Archive | travel

Fraser Valley Slow Food Cycling Weekend in Chilliwack

It’s that time of the year again when bicycles are getting their fair amount of use. For most casual riders, it’s the perfect time to go on leisurely rides after work or during the weekend (farmers market trips, anyone?).

Fraser Valley Slow Food Cycle Tour

If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you would have noticed that I’ve caught the cycling bug, thanks to the beau. He gifted me with a city bike two years ago and then talked me into investing in a good road bike last year.  One of the fun things we did after I picked up my new road bike (yay, much better on hills!) last summer was going on the Fraser Valley Slow Food Cycling Tour.

Fraser Valley Slow Food Cycle Tour

It’s a two-day tour around the valley: day one in Agassiz and day two in Chilliwack. It was only a couple of weeks when we found out about it last year, so we only had time to do the latter. Nevertheless, we had a lovely little weekend getaway, visiting and learning about the farms and local producers. Because that’s just the kind of thing we do. This year, we’re looking forward to doing it again! If you’re looking for something to do next weekend, go check it out.

 

Faser Valley Slow Food Cycle Tours

WHAT: Easy, family-friendly, at-your-own pace self-guided 25-kilometer road cycling farm tour around the valley. There are no hills to climb. :-)

WHEN & WHERE:
9:00 am to 4:00 pm for both days
Saturday, August 2nd – Agassiz Summer Cycle Tour $15/person
Sunday, August 3rd – Chilliwack Summer Cycle Tour $15/person
If you’re doing the 2-day tour, it’s $15/person

WHAT YOU NEED: Your bike and helmet (rentals are available), bike kit, cash, snacks, water, and rain gear in case it rains. It is an all-weather event. Having a backpack, bike panier or basket would help in carrying purchases.

WHAT’S PROVIDED: Tour map and a shopping shuttle that will pick up your purchases from participating farms and have them available at the start/end point of the bike tour.

Fraser Valley Slow Food Cycle Tour

Pick-your-own blueberries.

Fraser Valley Slow Food Cycle Tour

Tomatoes in one of several greenhouses.

Aside from checking out the accessible areas of farms, you can buy fresh produce right there, as you go from stop to stop.

Fraser Valley Slow Food Cycle Tour

Most places take cash, but from my recollection some take credit, like Anita’s Organic Mill and Chilliwack River Valley Natural Honey.

Fraser Valley Slow Food Cycle Tour

A little info session on beekeeping and a taste of fresh honey.

There’s a wide variety of farms in the valley and you’ll find gems like the hazelnut grove.

Fraser Valley Slow Food Cycle Tour

We cycled to the hazelnut groves and walked along the bright green rows of walnut trees to check them out and to get some shade.

It’s a tour that’s easy enough for the whole family to do. There are also activities for kids  at several stops, including a bouncy platform (sans castle) and a corn maze.

Fraser Valley Slow Food Cycle Tour

Play area by the corn fields.

Be sure to bring some water before you enter the maze, especially if it’s a really hot day. If you do get lost, you can wave someone watching from a platform to help you navigate out of the corn field.

Fraser Valley Slow Food Cycle Tour

Corn field, near the entrance of the maze.

It looked deceivingly small and just between us, we might have gotten lost for a few minutes.

There weren’t any lack of refreshments, in fact there was something to nibble at almost every stop. We had ice cream as soon as we parked our bikes at the entrance of the corn field. We also had a lovely homemade apple pie at another farm. There were also some free food and wine tastings here and there, but do bring your own food and cash to purchase additional nibbles.

Fraser Valley Slow Food Cycle Tour

Ice cream stop by the corn maze.

Fraser Valley Slow Food Cycle Tour

Wine tasting and food truck. Their sliders were perfect with wine.

It’s definitely great way to spend a weekend with friends, your spouse, or the entire family if you want a quick drive and trip oustdie of the city. Get the kids away from their devices and hop on the bikes for some cycling and farm tours.

Fraser Valley Slow Food Cycle Tour

It’s just a nice day to hang out with the family, meet new people, learn about the different farms that provide produce for the farmers markets we frequent, and really, just relax.

 

Fraser Valley Slow Food Cycle Tour

Some young entrepreneurs set up their own pop-up shops for the day

 

Fraser Valley Slow Food Cycle Tour

Cashmere goats. Yes, they do sell their 100% fine cashmere yarn. Rejoice knitting and crochet enthusiasts.

 

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Cherry Blossom Festival in Vancouver

I keep saying this, but it’s true: it’s been a busy 12 months. So busy that it’s been a year and 2 days later that I’m posting about the Cherry Blossom Festival from 2011. What better time to play catch up on this event than on the day the festival starts again: Today. I couldn’t be more excited, to tell you the truth. Family friends are visiting and I’m bringing one of them later to VanDusen Botanical Garden, amidst high hopes for some sunshine.

Sakura Days Japan Fair, a family-friendly Japanese festival, is happening this weekend at VanDusen to celebrate the start of spring and the blooming of these gorgeous trees that line many of our streets in Vancouver. [You can check here for various locations in bloom.]

And what’s a fair without some good food? Many Japanese restaurants around Vancouver are participating with their own Sakura menus.

There are lots of other things to do during the festival that runs through the 28th of April:

Cherry Jam Downtown (April 5, 11am to 1:30pm) at the Burrard Skytrain Station
Tree Talks & Walks (April 5, 7, 8, 14, 15 & 21)
Plen-Air Blossom Painting (April 7, 14, 21 & 28 11am-2pm) – open for registration
Cherry Blossom Umbrella Dance Flash Mob (April 14)
Bike the Blossoms (April 28)

Visit the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival website for more info.

[There is an egg hunt for the kids at VanDusen tomorrow but it's sold out, and so is the SakuraB Bento Box Lunch today.]

Whatever you decide to do this month, I’m sure you won’t miss the cherry blossoms around the city. Enjoy them while they last. :-)

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Back From A Mini-Vacation and Breakfast at Rendezvous

It’s been three days since we returned from Salt Spring Island and the novelty of hanging the housekeeping tag on the door had worn off. And as much as I would like to see  this sign left and right (and do our best to practice it):

Stickers you can find on Salt Spring Island

There’s no denying we’ve resumed our “(more) WORK — you’re not on the island anymore” mode.

We didn’t wake up in the morning with the trivial decision of where to eat and which cheesery or winery to visit after finishing some work (sadly, we are conjoined with it). Instead, we grabbed our respective iPhones, turned off the alarm, and scrolled through the emails, and quickly replied to urgent ones. This is our life on the Mainland.

It’s good to be back. Bake on a whim. Whip up some cranberry and vanilla bean scones for a quick breakfast…

Cranberry-Vanilla Scones

One of the first things I did after coming back: BAKE. It's good for the soul. It helps me return to my routines, too.

But I have to say, it really was nice to roll out of bed and walk down the hill from the hotel to this little French patisserie and get our fix of freshly baked goods. Rendezvous — French patisserie at Harbour’s End has that charming allure that makes you want to stay for a while. Adorable party tables with checkered pastel table cloths, painted wrought iron chairs, whimsical streamers and a generous amount of sunshine through its front glass door and windows will welcome you. There’s a French radio talk show in the background. Right outside the door is a wooden bench with square cushions if you just need a quick bite.

Rendezvous - French patisserie at Harbour's End (Ganges BC)

There was still a good selection left even though we arrived later in the morning. Oops. Vacation time.

Rendezvous - French patisserie at Harbour's End (Ganges BC)

We ordered a sizable loot:

French pastries from Rendezvous Cafe at Salt Spring Island

And make no mistake: we left no calorie unconsumed. Still unburned, yes, but consumed? To our hearts’ content! The raspberry frangipane tart stole the show for both of us. The golden crust and almond filling with a hint of sourness from the sunken fresh raspberries hit these hungry tourists’ sweet spots. Amen.

If you’re ever on the island, this is one stop you shouldn’t miss. It was a treat to have it so close to where we stayed.

= = = = = = =

Rendezvous
126-4 Upper Ganges Road
Salt Spring Island, BC V8K 2S2
Phone : 250. 53. 8400

= = = = = = =

P.S. While searching for their address online, I chanced upon the owner, Brigitte Gonzalez’s video recipe for Cannelés de Bordeaux. Maybe, just maybe, I will try my hand at that. I just need to find some copper molds!

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Wordless Wednessday | Punk Metal

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Wordless Wednesday

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Staple & Fancy with Friends

A few Sundays ago, Denise, Dana, Megan, Kristina and I headed out to Chef Ethan Stowell’s new restaurant: Staple & Fancy Mercantile.

Set in one of Seattle’s oldest neighborhoods, Ballard Avenue, one wouldn’t expect to find such a fancy restaurant when driving through that particular block. Walking along the sidewalk at night, the brick walls of this industrial area give way to faint amber lights, peeking through Staple & Fancy‘s glass-walled entrance.

We arrived early and gave in to the lure of the adjacent shop first. It was closed, but what we saw through the display window was enough to have us dreaming of cute old-style bicycles and a breath of Europe. We wanted to take them home if it weren’t for the price tag. Hah.

De La Louisianne: Rye, Benedictine, Pastis

Still in dreamland, we meandered back into the sea of tungsten lights, greeted by the host and…

Hello, bar!

We sidled into it, were offered the cocktail menu, and do what sensible gals do and order a different drink each to entertain us while we wait for our other partner in crime, Megan.

Mine was called De La Louisianne, which I picked for its Benedictine ingredient (a toast to my high school alma mater — odd reasoning, I know). It tasted faintly of Jägermeister. Yum.

I loved the cherry in it, which was smaller and darker than the usual bright red maraschinos. It tasted so much better than those, I couldn’t help but ask the bartender what kind it was.

“They’re from a brand called Toschi,” he said, and gave more for the whole gang to try. I inquired further, and the only things he could tell me was that they come in a big jar, and procured through their supplier. Of course.

We are wee alcohol minions, but I will get my hands on them at some point, you’ll see. That’s what the Internet is for. I’m just not sure if it was the amarena or vignola, but I’m betting on the former. Help.

A few minutes later, we were led to our table with the menus. The note on the rightmost column says:

“Thanks for joining us at Staple & Fancy Mercantile. Please feel free to order as much or as little food as you like. And, if you would like to avoid the trouble of ordering altogether, please feel free to hand your menu back to your server and let the kitchen prepare you a family style supper served in four courses for $45 per person. Participation by the entire table is required. We would also like to inform you that you really should do this.

It was the last evening of our girls retreat, and frankly, the less we have to think, the better. Chef’s tasting menu FTW (for the win)!

And boy did S&F not disappoint.

Let me just begin by saying we had a ton of food. Was it 10 courses? More. I can’t remember. We did pay over the cost stated above**, but really who wants to count? I wouldn’t be able to get all of that this side of the border. We were in dinner heaven.

[** I just want to clarify that in case you went there and wondered why you didn't get as much food as we did!]

The lights were dim and the tables glowed in candlelight. It was relaxing. We were having fun, and when the food started coming to our table, we were in for a treat.

Deep fried clams

Liver paté...offalbulous!

The pretty vegetarian fare had us meat-eaters drooling

The pretty vegetarian fare had us meat-eaters drooling

Kari Brunson, formerly of Anticiplate.com., briefly left the kitchen and came by our table to bring an appetizer. At that point, we were bulging our eyes out with food. Kari, who some of you food bloggers know, retired from professional ballet to pursue her passion for cooking. Now that’s balls.

Deep fried peppers, which I was able to eat in spite of my low capsaicin.

Spotted prawns

What happens at S&FM, stays at S&FM. Or did not stay, I suppose. :D My lips are sealed.

