lifestyle


Alcatraz Island and a Cable Car

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You don’t always have to get on a plane to play tourist. Sometimes, enjoying the tourist attractions in your own hometown can be just as much fun! Plus, you don’t have to pay for a hotel. Love that!

We decided to take the kids to San Francisco for the day and play tourist. As most locals will attest, we had never taken our kids on a cable car or to see Alcatraz. Usually these are things we locals do when we have out of town guests, or on a field trip as kids. The first time I went on a cable car was when I was in college, and there were kids who weren’t from here who wanted to go on one. Those of us who were from here, had never ridden one! Us locals are missing out!

Riding on a cable car is fun, plus, if you have a fast pass, it works on the cable car! Why not give it a whirl?! I know, I know, as locals we see that awful, daunting line for the cable car filled with tourists. Who wants to stand in that? Well, let me tell you, you can avoid the line! If you go at 9am when cable car service starts, you can avoid standing in a long line filled with tourists, plus, you are more likely to get a coveted outside seat! Love that!

We rode on the cable car twice. I sat outside the first time, and then inside the second time to give the tourists a whirl. Either location is fun. Why not use your fast pass for a little fun? Might as well!

After we took a joyride on the cable car, we took the F Market up the Embarcadero and walked over to Hillstone for lunch. Now, if you are local, you may remember this place as Houston’s. It’s the same restaurant with a new name. I highly recommend getting something with French Fries or getting the French Fries on the side. They are so good! Out of everything we ordered, the focaccia and the crispy chicken sandwich were the best. Highly recommend!

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pictured: green handbag / sunglasses /

After lunch, we walked across the street to Pier 33 where you can catch the boat to Alcatraz. I recommend making reservations ahead of time just in case the time slot you want is popular and gets sold out.

I have only been to Alcatraz one other time, and it was when my dear friend from the mid-west visited me. I couldn’t believe I had never been there before! So, this was only my second time going! Isn’t that crazy?! My kids had never been, so they had fun touring the prison grounds and learning the history of the prison and the island itself. Wear your walking shoes and allow yourself time to not only tour the prison and the island, but to enjoy the museum. There are also some great areas where you can see the Golden Gate Bridge, downtown San Francisco and the east bay. If you are lucky, and the fog burns off, it is very pretty!

wearing: sunglasses / statement earrings / navy tie sleeve tee / gemstone bracelet (under $50, local designer) / summer nail polish / green handbag / G buckle belt / dark wash skinny jeans / sneakers /

We were definitely tired and hungry after spending time touring around Alcatraz Island. So, to complete our staycation San Francisco day, we decided to take our kids to Tadich Grill. After all, it is the oldest restaurant in the city, and it survived the 1906 earthquake! Yup, it has been in business since 1849. It has survived two pandemics too! Love!

Everything we ordered was delicious. You cannot go wrong at Tadich! Be sure to make a reservation, especially if you plan to go at peak times.

If you are local, or from out of town, I hope you enjoy these sights San Francisco has to offer. You will have a lot of fun and learn some history too! Love that!

Thanks for stopping by,

XOXO
Cathy


Eataly Silicon Valley grand opening press event

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wearing: statement earrings / stripe dress (under $50) / summer nail polish / top handle bag / gemstone bracelets (San Jose designer) / black white sneakers /

Eataly Silicon Valley has opened their doors! This well-known Italian marketplace and restaurant and been long-awaited at Valley Fair. We have been walking past the “Opening Soon” signs for what seems like forever in anticipation of getting our own Italian marketplace in Silicon Valley, and now it’s finally here! Love!

My ancestors are Italian, so obviously I am always looking for fresh Italian ingredients for when I cook. I also enjoy authentic pre-made food, because my Mom cooks everything better than me anyway. haha

Eataly is a marketplace and restaurant which was first opened in Italy, so it isn’t an American creation which is trying to be Italian. So many American chains, which claim to be Italian, are really just pretenders; which is very annoying when you know what the food is supposed to taste like, how it should be cooked, and the ingredients which should be used! I watched my grandmother, who came here from Italy, spend hours upon hours in the kitchen. While I may not be amazing in the kitchen like she was, I do know Italian food, so let me tell you about Eataly with confidence.

