What a Break!


Sorry I’ve been AWOL the last few days.  I’ve just been having way too much fun with my family and eating way too much food to have time to blog.

The Los Angeles contingent set off early Wednesday and arrived in Orinda in the early evening.  Orinda is a lovely town just outside of San Francisco (only 30 minutes by BART!) and my aunt and her family just recently moved there from Los Angeles.  That evening we got a tour of the new house and had some tasty pizza before falling asleep.

Thanksgiving day, the whole family — me, my mom, my grandparents, my aunt and uncle, and my two little cousins, plus the dog — set off on a walk to explore Orinda.  Because we ended up right next to the BART station, my mom and I decided to set off on our own and head into San Francisco.  We managed to make our way to Chinatown which is one of my favorite areas of San Francisco and is also one of the few areas where everything was open even though it was Thanksgiving.  After walking up and down the very steep streets of the city we headed back to Orinda for a Thanksgiving Day feast.

As always in my family, the food was amazing.  Butternut squash soup, cranberry sauce (my favorite), stuffing, turkey, berry pie.  It was absolutely amazing.  And, because my family is Jewish, there was enough food to feed an entire army.  We all went to sleep very contented that night with our bellies practically bursting.

The next day I went out early for a nice walk to explore more of the area.  It really is beautiful.  It’s difficult to believe that you’re so close to a big city like San Francisco because Orinda is all nature.  After that my mom, my grandparents, and I wrangled up the two kids (6 and 9) and took them off to SFMOMA and give their parents a much needed break.

I have to say, I love SFMOMA.  It’s a small and unassuming museum that has some amazing art.  Not that I saw that much of the art when we went this time because I was too busy running after my 6 year old cousin who was more interested in running up and down the stairs than at looking at any modern art.  Not that I’m complaining — he’s a real cutie and it won’t be the last time I’m in San Francisco.

Upon returning home I had just enough time to take a quick nap (where do little kids get all their energy from) before my uncle’s family — parents, sister, nephews, brother-in-law, and brother-in-law’s mother — descended on the house for another gigantic meal.  My aunt, one of the best chefs I know, used the leftover turkey (of which there was a lot) to make Turkey Tettrazini (I have no idea if I spelled that right).  It was delicious.  Along with that we had two kinds of salad, one plain and one with beets (yum) and homemade pizza (double yum).  And then for dessert there was homemade bread pudding.  Yet again I was stuffed.  After the guests had left we settled down and watched the Maltese Falcon (Humphrey Bogart — triple yum).

Saturday we all piled into the car and drove to Napa.  We went to one winery and had a bottle of wine and then went to the small town of Yountville.  There we went to Bistro Jaunty where we had yet another incredible meal.  I had steak tartare (something that I will always order if given the chance).  My mom, aunt, and uncle all had tomato soup with a bread covering that got all moist and soggy in the soup.  My grandmother had mussels in red wine.  Then for appetizers we had fried smelt, pate, and escargots (Another food I will always order if possible).  Just thinking about the meal is making me hungry.  I ate well this trip.

And that brings us back to today.  We left Orinda at 6:50 AM to try and beat traffic and beat it we did.  It was relatively smooth sailing and we made it home by 2 in the afternoon.  I was able to take a shower and wash my clothes and by 4:30 I was safely ensconced in my dorm room.

I can safely say that this was one of the best breaks ever.  Sad that it’s over but excited to get back to classes.  Only two more weeks left and then finals.  I can’t believe my first semester is almost over.  Time has just been flying.

Now that I’m back to regular school schedule, I should be able to blog more frequently.  Yay!


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