Saturday, July 09, 2011

Staycation in the city

We decided not to go on a trip for the 4th of July weekend and just stayed in town. We got lucky because the fog-free summer weather stuck around the entire weekend. The sky was clear that we even saw bits of the fireworks display on Monday. If you have heard of the notorious summer fog in the city, you'd understand why I was jumping for joy. Mijo and I took Friday off too, so we had a four day weekend instead of just three.

For our staycation, this is my top 3.

4th of July 2011 in SF4th of July fireworks. I've been to Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia to witness America's independence day celebration and I can tell you that they go all out in those cities. The way they celebrate makes me feel like we are separatists here in Northern California. That is another story in itself. In fairness to San Francisco, it still hasn't cancelled the fireworks display despite of the city's budget crisis. If it is any consolation, the weather was clear and we saw the 20-minute fireworks display from Dolores Park. We got to the park around 6pm with our picnic mat, a bottle of wine and sandwiches. The sunbathers, who looked like they spent the entire afternoon at the park judging by their tan, were just leaving and the next batch of people, the fireworks watchers, were arriving in groups. The park was packed and lively that evening. Some even brought their own firecrackers and glow sticks for everyones' delight.

Fillmore Jazz Festival
Fillmore street fair. Or more popularly known as the Fillmore Jazz Festival. Can you believe that I haven't been to this street fair? It was also another good reason to stay in town. This way, I finally got to go see this street fair. It is probably the largest summer fair in the city, the North Beach street fair second. They closed Fillmore street between Eddy and Jackson. That is around 12 city blocks. The jazz entertainment was fantastic!
Fillmore Jazz FestivalWhen we got there, a group was performing a Latin Jazz number on the north side of Geary Blvd. On the south side, a soul-funk jazz group was playing. There were several smaller groups of musicians jamming along the fair route. It was a very lively site! The food was good too but the same vendors that go to the other city summer street fairs go to this one too so they are pretty much the same. We shared a glass of watered down beer and garlic crab french fries. A good tip I can give you is to work your way from Eddy St. and stop and listen to jazz music and eat as you work your way up to Jackson St.

Bonny Doon Vineyard tasting roomDay trip to Santa Cruz. We took Friday off and drove south to Santa Cruz to enjoy a good beach scene. We love Sta. Cruz and we go there whenever we get a chance. The Boardwalk was packed with families since the schools are out on summer vacation. There was a free concert in the afternoon by the beach. We also had time to drop by to one of the boutique wineries dotting Ingalls Street. We went to Bonny Doon to try their delicious red and white selections. We ended up getting bottles of their Syrah, Albariño and Cigare Volant for our everyday wine. Since we decided to stay overnight, we had time to walk around downtown Santa Cruz and checkout the cafe scene at the Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Company and picked up a couple of bags of Salvadoran coffee called Bourbon (pronounced as bo-oor-bon).

So all in all, our staycation was well spent.

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