Parents: Farmers Markets, Art Show, and Hiking

My parents came to the bay area to visit me from Friday, May 14, 2010, to Monday, May 24. It was a lot of fun.

On Saturday, I took them to the San Mateo farmers market in the morning. They got to try the best bakery in the bay area (in my opinion) and got to meet the soup guy. I enjoyed walking through the market with them because I could tell them stories about many of the stands. (I was a regular for years.) I also tried to teach them that sampling is acceptable. We left with a ton of stuff, including soup and rolls (for lunch), roasted chicken (from the rotisserie chicken van) and spinach afghani flatbread and carrots (for dinner), and fruit for whenever. This was the only day we ate mainly at home.

We ate almost all our meals outside the apartment. I'd made a list of local restaurants that I thought were exceptionally notable; we hit many of them. I won't describe these outings here. In addition to these outings, some of which introduced my parents to new cuisines (South Indian, ramen, Sichuan, Singaporean/Malaysian, and California-style Chicago pizza), I also got my parents to try some new-to-them dishes at home: red bean bread, mochi ice cream, and zongzi. Plus, they ate at my company's cafe. I think they enjoyed this plethora of dining experiences.

On Sunday, in the afternoon we went to Los Altos to walk around its cute downtown. There, we saw a sign for the Los Altos (rotary club) Art Show, which was happening that weekend in Lincoln Park adjacent to downtown. We walked over and spent a while browsing the art show, which was typical for a high-quality art show in the bay area. There were tons of artists covering every imaginable style. It was impressive, though, like many large art shows, exhausting. (By the time I made it through two-thirds of the show, I lacked the energy to appreciate the amazing art.)

The following Saturday, we walked around my old neighborhood in San Mateo. I got to show them Central Park and its attached Japanese Garden and Rose Garden, and also the plethora of restaurants downtown. On the way home, I drove through the wealthy part of San Mateo/Hillsborough along the route I used to go running.

In the morning of our final Sunday together, we went to the Mountain View farmers market, a market I've only visited a couple of times in the past (though am likely to visit more now because it's my closest market). It's a nice market. I was disappointed no one there served pastries appropriate for breakfast, but at least was intrigued by some booths that I don't see at the San Mateo market such as a sorbet specialist with many unusual flavors.

Incidentally, my dad noticed the bike racks at the Mountain View caltrain station are shaped like old-style bicycles: one big wheel, one small wheel. It's witty and subtle. Kudos to the designer.

We ate lunch at home (a smoothie I made, plus spinach ravioli from the farmers market), then drove north to Huddart Park to hike. The drive there was pretty. Somewhere along King's Mountain Road near the park, the trees open to a remarkably impressive view of the valley. I thought I was accustomed to bay area vistas, but this was something special. As for Huddart Park itself, we had a pleasant, shaded hike through forests and along streams. We didn't meet any mountain lions, though we did spot a large deer. Though cool (as it had been all week), it was a comfortable temperature for hiking.

Dinner was again at home. This time I warmed up some zongzi I've bought earlier and roasted some cauliflower.

I did not take any pictures using my camera during their visit.

No comments: