I got off work early on Thursday evening. One of my closest friends (Aneela) came to pick me up with her friend to drop us off at the airport. I was super excited about this trip. My friends and I planned this trip for two months in advance. I KNOW. The anticipation was a struggle for me because I haven’t gone to Bay Area for two years at least from now and I missed it. This flight was the best because we have someone who is a flight attendant that knows sign language. I thought it was awesome and he knows signs, making our first flight so much easier. The best part, we got our drinks for free. We landed safely in Oakland airport and prior to going to my friend’s house
(Hoopia), we went to Targets. We get some few necessities from there. Once we got to the house, I finally get to see her mom whom I adore; just the sweetest mama that literally warms your heart and welcomes you wholly. We had dinner that night and honestly, homemade food is the BEST period. ever.
We planned a day in Napa to do some wine-tasting. Oh yes, WINE tyme! Originally, we supposed to leave at around 8:30ish in the morning and the time weren’t realistic because we ended up leaving the house close to between 10:30am to 11am. Of course, we have to dress up very fancee and wear wedges/thick heels. We brought our sandals just in case. We stopped by at Dutch Bros Coffee to get our caffeine fix. The last time, I didn’t get the sticker and this time, I did! We stopped by at the infamous Culinary Institution of America in Napa. It was a beautiful sight. We went inside and there were these awesome staircases where it looks like the one in the Harry Potter movies; the moving staircases. High ceilings, fancy rooms, and plenty of space as well. After looking around in C.I.A., we were on the way to one of the Wineries place called Castello di Amorosa.
The view was breath-taking and H-O-T. I was wearing a cute denim romper and I felt like I was already developing a huge hole of a wet spot behind my back while I’m trying to stay cool and calm in front of everyone else. I know I wasn’t the only one. This winery takes you back in the era where there were castles and they have these really cool artworks up on the walls and the details, amazing. There were also farm animals as well, plus peacocks! We went to the tasting room where there were this cool cellars like an arch inside. and the room was a little dim for us but we made it work. We have this wonderful wine specialist that served us wines. One of the best parts about going there and having wines with good vibes, there was a pre-teen that was observing us from afar and literally handed us a cute note that made our day even better. We brought one wine home that we all like. After that, we went to another winery place, but more of looking around.
Around close to 5, we’re hungry. Hoopia recommended this burger place that she said it is better than IN-N-OUT. I thought it is good to be true. There’s no burger place that is better than IN-N-OUT. So, it’s called Gott’s Roadside in Napa. When we got there, the place looks huge. There this big space of outdoor seating. The place doesn’t look bad but we’ll see about the food. I order a bacon cheeseburger with fries plus milkshake. My reviews about this place that the place doesn’t top IN-N-OUT. The burger is okay but it has dry buns and the fries, not so bad. However, the milkshake (Black and white), it’s better than IN-N-OUT milkshakes. It has organic ice cream & milk. At least I tried out Gott’s Roadside to see if it’s really good.
After eating, we decided to stop by at Oxbow Public Market, which is similar to the Grand Central Market in Los Angeles but smaller. We walked around a little and observed people as well. There is a brewing company called Fieldworks’s Napa Taproom inside Oxbow Public Market. When we saw the word “flight,” we’re like, ohhhhh yas. Plus a flight for a really good price They both got 5 flights to try while I got 4 flights. I tried Sky Captain of Yesteryear (Black IPA), Dankness on the Edge of Town (IPA), Chloe (Belgian Pale Ale), and Carrying the Axe (Westcoast IPA). We played 20 questions and chilled while we finish our drinks. Afterward, we were satisfied with our day/night and went home.
We tried to leave at the usual time but this time is a little better and realistic. We planned to go to San Francisco for the whole day. We took our coffee to go cup and went to Exploratorium. It’s the museum of science, art and human perception. It was a really cool place and it’s a huge museum as well. My favorite part of the whole museum was the “Out Quiet Yourself” and this is where you have to walk on a gravel path, trying to be as quiet as possible. They also have the quiet score and I thought that was pretty cool. Another one was when you have to go in with your friend under the curtain and it has to be completely dark. Then you look at your friend’s face and press the red button to release the flash. Close your eyes when the flash comes and you’ll see the illusion of your friend’s face there even when you close your eyes longer. It’s like a ghost and I thought that was pretty cool. We stayed there for almost 3 hours at the Exploratorium.
