Flowers in Their Hair

The last weekend of September, as I mentioned in my September recap, was a great, fun (and eating) filled weekend with a few of my blogger friends (turned real life friends). They have been all meeting up together for a running weekend each year for about the last 3 or 4 years. This year, I was lucky enough that they chose my city to have their adventure in. I have met up with a couple of them before in various places around the world (Minneapolis, San Francisco, Charlotte and Squamish) but it was especially fun to host them and to show them some of my favorite places. In addition, they all rented a house in my old neighborhood, and it was so nostalgic being back there again, especially since their house was laid out just like the place I had when I lived there!

It started on Thursday, when Lauren and Lisa arrived. I met them in the city and they came over to Oakland with me on the bus. They were really troopers, hauling their suitcases on the public transportation during rush hour. We all went to one of my favorite Korean restaurants, Jong Ga House, which was really fun, as both Lisa and Lauren had never had Korean food. If you have ever had it, you will know that you get several "side dishes" called banchan, which vary in number. In this place, we got about 20 different ones! Of course we also had the traditional spicy tofu soup as well as a variety of barbequed meats.

Old photo, same restaurant

On Friday, I had to work all day and then I had a work event afterward, so the girls were on their own. However, on Saturday, I met up with all four of them (Leigh and Amber had arrived the night before) and we all ran the Berkeley Trail Adventure in Tilden park. Afterward, we went to Sam's Log Cabin in Albany for some delicious pancakes, eggs and fried chicken. I dropped the ladies back off in the city, went and dropped off the car and then rode my bike back to meet up with them again.

Of course, the next part was my favorite, because it was in my old neighborhood! We wandered around the Mission, stopping for a burrito at El Farolito and then HAD TO end the night with some ice cream from my favorite place in the city, Mitchells. The only problem is deciding which flavor to get (I got a double scoop of pumpkin and macapuno)! 

The next day we did something I have never done, although I have lived in the area for years. We biked across the bridge to Sausalito and took the ferry back. It is such a touristy thing to do that I have to admit, I have poo-pooed it, but I am so glad that we did it, as it was a ton of fun. We started nice and early, so that there were not too many looky loos on the bridge, so I think that made it even better. Once in Sausalito, we wandered to a breakfast place, Freds, which was pretty darn good! We headed back on the ferry and then rode over to the Ferry Building before all going our own ways. 

It is so fun to see my home through different eyes, as it reminds me of how much I love it here. The girls were taking photos of the fun houses and the interesting food, and it made me remember how lucky I am to live in such a gorgeous place, with good weather, and multiple food choices.

Another plus was the ease of spending time with these ladies. They are like old friends, even the ones I have not officially met before, and it was so easy to hang out with them. There was no drama, no worries about impressing people or worry about what to do. I made them all ride crammed in a mini for an hour in traffic and they were such good sports about it! I dragged them around the city and made them eat weird food and they did not complain once. All in all, I could not have asked for a better group of girls or a more fun weekend. They are welcome back any time (plus there are still so many things I want to show them)!

What is your "tried and true" routine when you have visitors to your home town? What is your favorite type of food? What type of food have you never tried that you would like to try?


  1. Thanks again for being such a great tour guide and chauffeur! You definitely live in an amazing city with some many neat things to discover at every turn.

  2. Kyria, thanks for being such a great host and letting us stay at your place! It was fun to finally meet you and experience your cool, laid-back personality. Thanks for taking us to some good restaurants too. That burrito...

  3. Thanks again for being such a wonderful host! I really had the best time and was so sad to leave on Monday! It was so kind of you to host Lauren and I, drive us around, help us find great restaurants, and the list goes on and on! I am so glad blogging brought us together - I only wish we lived closer together so we could see each other more often! You'll have to join us when we do our next running rendezvous! And hopefully Phil and I can make it out to San Francisco this spring!

    When people come to visit me, I usually bring them to the observation deck of the theater by my place, take them to the farmer's market if it's still open, and if they are runners I like to take them for a run by the river or around the lakes. And if they are animal lovers, I take them to my favorite children's bookstore which has all kinds of animals. It's always fun to host visitors as it makes you do things you might not do otherwise and it always gives me a fresh perspective on where I live!

  4. Thank you again for being such an amazing tour guide. I seriously credit falling in love with SF to you because when I visited back in March you showed us the mission area and way more than just touristy fisherman's wharf, which I'm sure is all we would have seen in our short time there if it hadn't been for you!!

    That was such a fun weekend. I agree with what Lisa said, you need to come along on our next running rendezvous!

  5. How awesome to meet up with blogging friends! Isn't it amazing how well you get to know people through blogging? I feel like I have some online friends who know me better than some of my real life ones. :) Glad you had such a fun time!

  6. I've loved reading Lisa's, Amber's and now your recap of that weekend. Sounds like it was so much fun! The thing I love about big cities (Chicago and San Francisco definitely being among them) is seeing a city through a local's eyes. In Chicago proper, there is DOWNTOWN (which is just what you'd expect - lots of high rises, tourist destinations, etc.), but there is so much more city geography made up of neighborhoods ... pockets of housing with retail districts, also all in the city. I think most tourists traveling to Chicago never get to see that side of the city. So, it's always fun for me to show out of town friends just how easy living in Chicago really is ... and, of course, that includes going to some of my favorite restaurants with them. :)


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