Blue fish crostini

More vegetarian dishes

Green beans

Burrata

Chef Ethan Stowell was there, and so was his lovely wife and business partner, Angela, both of whom we’ve met the previous evening at the IFBC dinner. It’s always nice when the chef/owners take a moment to say Hi.

Chef Ethan Stowell

Chef Ethan Stowell

I’ll tell you now that my short term memory fails me, and that I enjoyed myself too much. Between talking and laughing our bellies off, my brain turned to mush and I fully relied on photos to help me recall the evening of food. So instead of trying to refresh a blurred memory of all the names of the dishes that we ate, I’ll let you be a spectator, a voyeur at the next table, and enjoy the photos. They’re not well lit, but I did my best. And hopefully I did their food justice.

Panna cotta with peaches

People watching at Staple & Fancy Mercantile

There’s a story behind this photo of Denise and Dana, and forgive me, but I honestly forgot. Refresh my memory, ladies! ;-)

Denise and Dana

I can’t wait to hang out with my Seattle IFBC crew again. And go back to Staple & Fancy. Mmm…good food, good friends, good memories. Now that’s a wonderful dinner.

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Girls Re{treat} at Hotel Dana Treat and a Weekend of Eating

As hinted previously in my IFBC recap and blogging conference comparison, I’ll be posting next about the other part of my IFBC weekend — our re{treat}.

Since last year, a group of us who all met at BlogHer Food ’09 dreamed of going on a girls retreat. We’ve brainstormed places and time, but nothing really came out of it and sadly, the idea slipped through the cracks. Two months ago, by some stroke of luck, a girls re{treat} organically sprung from our friend Dana‘s generous offer to have us stay at her house. We’re not the same big group from last year, and in fact I’ve never met 2 of the girls, but we all love food — everything should be completely fine, right? I was excited and anxious, and the night before–sleepless for Seattle.

You might not be interested at all to read the rest of this post, but before you leave, at least consider this: make time for a fun weekend with just your girl friends (or guy friends). It doesn’t have to be a far away destination or be planned to the last minute. Just commit to have fun and promise yourselves to be in your best behavior. [We are the worst with the ones we love sometimes, and that is not the goal here. ;-)] From the past weekend, I can’t tell you enough how invigorating, exhilarating, fulfilling and refreshing it is! It’s just the shot of tequila my soul needed. Yeah, it comes with a hangover, but the good kind. Don’t get me wrong, family is great, but a girls re{treat} has its own sanity-saving merits, too.

Without further ado, here are the women who have collectively made that IFBC weekend so much more than just a trip to a conference (click on their names and check out their blogs):

  • Kristina, my BlogHer Food ’09 rockstar roommate, resource of all things tomato and leads this school of fish, flew in from Tennessee with 3 hours to make up for and a honking jar of Moonshine Cherries that will knock you out of your senses;
  • Denise, another sweet friend who I met (and also lives) in San Francisco, is half of ChezUs (say “cheez-us” only if you say “praise” first), organizes digital media workshops and heads an online video production company with her beau Lenny, baked and brought homemade cookies for us to try (that’s a food blogger for you);
  • Tracy, a cool bean with the hip haircut and adorable head accessories that hint at her Bay Area and artsy roots, will regale you with her quick wit and – get this — horoscope readings and analysis had us deep in conversation;
  • Cheryl, also from California, whose endearing candidness will stop you in your tracks, has a perfectly timed humor that could leave a roomful of tourists cracking up, is the kind of writer you wish you were; and
  • our hostess with the mostess, Dana, vegetarian personal chef extraordinaire who unknowingly broke her 20-plus years of vegetarianism with fine lard at Kate’s pie making class, and who showed us around Seattle, brought us to the city’s yummiest spots (with the time we have available), put us up in her gorgeous abode with warm beds, and kept us full (and punchy) with {dana} treats from her kitchen and cellar. [We're also grateful for Dana's husband who was a good sport about going to the island with their two adorable boys so we can have an estrogen-packed weekend.]

