Frank and I begin this new year and the new decade in sunny San Diego. After six months in a cozy(?) 250-sq. foot apartment and dreading the impending Wisconsin deep freeze, it was high time to “get outta Dodge.”
Our California apartment is comfortable and spacious, located in the heart of San Diego. Within walking distance is most of what we need. For anything farther, there’s a trolley stop right behind our building. It’s so liberating not to need a car. We joined a club so Frank is back swimming and in his happy place. Both of us are looking forward to a couple months of relaxation, rejuvenation, exploration and visitors(!).
If you’re reading this and have any San Diego area recommendations, please send us a message!
Sitting on a huge sectional, fire roaring, drinking wassail and watching “Home Alone” with Frank and the boys — there are few places I’d rather be Christmas Eve. Outside, Vancouver’s city lights are shimmering and there is one bright star — the Christmas star? — twinkling through the night. Yes, pretty idyllic.
We have been to Vancouver before and love the city. But to be honest, inside, in front of a fire, is the best place to be this particular week in December. The weather is rainy and bone-chilling cold.
The city is decked out for the holidays and the overall mood is cheery. Food is delicious and plentiful. Cocktails are flowing. The streets and malls are packed with young people bundled up in their Canada Goose jackets, carrying Louis Vuitton and Hermes shopping bags.
This is in stark contrast to the shivering homeless huddled in alleyways and along the sidewalks. Every time I walk into our building, I am reminded of “there but for the grace of God…” A warm fire, delicious food, good health and love of family — yes, idyllic. I am feeling truly blessed and very thankful this Christmas Eve.
December in Vancouver
Vancouver is a wonderful place to spend Christmas — decorations galore and the city is hopping. Our high rise airbnb was ideally located between historic Gastown and lively Chinatown, surrounded by a diverse assortment of fun little restaurants, bars and shops. It was also adjacent to the stadium, which drew hordes of avid hockey fans decked out in their favorite team gear. The neighborhood was bustling day and night despite the constant rain and cold. Vancouverites adapt. As did we. The weather may have prevented us from enjoying some of Vancouver’s natural wonders but the city provided plenty of holiday diversion and entertainment. It was fun just being together — walking the neighborhoods, eating, drinking, shopping, laughing and just hanging out.
When I was in high school, my dream college was Berkeley. My life path diverged (no complaints!) and today I finally got to “go to Berkeley!” Actually, we’ve been in the city a few days and have really enjoyed it. Frank and I like college towns. They are diverse and have so much energy. The city is larger than I imagined but easy to navigate. There are a lot of interesting neighborhoods and there are a lot of great (and surprisingly inexpensive) restaurants.
Our 420 friendly(!) airbnb. I have never seen a book case arranged by color!
First time I’ve seen a whole shelf of books arranged by color!
Berkeley Peace Wall
Berkeley Peace Wall
Berkeley Saturday Farmers’ Market
Some of our favorite restaurants were the inexpensive, yet very good, restaurants near the campus.
A highlight for us was visiting the Cheese Board Co-op. It is one of Louie’s customers and he asked us to visit and thank them for their business.
Frank and Amry. The bakery/cheese shop is in North Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto neighborhood.
A few doors down is their pizza restaurant. They serve only one type of vegetarian pizza every day and people line up before it opens!
Truly, they have one of the best pizzas I have ever eaten. The crust is incredible!