We head out to Pier 39 where many tourists typically go. It was crowded there and we just went looking for a shirt and checking out this one lefty store. We also checked out the infamous seals where you can hear them barking. We discussed what can we eat and settled down AYCE KBBQ. Hoopia decided to take us to Lombard Street where it is known for steep, one block section with zig-zag turns. Aneela mentioned that she never went there before so that’s why we have to take her there because how could you not go there?! We didn’t walk because we’re too lazy to get out of the car, haha! But driving through the Lombard Street was fun and short. We also went to Painted Ladies but it was too crowded. Then Hoopia thought of another place to take us.
We went to a place called Lands End where close by there is a haunting ruin called the Sutro Baths. The history behind the Sutro Baths, it opened in 1890 and is intended for people to come and enjoy their day swimming. Years went by and the Sutro Baths closed in 1966 due to the expenses to maintain and burned down in June of the same year. You can see that there are some remaining crumbling walls and there a cave that you can walk through as well. We took some pictures from there and we decided to “hike” up back to the parking lots. There was a gay couple along with us trying to hike back up as well. It was funny and trying to guide them which trail or rocks to go up. I was behind Aneela, making sure she didn’t fall down or slip. I was proud of myself cause I bragged to them about how well my vans can hold up cause it has good grips. They rolled their eyes at me. We made it safe in the parking lot, sweating like pigs.
Finally, we head down to KBBQ area. We got there around close to 8pm at Kogi Gogi and we reserved for 3 people. We knew it might be a while since the place is small. Hoopia suggested to chill at a bar few down from the KBBQ and wait until we are next in the waiting list. So we went to a bar called Social Kitchen & Brewery. I was so excited to get the Fresh Hop IPA (fresh hop ale with hops from Hops-Meister farm in Clearlake: stemmy, oily, fruity). It’s so delicious. We played evil apples on our phone and an hour later, we decided to go back to KBBQ to make sure we’re still on the list. So we went and we still waited. We realized there is a huge party that takes forever. Finally, we got our table and we hustled to get our food. I’ll have to say that KBBQ in San Francisco has a better service than in Los Angeles. They changed our grill at least 4 times without us having to flag down a waiter and brings out food right away when we want to order more. It was awesome and surprising for a small place like this. Hands down, I would come back to Kogi Gogi again.
Once we all paid for our portions. We head out where we reserved our table at 11:15pm in a speakeasy bar. Hoopia has been wanting to go to this place for so long and I’ve been wanting to try speakeasy bar because I thought it was pretty cool AND it best to check off the list for going to a speakeasy bar. This bar is so exclusive that there is no sign outside of the building saying this is a speakeasy bar. You have to give a special passcode that they email you ahead of time to get into the bar. It was AMAZZZZZZE. Few tables, dim lights, a wall of whiskey, spirits, bourbon and many different kinds of alcohol bottles on the shelves. The people who work there are pretty cool and really friendly. The lighting of the place inside wasn’t deaf-friendly but we made it work for all of us. Literally, one of the rules before coming into the bar was that there are no phones allowed. We just chatted the whole night until each of us are done with our drinks. Aneela and I ordered flights. I got the whiskey flight (I’m a whiskey gal), Aneela got cane flights which are lots stronger than whiskey types. Hoopia got one drink since she’s driving all of us home safely. We didn’t leave the bar until around 12:45am since the bar closed at 1am. I honestly don’t mind to try another speakeasy bar but this bar is worth to try for first-timer. By the end of the night, we left home.
We decided to sleep in today since we have nothing important plans. Sleeping in for me was a little difficult because the light from the sun still steeped through to open my eyes. Hoopia’s mom is home for the day since she is off work. I was excited because you know, I was looking forward to her homemade food. This morning, the mom made us quiches; one with mushrooms and one without. That goat cheese with the quiche is delicious. I don’t even eat goat cheese and it is the first time that I tried it. It supposed to be healthier than feta cheese. My favorite part of the morning was when the mom excitedly asked us to go out in the backyard so she can explain how potatoes grow in the pot. She never grows potatoes before and I thought that was the coolest thing I learned that day. She inspires me to have my own big garden and plants everything.
After the garden lesson from mom, we all got ready to go to States Coffee in Old Downtown Martinez. It’s a cute place and I love their merchandises. We all ordered coffee and play spider dominoes. Afterward, Hoopia took us to a park, I think Marina area where it’s close to the water. There were kites in the air and it was nice to observe. We sat on the bench for a while until we decided to walk a little and go near the water where there are rocks. I decided to climb on a huge branch and pose for the pictures. Plus, it was so relaxing sitting there after the struggle of trying to get there. It wasn’t that bad. Then we went back home and the sweetest thing that the mom was making a birthday cake for Aneela. Aneela saw the cake and she assumed it was for the family’s friend. It was definitely a big cake for just 5 people to eat. The flavors are moist. It has blueberries and raspberries spread. Oh, I wish I can have another slice. We had the roast beef as the main dish for lunch. It was so good but definitely not as good as the last time the mom made before.
Once our stomach is full of yummies, we went to the mall. Hoopia and I haven’t bought the gift card from Sephora so we went there first. I was like a spy but a terrible one. I told Hoopia to keep Aneela distracted and away from the cashier area. I kept hovering over the cashier area, making sure that I spot Aneela’s head and that she is far away from where I am. Hoopia scared me from behind and handed her half so I can pay both for one gift. I was getting hot wearing my denim jacket but I kept it cool. The lady behind the cashier was looking at me weirdly especially when I keep ducking. HAHA. So I finally got the gift card. I walked quickly to skin care and pretend that I’m actually looking for skincare products. I wasn’t going to buy anything but I got a mini farsali brand: unicorn essence for a really good price. I’ve been wanting to get my hand on these farsali brand ever since I started following @farahdhukai on Instagram for the past year or so. I was screaming with excitement inside that I finally get to try this amazing product. Even Aneela got one too! This product acts like as a primer for your skin before putting on makeup and it also hydrates your skin.
After Sephora shopping, we went back home in time to say goodbye to Hoopia’s sister before she leaves and we left again later to watch the movie called Searching. Oh my goodness, y’all need to watch this movie. It is so good that I didn’t even finish my french fries ’cause I was trying to figure out what is going on! So yeah, go watch it when you get the chance. You’ll thanks me later 🙂 We went back home after the movie and we decided to stay up a little. At that time, I decided to give my dirty clothes to Hoopia for laundry so I don’t have to do it at home. I snapped a picture of Aneela in her natural habitat when midnight hits; Aneela’s birthday! We were all cozy up in Hoopia’s room and just really relaxing. Peppernickel (Hoopia’s cat) came in and chill with us as well. It was nice to end Sunday that way.
It was a nice Monday morning and I dreaded to go back home because so far, I was finally relaxing and not having to worry a thing when I’m in the bay. The mom scared me out of the blue and just wanted to say goodbye before she leaves for work. WAH, so sweet. We weren’t in a rush or anything, Hoopia reserved lunch for Aneela’s birthday and so we were just packing our stuff and getting ready to leave. Of course, it was a little DST due to making sure that we didn’t forget anything. I didn’t want to leave and I want to stay longer. I really do.
We left the house and went to Walnut Creek neighborhood and there is shopping center around the area. The restaurant we went to is called Rooftop. It was a nice, cool breeze outside and you can actually see Mt. Diablo from afar. The food was amazing for me. The dessert, not so much. I ordered Hanger Steak which it has gremolata, romesco, jimmy nardelo peppers, and crispy onion frites. It was so delicious especially when it cooks in medium rare. So good. It was a nice conversation between us and then we present Aneela our gift. Aneela was shocked that we even got her a Sephora gift card and we explain how it happened. We also got her “Oh Kale Yes” birthday card and put our sentimental feels into it. We didn’t stay too long because we were stuffed from eating our lunch.We decided to walk around the shopping area. We went to the Apple store, Nespresso, NYX, and Amazon Prime store. It was a good walk and then we went back to the car just to make sure we make it on time for our flight back to Burbank.
All day, we found out that our flight was delayed. We were worried and decide to stop by Equator Coffee Shop near in Oakland and chill for a bit. Then we decided to stop by at Targets, I don’t know why or how we get to Targets in the first place. Oh yeah, there was a cool tunnel where you are literally driving underwater. It was so cool and so quick. We also had early dinner and it was not so bad. A quick meal before the flight. Finally, Hoopia dropped us off at the airport. We said our goodbyes in our weird languages. The flight didn’t take that long surprisingly. My boyfriend Danny, picked us up and took us home safely.I didn’t want the trip to end so fast but back to reality! Hope y’all enjoy my amazing trip blog post and keep looking forward to more aglimpseofhaya’s upcoming soon!