Ours is a kinship forged in car seat rotation program, good food and wine, laughter, cutting classes, hugs from (Dana’s) sweetest two boys (when they came back), and more laughter.

We headed to Matt’s in the Market after we skillfully arranged everybody’s luggage in the car, which was a movie-worthy feat in itself. Warmly greeted by their friendly staff, we couldn’t help but notice the outstretched arms of Seattle’s sunshine beckoning us through the restaurant’s half moon-shaped windows. It’s just the welcome weather we wanted. The deep honey-colored wooden tables, varnished with character, are the stuff of food bloggers wet (restaurant) dreams set in daylight. The usual lunch hour cacophony filled the relaxed and spacious nook on the third floor of the Corner Market Building. It’s a perfect place for casual first dates, drowning the awkward conversation in everyone’s blithe chatter–a sly hand to calm the nerves until dessert for two is served.

Each plate that passed through the open kitchen behind us made for a difficult choice after another. Should we order Pulled Pork? Banh Mi? Spicy Tuna Melt? Drinks and minutes later, salt-pepper chips – the common denominator of all our palate’s desires — crackled to eager synchronized bites, hushing our out-of-towner banter.

Stumptown BBQ pulled pork

Stumptown BBQ pulled pork

Before me was a mountain of super moist and tender pulled pork, topped with crunchy coleslaw, and nestled in crisp and light crusted soft brioche bun. And the Yukon gold potato salad that came with it? Moved me to reconsider my passive attitude towards potato salads.

Yukon Gold Potato Salad

Potato Salad

We shared each others food, sufficing our own curiosities. Ours was a lively table where Oohs and Mmms staccato-ed in mid-sentence.

Having sandwich envy

Having sandwich envy

Our server, Chris the Wine Guy, was one of the highlights of this meal. He captivated us with his oratorical description of sandwiches, and random stories, like eating the most amazing sandwich during his friend’s Bachelor Party Trip. Every restaurant needs its own Chris.

That kick-start meal was (hopefully? hypothetically?) burned off by leisurely strolling through Pike Place Market and admiring the endless row of affordable really cheap, but good quality, fresh flowers, gliding through the aisles of The Spanish Table, prancing around the Paris Grocery through Lillet-colored glasses, and lingering last in the World Spice Markets, where the concept of shaving a sea salt block with salt shaver left us wondering what we’re missing.

We were chauffeured to Hotel Dana Treat by the gracious hostess herself. Let me tell you, we were heaps better off there than at a hotel, plus the company can’t be beat! We settled in our respective rooms, toasted to French aperitif, and made our pact with the 100-proof Ole Tennesee Moonshine Cherries with our first “shots”. Zaps your brain to Neverland in record time is what it does.

After getting our IFBC badges and goodies at Hotel Monaco, looping in and out the maze of food and sea of fellow bloggers, looking for familiar faces (Hi Susan, John, Carrie, Arnold, Alice, Lori!) — and finding new ones (Hello Deseree, Jun, Jennifer, Leann!), during our brief meet and greet, we hopped back into the Dana Treat Mobile to catch our 7:30pm dinner reservation at Delancey.

Delancey Seattle

Delancy Seattle

We were joined by Mardi, Megan, Jen, and Sarah, the birthday girl.

Happy birthday, Sarah!

This further solidifies my belief that every dining party should have a birthday person. It’s fun. You get to sing to them and perhaps divide a pavlova dessert among ten.

Burrata, prosciutto, arugula and olive oil

Burrata, prosciutto, arugula and olive oil

Yes, that makes 10 of us, drinking beer and wine, and ordering — brace yourselves, because I kid you not — nine pizzas. That’s all flavors divided among ten brave, we’re-ready-with-our-fat-jeans women.

Cheryl attacking the margherita pizza

Don't ever mess with Cheryl. The margherita pizza laid helpless under her calculating hands.

Brave is the keyword here, as our eyeballs just about popped out after the 5th pizza. We tried as many flavors we could possibly stuff our face with, like amateur runners who are in over their heads having signed up for a half-marathon.

