Birds of a Feather

Weekend in Point Reyes September 29, 2009

Filed under: Travel Reports — kcfeather @ 7:57 pm

We had a wonderful (and very relaxing) time up in Point Reyes over the past few days. Here are some of the highlights:

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We left straight from church on Sunday, and stopped by B-Star Bar for brunch on the way through San Francisco.  Following that, we had a long, windy drive over to west Marin, and were happy to get out of the car when we finally reached our first destination: the Tomales Point Trailhead at Pierce Point Ranch.

This is where the Tule Elk reserve is, and so we were hoping to see some wildlife (and enjoy the scenery). We did indeed see lots and lots of Tule Elk (see pictures below).

After the first afternoon of elk-watching, we headed over to our B & B, and from there went into town (Point Reyes Station) for dinner at a fun local restaurant called Osteria Stellina.  The dinner (slow cooked octopus with chiles, halibut over corn and potato sauce, and goat with kale and creamy polenta) was tasty, and the dessert (almond teacake with plum zinfandel compote) even better.
The next morning, we decided to try again to catch the elk rutting (“antler fighting”). We never caught them fighting, but saw a lot more of the elk, plus some other wildlife on a hike at Drake’s Estero: a cottontail bunny, a mountain lion, and a “jumping fish.”

On our way home, we stopped for a few tasty treats: Barbecued oysters from the Marshall Store, and pizza at Pizzeria Picco (one of K’s favorites) in Larkspur, where we had their special pizza (sausage, cheese, rapini, olives, peppers and fennel seeds) and soft-serve vanilla ice cream with olive oil and salt.

White Gulch, where we saw the largest congregation of elk

White Gulch, where we saw the largest congregation of elk

One of the bucks we saw at White Gulch, who was jockeying for position (and more female elk for his harem)

One of the bucks we saw at White Gulch, who was jockeying for position (and more female elk for his harem)

Another buck with his harem (yes, that really is what it is called...)

Another buck with his harem (yes, that really is what it is called...)

K and C watching for elk at White Gulch on a very chilly morning

K and C watching for elk at White Gulch on a very chilly morning

K and C at Drake's Estero

K and C at Drake's Estero

As we were driving away, one last buck on the horizon

As we were driving away, one last buck on the horizon

The tasty BBQ oysters in Marshall

The tasty BBQ oysters in Marshall

C satisfied after the oyster lunch

C satisfied after the oyster lunch

 

Our List September 26, 2009

Filed under: California Dreaming — kcfeather @ 6:41 pm

Updated 1/29/2010

Because we’ll be leaving Stanford and California behind (at least for a few years) once Clayton graduates, this summer we created a list of things that we’d like to do before we embark upon new adventures. I thought I’d post it here (with the things that we have already done crossed off). We’d welcome any suggestions!

Things to do before leaving CA

Around here
Activities

  • Hike Mission Peak (Fremont)
  • Visit Pinnacles National Monument
  • Pulgas Water Temple (fun, quick trip)

Places to eat

  • Chez TJ
  • Tamarine (for Valentine’s Day)
  • John Bentley’s
  • Sundance
  • The Mountain House – dessert
  • Junoon
  • Burger and fries at the Village Pub
  • Los Altos Grill


Monterey Area

Activities

  • Horseback riding in Big Sur
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Kayaking in Monterey Bay (saw otters, seals and lots of birds)
  • Seeing the butterflies in Monterey

San Francisco
Activities

  • Angel Island
  • Alcatraz
  • Walk across Golden Gate Bridge
  • California Academy of the Sciences
  • Ferry Building Farmer’s Market (just K, but I do always bring C treats when I go!)
  • OKeefe and Adams exhibit at SFMOMA

Places to eat

  • Pizzeria Delfina
  • Tartine Bakery
  • Slanted Door (we went to their takeout counter, which I think counts – it was great)
  • Red Crawfish
  • Burma Superstar
  • BStar Bar (both dinner and brunch were fantastic)
  • Canteen
  • Humphrey Slocombe (ice cream) – we’ve been twice already – Secret Breakfast is addictive

North of SF
Activities

  • Seeing rutting of the elks in Point Reyes (didn’t see the actual “antler fighting” but saw lots of bucks and harems)
  • Hiking Marin Headlands
  • Napa in the fall (in the fall obviously didn’t happen, but we’ll make it before we leave!)…we did – in the spring!

Places to eat

  • Pizzeria Picco (Marin)
  • Chez Pannise (Berkeley) – yummers!  Thanks to K’s parents for the gift certificate
  • Oliveto (Oakland)
 

Saturday Six

Filed under: The everyday — kcfeather @ 6:19 pm

1. Our most exciting news of the past few weeks is that I got a job!  I think it will be a pretty good fit, and am especially happy to be able to put aside the job searching for awhile (at least for the coming academic year), and to be getting a paycheck!  I start October 1, so am down to my last week of free weekdays.

2. Obviously this will be a transition for my schedule, as I had become accustomed to having free time during the day on weekdays. My number one conundrum: when will I do the grocery shopping? (I have found that 8 – 10 am on weekday mornings is the best possible time…no crowded aisles, no lines, stocked shelves…)

3. Just flipped pancakes at the RUF Pancake Breakfast for undergrads who returned for the schoolyear. Every time I flip flapjacks, I think of flipping pancakes with Papa John for the people who come to the breakfast at the Merced Salvation Army. Good memories.

4. Am feeling a need to go shopping, what with starting a new job and the new season…but, I have a lot of clothes already, so I got rid of a bag of clothes this week (sadly, mostly items that I OUTGREW in the past two years. I must be getting old!)

5. Tomorrow we’re heading up for a little overnight getaway to Point Reyes, primarily to see the rutting of the elk, and more generally to explore and relax.

6. This will be sappy, but the crispness of fall is in the air, which always reminds me of when I was first getting to know C. My memories from those first months are now a little blurry (and it was only 4 years ago), but the chilly fall nights never fail to bring back memories.

 

Five on Friday September 4, 2009

Filed under: California Dreaming,The everyday — kcfeather @ 6:58 pm

1. C has been presenting some research up in SF a lot recently, and on Tuesday I tagged along. Before his meeting, we went to Frjtz and had tasty Belgian french fries with curry ketchup and pesto aioli. During his meeting, I wandered around SF, stopping by Britex fabrics and reading in Yerba Buena Gardens. Once he was done, we went to SFMOMA to see the Georgia O’Keefe – Ansel Adams exhibit (and got to see a Richard Avedon exhibit as well!) To finish up our day, we headed west and tried out B-Star Bar, sister restaurant of Burma Superstar. We loved B-Star…we had Burma coolers, a tea leaf salad, pork belly and white beans, and black rice pudding with coconut cream. It was great. We shall return.

2.  I must say: I love swimming. But, every once in awhile when I’m at the pool, I try to imagine if I was an alien and saw people swimming laps. It does look pretty ridiculous.  Try it next time you’re at the pool….you will laugh, I guarantee it!

3. We’ve been watching The Wire (Season One). I like it a lot, but have become paranoid that I am being photographed by police when in public.

4. Busy weekend/week ahead. It’s supposed to be a 3 day weekend, but starting Sunday I’m training undergrad community service leaders about group dynamics, service-learning principles, debriefing, etc. and then on Wednesday, as soon as I finish up, I have three days of training to attend in order to be a CA (RA for grad students).

5. On Wednesday morning, before C went to work we drove up to see the Pulgas Water Temple, a local curiousity about 10 minutes north of Stanford.  It was pretty cool, but bizarre at the same time.  Some pictures:

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