Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Day weekend hikes, ice cream

Does it get better than ice cream, hikes and sculpture on Valentine's Day weekend? It does not! At least for me, this is one of the most fun Valentine's Day celebrations I can remember.

Saturday was sunny and lovely, so we went hiking with friends on Mt Diablo, on the Mitchell Canyon Trail. I hadn't been up this way before, and I'm so glad we went. A steep ascent means amazing views come fast.  With the kids in packs, we were actually able to tackle a good amount before hearing the inevitable "I want to walk! Let's stop to look at this rock!  I'm hungry!"

Sunday had us soaking up the vitamin D and fresh air again. We were in Berkeley, at TUMC in the morning, and then to the Berkeley Art Museum which featured this very cool installation that Derek and Paloma enjoyed playing on.  They weren't the only ones-- I saw a bunch of adults trying it out too.  And that's how it's intended.  There are even outlets for laptops and a little coffee bar nearby.  I'd love to see more cafes and public spaces try out different ways of arranging social space.

Then we headed to campus to play a bit, and I had a bianca mocha from Cafe Strada for old times' sake (like, over a decade ago when I used to go there more often!). It's really fun to feel like a student again sometimes.

From there, we coaxed the girls into the car and went to Ici because I felt like artisanal ice cream would be a perfect way to celebrate Valentine's Day.  Clearly, I wasn't the only one who had that brilliant idea.  The line was 10 minutes long and halfway up the block.  And it was worth it.  I had huckleberry ice cream and also a scoop of orange rosemary toffee. Paloma had chocolate. Derek had the toffee too.  Sabrina had whatever she could get from all of us.  And all our handmade cones had a delectable chocolate nugget at the bottom.  Sigh, I Love Berkeley.  Some of the best eating in the world happens here.

We went to the Emeryville marina to look at the gorgeous Bay.  See the Golden Gate Bridge back there? I never stop feeling grateful to live here.

Finally, we stopped at Trove home outlet in Berkeley and purchased the sculpture I've been dreaming about for awhile, to decorate our new place.  I cannot wait to move in.  It's a little place here in the Bay Area.  I think this art will work really well in it.  And believe me, I will be back to Trove to decorate. If you've never been and you're local, it's really worth a browse.  Trove is amazing and the employees all rock-- SO helpful and knowledgeable.

So even though we didn't exchange fabulous personal gifts, we were really happy with our Valentine's Day weekend, and deeply grateful to be a family.