Crimini mushroom pizza

Crimini mushroom pizza

I tried all 9 with room for dessert, I can’t lie. The crowd favorite is the white pizza with fresh arugula. The padron-laden pie comes a close second.

The majority voted for the White Pie as their favorite. A sublime combination of housemade ricotta, fresh and aged mozarella, garlic and arugula won us over.

The majority voted for the White Pie as their favorite. A sublime combination of housemade ricotta, fresh and aged mozarella, garlic and arugula won us over.

The crust is light and crispy, with bubbles I always tend to gravitate to when dissecting one. They are my personal joy. I have to tell you guys, Delancey makes really good thin crust pizza with fresh, flavorful ingredients, and that’s all a pizza lover really needs to know. The combination of ingredients is neither overkill nor pretentious, and they don’t try to put everything in one pie. You can taste each component, and you can linger with them for a while. I can honestly say that you don’t have to fly all the way down South to Pizzeria Bianco and line up for a good part of the day to eat the best pizza this side of the coast. That said, make reservations before going to Delancey. A great pizza comes with a good following, and you don’t want to be disappointed by coming hungry without calling in first.

The night was young, but we are not, so as much as we had wanted to pull an all-nighter to catch and drink up, we had to roll into bed for the first day of the conference. And this is just the first day.

To be continued with more food tales, and friends.

Here’s a quick reference of the places in Seattle I mentioned:

Matts in the Market
94 Pike Street
Seattle, WA 98101-2066, United States
(206) 467-7909

Delancey
1415 Northwest 70th Street
Seattle, WA 98117, United States
(206) 838-1960

Pike Place Market
(address to the parking garage:)
1531 Western Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101

The Spanish Table
1426 Western Ave
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 682-2827

Paris Grocery
1418 Western Ave
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 682-0679

World Spice Markets
World Spice Merchants
1509 Western Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101
206.682.7274

Posted in events, restaurants, shoppes, travel11 Comments

A Great Way to Spend Once’s Birthday

Head out to Deep Cove and start off the day with a breakfast of donuts and coffee from Honey Doughnuts. The donuts there are, quite frankly, my favorite of all donuts. If I remember it right, the family even went there during the dead of winter just to have some donuts. That’s how much we love them. Everything is right with the world when your first bite on your birthday is on crunchy-on-the-outside, soft-inside, dense, mmm-inducing donut dipped in dark chocolate.

I turned a year older last weekend. I requested that instead of throwing and catering my own party again (yes, I was insane), I wanted to just relax and have a picnic by the park.

Of course, it’s not all eating as I made my family “work out” by kayaking for a couple of hours before the feast. I mean, it’s not intentional that these days half the time one ends up doing some sort of physical activity when you see me. That’s a good thing, right? At least I don’t get blamed anymore for all the calories from my cooking and baking.

Say OHMMMMM. YOOOHHHMM.

Yeah, you’ll have to work for it, but it will be worth it! :-)

It was a super gorgeous day to be out. There were a lot of people in the park, in good spirits.

Back in Manila, my birthday always falls on days of inclement weather…typhoons, heavy rains, gusts of winds and hey, no school or work because the typhoon warning is off the charts! It’s great that there are no classes back when I was studying, but heck, I couldn’t do anything during the day either! Here in Vancouver, my birthday is almost always sunshiney. LOVE!

We really had a super fun day in the sun, and I really think all birthdays should be spent like this. ;-)

It will be another beautiful summer (long) weekend here, so cheers to that! Hope you’re having a great weekend where you are, too!

Posted in travel3 Comments

Wordless Wednesday

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Hi San FUNcisco! (part II)

For the benefit of Foodbuzzers out there who are heading to San Francisco this weekend — a little teaser. :-) [Part I is here.]

