CREAM!

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A wonderful concept of freshly baking cookies and scooping ice cream between two!  I know, not entirely new, but great that it isn't frozen from a box that's been ready to eat for weeks or something.  No surprise here, they had vegan options.  I got the tuxedo cookies with Cherry Chocolate Chunk ice cream.  AMAZING and satisfying in only the way cookies and ice cream can be.

The next day, Sam treated me to Vegan Brunch at Herbivore - The Earthly Grill.  Really great taste again.

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I got the BLT (tempeh bacon) with salad instead of potatoes.

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He got the Savory Crepes (that's a basil sauce on top.  I know isn't much of a looker).  And we shared a piece of French Toast (The best Vegan French Toast I've ever had next to Julian's in Providence).  A very satisfying meal.  Leftovers saved us as we rushed to the airport the next morning.

We finally got to San Francisco on Saturday and had a great time at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival.  It's a music festival as I'm sure you gathered.  I'm not a huge music festival person and I usually get bored, but I really enjoyed this one! Very chill vibe and great company with Sam's friend.

We found ourselves a couple beers in by the end and HUNGRY!  Luckily enough Underdog was right around the corner from the festival! 

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Vegan friendly hotdogs and sausages and even gluten free buns!  That's what I got!  Topped with sauerkraut and relish.  SO satisfying!

We were tempted to get another ice cream cookie sandwich, but were way too exhausted to much more than sleep.  I did, unfortunately have to leave relatively quickly in the morning, so not much to show for Sunday except that I finally got to see what Salt Lake City looks like from the air.  Kinda freaked me out to be honest (no offense of course).

The flight back let me read, almost entirely through, an awesome book.  The review is to come!  Great Vegan reading though!

Until the next adventure - Happy Trails & Eat Well!

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