As an American, you will expect pizza, pasta, and risotto. That’s great, Eataly has you well-covered with these types of food. I love that you can find food from various regions of Italy throughout the marketplace, and in the restaurants within Eataly. My family is Northern, so I notice the food my family cooks right away! Since I attended a press event, I was able to sample a few dishes, and they were all delicious. So, whether you prefer southern food or northern food, you will find what you love.

Eataly Silicon Valley is also a marketplace! The ground floor has snacks, coffee, pastries, and gelato. When you venture up to the second floor, you will find a variety of wines in all price points. I love how Eataly labels the region the wine originates from. It made it easy to find wine from where my family is from, and still lives. Love that!

The third floor was my favorite spot, as this is where both restaurants are located, and there is a fabulous market. You will find a variety of packaged foods from Italy, a butcher, fresh cheeses, meats, packaged food, dairy, produce, breads, and more. I was in heaven. Seriously, we have small Italian markets in Silicon Valley, but nothing this vast and all-encompassing. This is a one-stop-shop for Italians like me!

Eataly opens early, before the mall, at 8:30am. This is perfect for shopping for groceries. We can pop in before the mall gets crowded and buy everything we all need to cook at home; in one location! Love that! In addition, there is more wine on the third floor plus you can find gift items, cooking tools, and cookbooks. Wear your walking shoes, and get ready to spend time shopping when you go to Eataly! You will love it.

I hope you stop in and enjoy the food! You can learn more about Eataly by visiting their website at Eataly.com.

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO
Cathy

*I received free food at the press event, I was not paid to attend. All thoughts and opinions in this article are my own.

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Zinfandel Trail in Cupertino

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Hiking outfit: black jacket / tee-shirt / jeans / G buckle belt / backpack / waterbottle / spring nail polish / hiking boots /

Last weekend, we decided to check out the Zinfandel Trail in Cupertino. This trail is adjacent to a beautiful winery by the name of Picchetti Winery. It is also part of the Steven Creek County Park which we have hiked in before.

This is a fabulous trail whether you are hiking with children, or a group who might be interested in wine tasting after the hike. We were with friends who had small children, and they were able to hike for two hours without complaining! It was great! That being said, don’t think is an easy trail. There are hills, twists and turns. If you hike the entire trail, you will end up on the other side of the reservoir; which is a long hike, but worth it for the beautiful views and amazing exercise.

I really enjoyed the Zinfandel Trail because a good portion of it was in the shade. This meant we had enough sun and shade to not overheat or get burned. Of course, always wear sunscreen! We did!

There were some cute little wildlife sightings along the trail which the kids enjoyed. We saw large and furry caterpillars, as well as various types of lizards in red, green, and grey. There was a variety of birds, and an unidentified animal sound which the kids enjoyed trying to guess what they heard.

The one sad part about this trail is that you can see how low the reservoir is right now during our drought. To top it off, the pond along the trail is completely dry. We are in the middle of spring, which is the end of our rainy season. This means our ponds and reservoirs should be full and thriving. Unfortunately, that is not the case at all. Let’s pray for an odd rainstorm to help us out!

Despite being low, the reservoir still provided a beautiful view and a glimpse at some pretty water. The Zinfandel Trail does provide some spectacular views! You will be rewarded for the work you put in to hike it. I would call this a medium trail.

Of course, if you leave the kids at home, the winery opens at 11am for wine tasting. You can not only have the reward of fabulous views, but a little vino too! Love that! We had kids with us, so we admired the pretty winery from afar.

The Zinfandel Trail can be accessed off Montebello Road which is off Stevens Canyon Road. It is an easy find off highway 85.

I hope you have a chance to check out this beautiful trail!

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO
Cathy