As some may know, I recently took a trip home to California for a visit with family and friends. Living in Prague has provided me with an amazing opportunity to live in the heart of a capital city while working on my masters degree. Being given this opportunity has made me more inclined to really go out and see what the city I live in has to offer. This is something that I had never really done in the past. I was born and raised in California, and spent a good portion of my life living within an hour or so from where I grew up. I have always been interested in traveling and seeing the world, but I have found that I took little time to really explore the area surrounding my home. Yes, I would go to Sacramento or San Francisco for a day, and one of my favorite pastimes is wine tasting in Napa and Sonoma. However, now when I travel back to California it feels much more like a vacation and has inspired me to seek out new adventures. I now have more of the vacation mentality while spending time near my home. This is something that I hope to carry to any other city or place that I may live in the future. Many people live in a place their entire lives and do not see or experience some of the best treasures it has to offer. I hope to avoid this from here on and to treat my future homes as a collection of places to go out and discover!
One of my recent adventures while in California was inspired by two of my good friends, Jenelle and Becky. I was invited out to lunch and to a pub in Oakland. We started off at Quinn's Lighthouse for lunch. The lighthouse was originally established in 1890; however, it has been reconstructed and renovated several times throughout its long history. It has absolutely amazing views of the docks and bay from its upstairs dining area and patio. The menu has something for everyone. I had the Gilroy Hamburger, a burger on garlic bread, yummy! My favorite aspect of the restaurant was the extensive collection of nautical decor. This place was absolutely charming and delightful.
|Lunch at Quinn's Lighthouse|
|One of my favorite features - A sailor door handle into the ladies room|
|This bar area is so charming|
|Partial view from the restaurant|
|Jenelle and me in front of the restaurant with lady liberty|
|Jenelle and Becky - my event planners for the day|
After lunch we adventured into the downtown area of Oakland. I had never been to the downtown area and was surprised to see what it had to offer. Often people only hear about the negative aspects of Oakland, but I feel that it is a city that has a lot to offer those living in or visiting the Bay Area. Here we went to a pub named The Trappist. The Trappist is located in a Victorian building from the 1870's and boasts a wide selection of Belgian, Scandinavian, Dutch, and American artisan beers. It was rather difficult to find space to stand or to order a beer, but was worth the wait in the end. This was obviously a very popular place for local people to spend a Saturday afternoon with friends. We managed to find a spot to sit on the back patio and enjoyed a few delicious Belgian beers.
|Would love to live in one of these adorable buildings in downtown Oakland|
|Each beer was served in its own distinct glass|
|Back patio area at the Trappist|