Oakland, Berkeley, and Alameda, CA

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Two delicious days in the East Bay:

Fill up on Chicago-style deep dish pizza at Zachary’s. We recommend the tomato-mushroom pie. Then, head over to the Alameda naval yards for a tour and tasting at St George’s Distillery. Craft absinthe — yum! The next morning, sit at a communal table at Rick and Ann’s and order the flannel hash or the banana pancakes. Then walk through the U.C. Berkeley campus and admire the architecture. The Morrison and South reading rooms are our favorite places to read, while the campanile bells always give me chills.

San Francisco, CA

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Oh, to be back in my beloved City! I lived here in the ’90s, and it’s good to be home. Here are of few pleasures from the trip:

Food and Drink

Vintage soda fountain cocktails at the Ice Cream Bar in Cole Valley

Soba noodles at the Citrus Club in the Haight. This was one of my favorites in the ’90s, and they’re still good.

Off the Grid food truck festival in Fort Mason.

The Proxy Project shipping container food court: Smitten and Suppenkuche’s Biergarten. Try the Tcho chocolate krispies on your ice cream. The lamb bratwurst with mango salsa is the best sausage we’ve ever had.

Fish tacos at Papalote in the Mission

Creme Brulee cart: try the whisky caramel sauce

Retro cocktails at the Bourbon and Branch speakeasy. They do amazing things with lavender and lillet.

Pakwan, our favorite Pakistani greasy spoon

Food stalls at the Ferry Building farmer’s market. Try the enchamale at the tamale stand.

Entertainment

Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, with 20 minutes newly-found footage, at the Castro

Musee Mechanique, a living museum of arcade games. Go on a weekday, as it’s nuts on the weekends.

Maritime Museum — fascinating ships and expansive views

Exploratorium. Their new location in the piers is stunning.

Sights

Greenwich and Filbert street steps in Telegraph Hill. Watch for the wild parrots.

Carved ceilings in the Mission District library

Bay walkway between pier 1 and pier 20

San Luis Obispo, CA

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Go on a Thursday evening for the farmers’ market, if you can. The whole downtown becomes a lively party, street fair, and local food tasting. Yum! Vendor stalls offer lots of dinner options. The sausage BBQ had the longest line. Eggplant parmesan and bratwurst were both delicious. After dinner, catch live music and enjoy the garden at Linnea’s Cafe. Then sip an espresso at the funky cafes on Higuera street. The next day, work off the calories at Bishop peak, which has expansive views and bouldering access. San Luis Obispo is an up-and-coming startup community. They have a coworking space, accelerator, incubator, and Start Up Weekend. The entrepreneurial community benefits from the energy of Cal Poly university and from a growing population of tech-savvy Los Angeles escapees. While SLO isn’t a beach town, the beach is a half hour away. Head south for sunny beaches, or north for the contemplative fog and friendly seals of Morro Bay.

Torrey, Utah

Torrey is the gateway to Capitol Reef National Park.

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Torrey Greenhouse: hard to find but so tasty!

The Torrey Greenhouse provided the best veggies that we’d had in a month. A chalkboard at the front of the Greenhouse shows the food of the day. Choose your veggies, then help the staff pick them. Delicious snap peas fresh from the vine, and basil bunches the size of flower bouquets. Yum!

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Sugar snap peas in the Torrey Greenhouse

On the walk back from the Greenhouse, check out the old schoolhouse.

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Torrey schoolhouse

Rim Rock Patio is the place to enjoy a pizza, hang out with your dog, and watch the sunset. They have good wifi and large salads.

Do laundry and pick up basic groceries at the Chuckwagon. There’s good free dispersed camping on the north side of the highway just west of the National Park. Cell phone reception is good here.  The camping area does fill up on the weekends.

 

 

Jackson, Wyoming Logistics

Many people come to this beautiful town to visit for a week or two. Here’s how to stay a little longer, on a budget.

Dispersed (Free) Camping: Fall Creek Rd between Hoback Junction and Wilson, Granite Creek and Little Granite Creek Rds southeast of Hoback Junction, Curtis Canyon east of the Elk Reserve, Shadow Mountain and Slide Lake near Kelly, and Grassy Lake Rd at the northern boundary of Grand Teton.

Projects: Rally’s Pet Garage is our pick for dog boarding and self-service dog wash tubs. Gloria at Jackson Hole Girl Friday was a big help with getting our bikes cleaned up, tuned, and covered. If you need help with projects, she’s a great resource. Stitch N Time sells fabric, can refer you to a tailor, and has a sewing machine and ironing board in the shop for customer use. Bill Dillon at Jackson Hole Boot and Shoe has creative solutions for sewing projects.

Water: Shevrin’s Oil and most of the campgrounds have water taps. If you use the tap at Shevrin’s, please buy gas and thank them. Water taps are hard to find at gas stations in Jackson. (Hint to the gas stations: water is a really cheap way to market to RVers, who typically spend $100 on a fill up.)

Laundry: We recommend the Missing Sock over Broadway Laundry.

Grocery: Smith’s (next to the Missing Sock) has moderate prices yet stocks some organic produce and has bulk bins. The weekday farmer’s market is a good place to get produce, as well.

Work and Wifi: The Teton County Library offers a visitor library card for $10, and gives away shipping labels so you can mail back books from the road. The library and Cafe Boheme are good places to get work done.

Emigration Trail and Sugar House, Salt Lake City, Utah

Emigration Canyon was the first path into the Salt Lake valley for first the Donner Party and then the Mormon pioneers. This plaque along Emigration Creek describes the trip.

Of the many canyons rising out of the valley, Emigration Canyon’s slope is the gentlest. This makes the canyon popular for cyclists and runners. Emigration Creek flows down the canyon and into the Sugar House area, linking these two popular neighborhoods.

The neighborhoods of Emigration Canyon and Sugar House are beautiful places to live and visit. Here are some of our favorite spots:

Dining: For great local food, have brunch at Pinon Cafe or Eggs in the City.

Eggs in the City

From Eggs in the City, cross the street to Emigration Market. Try the gelato there, and top it with a pinch of sea salt. Check out the knitted bicycle rack and the dog parking station.

Emigration Market

Stroll around the Sugarhouse neighborhood to admire the houses and work up an appetite, then head to Sea Salt for dinner. We recommend the Vegetable Cruda salad, Caprese appetizer, and the crushed basil martini.

Places to work: There’s an unnamed small city park just east of Hogle Zoo that’s quiet and private. Park at the east end of the lot, next to the (informal) off leash dog area.

Park at Emigration Creek

Pinon Cafe and Emigration Market offer free wifi and ample plugs, and don’t mind if you settle in for awhile. The library at Mill Creek Community Center is newly renovated and has a cozy fireplace room.

Get clean: A $4.50 day pass to the Mill Creek Gym (upstairs from the library) buys a workout and a steaming hot shower in their brand new locker rooms. Village Cleaners offers a clean, well-lit laundromat with free wifi. Their Cottonwood location is just down the street from Whole Foods.

Blind Lady Ale House

Blind Lady Ale House is in the Normal Heights neighborhood of San Diego.

Local beers poured precisely from steel taps, a spicy soyrizo pizza with avocado, and a piquantly flavorful margarita pizza are some of the highlights here. The Poppyfields pale ale was rich and satisfying.

The decor is eclectic — check out the “wall of beer” in the back.