This year, we gave them a reprieve from the annual work on the house. They've helped us every year since we bought the place in 2005. That first year involved a lot of demolition, including that of our kitchen. The 2006 visit was mostly work on Dan and Carmen's unit downstairs, 2007 was sanding and painting our living room and bathroom, 2008 was our dining room, and last year was the painting of our kitchen. We still have the hallway to fix and paint, along with our utility room and half-bath, but that hasn't been a big priority. Since Bruce had throat surgery a few months before their visit this year, we didn't want to expose him to all the extra dust.
Instead, Bruce and Bonnie got to enjoy their vacation with more leisure time. They parked their RV in Pacifica as usual and spent several days walking around the beaches and the pier. We let them stay at our house while we were in Napa, and then they went camping with Dan and Carmen and L.J. the next weekend. They also got to borrow our car now and then for little day trips.
Their arrival in town was just in time for my birthday in mid-August, so they joined us for my birthday dinner at Contigo. There are pictures of the food from that meal on Flickr, but I didn't take pictures of people that night. I didn't even hand over my camera for someone to take pictures of me opening my birthday presents, although Carmen took some with Bonnie's camera.
One of the main events of their visit was their 40th anniversary on August 29. We all went to see Toy Story 3 in Daly City in the afternoon, and then we had dinner at Fog City Diner that evening.
They opened their anniversary cards from us while we were there.
And we all shared some truffle fries. (More food pictures are on Flickr.)
Bruce and Bonnie finished by sharing a malted milkshake. I tried some, and it was really good.
|malt shop picture|
On Labor Day weekend, we braved the crowds and took the parents to the Saturday morning farmers market at the Ferry Building. I took my camera and shot some of the produce.
I guess I wasn't the only one with that idea...
While we were shopping at the stall pictured above, I spotted Chef Chris Cosentino buying produce for his restaurant, Incanto. I pointed him out to Bonnie, since we took them to Incanto for my birthday two years ago. We've also shown them an episode or two of "Chefs vs. City," on which Cosentino competes. He was chatting with someone about the show. I didn't take any pictures of him; I saved those for random strangers and family members.
At one point, Bonnie wanted to take a picture of Bruce picking out some tomatoes for them. I sniped a picture myself while Bonnie was directing her shot, and I liked how it turned out.
We filled up our bags with tomatoes, figs, almonds, nettles, assorted cheeses, butter, meat sticks from Fatted Calf, prosciutto and salami from Boccalone, and a baguette for good measure.
|bonnie & steve|
After fighting our way back out through the Ferry Building, we BARTed back home and set out some of our purchases for lunch. The bread was especially good with the butter we bought—and the spreadable goat cheese too—but my favorite combination was figs and goat cheese. Alternated with some prosciutto or almonds, it was the perfect late summer lunch—or snack.
That afternoon, Steve and I walked to Ritual for some coffee with Bonnie while Bruce napped at home. Bonnie and I both got mochas, and Steve got a macchiato (pictured below).
On Monday, Labor Day, we all went to Lands End. Traffic and parking were a bit of a nightmare, but it was a beautiful day. Dan and Carmen had been hiking on the trail before, but I hadn't been to that area of the city before. There was a lovely view of the Golden Gate Bridge, although the beach there isn't as close as some of the others.
A lot of people were out, but it wasn't unpleasantly crowded on the trail down to the beach. Once we were down there, we took a few pictures and watched Enzo run around.
|steve & me|
Enzo played with his toy for a while, and then he met a dog named Atlas. They chased each other around for quite a while at top speed, and Atlas' owner had trouble dragging him away when it was time to go.
We also saw some starfish hanging around, since it was low tide.
|dan & carmen|
I shot some pictures of family members again, since I've gotten negligent about that lately.
|bonnie & bruce|
And one last shot of the bridge from a little detour we took after climbing back up the hill from the beach.
Finally, Carmen and I made one last outing with Bonnie before they left town: tea at Lovejoy's Tea Room in Noe Valley.
We got High Tea for three with salad, tea sandwiches, scones with jam and cream, and sugar cookies. It was all very girly and fun.
Steve didn't get to cook for his parents quite as much on this visit, but we had a few homemade dinners with them to balance out the Friday nights that we ordered pizza. The arancini got especially good reviews, but they also enjoyed his macaroni & cheese, calzones, and a fig-stuffed pork loin.
More on the pork loin and other fig-related dishes in the next post, as I get back to September's contributions to the 52 Weeks of Food project.