Cable Cars

Almost everyone I know who live or have been in SF have told me: Get on the cable car! What is the big deal?! Haha. The first time we went on there, I was squished in the middle and was too uncomfortable I swore that was the last time I was going to be there. Being smooshed and skin-on-skin with other strangers at the beginning of a warm day was not my idea of a great time. Thankfully, the succeeding experiences (what can we do? It was a cheap and easy way of getting around to the tourist spots we so wanted to go to!) with the cable car) were much more enjoyable.

Cable Car

The cable car was cute and rickety, as expected. The people, comprised of the operator and mostly of fellow tourists (which made me ask out loud whether tourists are the only ones who take cable cars), were half of the story and the fun of the ride. Our animated cable car operator above was a total hoot! He put everybody in a jolly mood with his stories and random hollers. He made us laugh. It was almost like a real tour bus. They should pay this guy extra, really. We were totally bummed when he had to switch with a sullen guy!

At one time, I was hanging on to the vertical rail and standing on the stepping board of the car. I made the most of it by using my other arm to take photos — do that with caution. It was really fun.

View from the cable car

View from the cable car

View from the cable car

On the way to the wharf

View from the cable car

Going back to Powell Station

Fisherman’s Wharf [map] [website]

They say it’s a tourist trap, but we went there anyway and met up with Kristen (DineandDish) and Katie (Goodlife Eats). We didn’t get to see the sea lions, but they did. It was just a quick ‘tour’ of the place. You get down from the cable car and walk to the pier.

Walking to the Fisherman's Wharf

At the Fisherman's Wharf

Foggity-fog-fog right there. Yup, it was San Fogcisco, too.

The Ferry Building [map] [website]

I went crazy shopping at the Ferry Building.

I ordered ALL macaron flavors at Miette without a drop of guilt. Nope. Sorry.

Miette Bakery

Miette pâtisserie & confiserie

When I saw Katie holding chocolate covered candied orange peels, my brain just froze with this thought: Must. Get. Now. They really know how to make a girl drool. http://www.recchiuti.com

Recchiuti Confections

Recchiuti Confections

Yummy-nummy salted pig parts from Boccalone. REQUIRED PURCHASE: Nduja spicy, soft spreadable salame. I bought two of those, and holy eff, I really wished I bought five! I’m a hoarder of good things by nature, yes, but my god…I’ll take nduja on tap!

Boccalone

Boccalone - Tasty Salted Pig Parts

Stonehouse California Olive Oil

Ok, I only have an iphone pic of this (I just took it) so you can see. But don’t you forget to get the blood orange olive oil from that shoppe. Please. Do yourself a favor and get this:

blood orange olive oil

Get.

Pauline’s Pizza

This is where we kicked off our Blogher Food weekend, having dinner with a group of amazing women and men who made the event worth going to. Thank goodness for the awesome Chezus.com couple and good friends — Denise and Lenny — who organized this meetup. Sure, we all went there for the food blogging conference, but when it comes down to it, the people you meet, the connections you make, the lasting friendships you build, and the laughter echoing the hallways are what really makes a blogging get-together worthwhile.

Pauline's pizza

Really goot pizzah

Clock Bar

Like I said, the people really make blogging events worth attending. After the kickoff meetup at Pauline’s, Dana [DanaTreats.com], Kristina [Tennesee Locavore], Maris [InGoodTasteBlog.net] and I went for drinks by Union Square.

Clock Bar

Although Maris and I made a bad decision ordering the drink that’s named after Hawaii’s unofficial state fish, we had a great time laughing our heads off. Thank you, girls!

Someone said on Twitter that Clock Bar is nothing special– and we really didn’t go there because it was a Michael Mina establishment. We just went in and had a blast. Didn’t matter where we really were.

Humuhumunukunukuapua'a

That humuhumunukunukuapaua'a? Don't order that. It's like drinking a very floral drink.

SF MoMA

I made sure to stop by SF MoMA, which was something I’ve been dreaming of doing. I love art. I love art museums. And you know what else? I LOVE that I wasn’t escorted out when I took photos with my DSLR.

SF MoMA

SF MoMA

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