A California State of Mind

April 8, 2010 § Leave a comment

Carlton & I returned from a week in San Francisco on Easter Sunday. It was such a wonderful trip! We spent the week at my Aunt Kath’s & Uncle Erik’s house in Berkeley. My 7-year-old cousin Sushma was kind of enough to let us stay in her beautiful room:). It was awesome spending time with them.

My Aunt Kath has like all of my Dad’s family been super important to me throughout my life. I grew up adoring her..and now I feel I’ve grown to follow in her footsteps, working on social justice/human rights work. She spent most of her career working in non-profits or on political campaigns! Now she has her own company, The Madera Group, whom provide  a fund raising, communications and social marketing services to clients including the Clinton Foundation and Chez Panisse  (Alice Waters foundation).

Anyways….I could go on and on about her awesomeness. But it was really great for Carlton and I get to spend time with my Aunt Kath and her husband Erik..who is also super awesome, and the beautiful, hilarious Sushma. They have a cute house up in the Berkeley Hills, a much different scene than our Brighton pad.

We spent the week exploring the bay area! Wondered our ways through Muir Woods, picnic’d on Redwood tree trunks. Did cartwheels (well I did) in the Pacific Ocean surf and paroozed our way through the many neighborhoods of San Francisco. We spent some time exploring Berkeley as well! Carlton and I got manicures :):) I forced him, but I think he enjoyed himself.

So also, we did a cruise around the bay that I had bought coupons for on Living Social which said the boat fit up to 28 people. Well– it ended up being just me and Carlton! It was so awesome!! We also got free drinks..not bad for $20!! We spent two hours sailing the bay..Amazing!

I should also add all of the amazing food we had while were on the West Coast. The Bay area has such amazing, local and organic food options. We went to farm to table retaurants, Nepali, and Vegan Mexican (all were awesome!)

On Wednesday morning we drove out to Napa Valley, which is so close to Berkeley! 50 minutes! Not bad– I wouldn’t mind that commute… hey just saying. We spent the days at wineries throughout Napa and really enjoyed having a picnic lunch on the grounds of V’Sattui winery. We stayed in downtown Napa at the Best Western Elm House Inn. It was so wonderful! The family that runs the Inn are so sweet- and super helpful. They also have a homemade chocolate chip coconut walnut cookie and hot apple cider hour from 5-6..and a kick ass breakfast in the mornings. So I would recommend it to anyone traveling to wine country. Beautiful rooms- a converted old Victorian home. We also went to this amazing restaurant called Cole’s Chop House. Man was it good.. and I’m a tough audience, from working at Morton’s Steakhouse through college.  We ate too much, drank too much and had a royally good time while doing it.

It’s an awesome thing to spend a week with Carlton. I love him so much, and to get a week where were together all the time is so natural and fun! It makes for a tough adjustment back to work and the routines of daily life. But I will say it sure keeps me excited about the vacations to come in the future..and dreams of retirement… 40 years down the road..:)

I’m trying to maintain my relaxed Cali frame of mind..it’s Thursday and I’m still holding onto to it. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

p.s. i’ll upload a few pictures soon!


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