Lake Tahoe

After a fun morning at Google, Dominic and I set off on our weekend away. Lake Tahoe is about a 4 hour drive away from San Francisco via some pretty uninteresting highways until you get to the 50 (a 3,000 mile long highway that stretches from West Sacramento all the way to Ocean City Maryland) where you start driving up into the mountains! I can’t recall ever seeing views like the ones I saw this weekend. Surrounded by towering conifers, winding further and further up the mountainside (6000, 7000, 8000 feet), and finally arriving at a gorgeous clear blue lake. It was awesome to say the least. Dominic and I had a room at a beautiful hotel and spent the entire weekend outdoors either in the pool, at the beach, hiking up mountains, or swimming in waterfalls (Yes, you read that correctly, waterfalls! We hiked up to Horsetail Falls in the El Dorado National Forest and took a quick dip in the clearest water I have ever seen. It was so exhilarating and honestly a highlight of the entire summer for us both.) Now let’s get down to some pictures!

Friday: Road Trip Part 1
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The Fire Roasted Medley: roasted garlic and fresh basil, tomatoes, roasted onions, peppers, and savory goat cheese

Saturday: Breakfast, a drive into Nevada, & some time on the lake
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The view from our hotel room
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Cinnamon sourdough french toast with strawberries
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Black bean omelette
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Strip of high rise casinos in the middle of all the beautiful nature…
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Cutesy old school garage
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Beautiful Lakeside Beach
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Chilly but so deliciously refreshing
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My ducky friend!
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Absolutely love this shot despite (or maybe because of) the blur
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Sunday: Hiking Day!
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Horsetail Falls from the highway
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And so it begins…
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All set for a hike!
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Yummy picnic lunch by the water!
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Looks as if it could be a painting!
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Horsetail Falls
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So thoroughly excited!
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Pretty much an absolutely unbelievable weekend!

Google Take 2

Dominic and I spent last weekend in Lake Tahoe. It was honestly one of the most amazing little trips I have ever been on and we did some pretty awesome things but before heading out I went to work with Dom so that we could leave directly from Mountain View. This update is pretty much just to show you guys some more Google food!
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Best. Bacon. Ever.
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Sassafrass float!
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Guava spa water & lemon lime spa water
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Epic burger- we had a cappuccino panna cotta for dessert which was divine 
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I then raided the micro-kitchen for things to take on our road trip! 
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Bonus- We had to do a U-turn at the Facebook campus! 

Tourist for a Day

I decided to make a list of all of the things that I had not yet done in the city that I thought I might find interesting. As of today I have only four days to go, I can’t believe how quickly the summer disappeared! I realized after writing up this list that the majority of the things I had left until the end were things that cost money! I spent my time doing every single free thing San Francisco has to offer and was not in the least disappointed. Last Thursday I decided to do a whole bunch of the touristy things that I hadn’t yet tackled all in one day. I started off by taking myself out to lunch at Outer Lands, not exactly a touristy thing to do, truthfully I would consider Outer Lands more of a locals outing, regardless I was seriously interested in their grilled cheese sandwich. You may remember Outer Lands has an insanely long wait time for Sunday brunch, thankfully a weekday lunch did not require a 2 hour wait but I did plan ahead and brought my book along. I headed over to Trouble Coffee Co. after adding my name to the Outer Lands list, I had originally given the place two giant thumbs down for the horrendous customer service and I was definitely a little nervous walking back in there. Thankfully I knew what I wanted this time, The Girlfriend, an earl grey tea latte sweetened with lavender honey. I got in and out quickly and enjoyed my tea while sitting out in the sun a ways away from the ominous cafe. I then enjoyed a grilled cheese of epic proportions and some spicy parsnip soup, rounding out a pretty marvelous lunch.
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I then hopped on the bus and enjoyed a ride through the Presidio over to Laguna and Chestnut where I disembarked and made by way towards Lombard Street. The street was made famous in many video games, movies, TV shows & comedy skits. It is so steep that there are stairs up one side for pedestrian access, it boasts 8 incredibly tight hairpin turns in quick succession. I took my first cable car ride up two blocks to get to Lombard. San Francisco is home of the world’s last manually operated cable car system. For those of you who aren’t aware, cable cars are operated by what is known as a gripman which is basically a guy pulling on a giant metal lever in order to drive that car, in my case, up an extremely steep hill. It was a little scary but pretty darn cool.
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The cable car I rode
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Lombard from the top
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There is a line up of cars waiting to drive through the hairpins
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A really beautiful house
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Lombard Street from the bottom
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I then made my way over to Coit Tower to get a 360 degree aerial view of San Francisco
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Coit Tower
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The entrance to Coit Tower which is already quite a ways up Telegraph Hill
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I then made my way down the hill via the Greenwich Street stairs
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This is only about 1/3 of the way down
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I literally made my way across the entire peninsula, from the ocean to the bay, this day and it was brilliant! After making it down all the steps, I ran into a very sweet economics student from Mexico who was in town visiting his cousin and we spent some time chatting while I helped him figure out how to get to City Hall. This was truly one of my favorite days on my own exploring the city!

Golden Gate Park

Having not had the pleasure of exploring many of the museums around San Francisco this summer I was anxious to take advantage of free museum day. I headed over to Golden Gate Park with the hopes of visiting the Conservatory of Flowers (the oldest building in the park & one of the oldest municipal conservatories in the country) and the de Young (a fine arts museum). Unfortunately there was quite a line up for the Conservatory of Flowers, I happily wandered through the outdoor gardens but decided to pass up waiting in the long line. I walked back over to the de Young and spent the majority of the afternoon there. Golden Gate Park is expansive and I feel as if I still haven’t seen a large portion of it, perhaps I’ll have to head back sometime this week!
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The tower at the de Young museum
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A really interesting piece
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How much of the day had passed so far
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Reminded me of the McGill campus flood
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The sculpture garden
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An afternoon snack 
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Cuties!
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Stowe Lake 
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I love the duckies!
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Sunday in the City

With only a short time left to our summer in San Francisco, Dominic and I are trying to squeeze in as much as we can into these last few days. We spent last Sunday wandering through the city, navigating the maze of sky scrapers, and paying a visit to Ghirardelli Square, the original headquarters of the Ghirardelli chocolate factory.
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Looking out over the Bay
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Ghirardelli Square
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Hot fudge sundae
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Awesome pirate ship in the distance
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Potentially the best latte I’ve had in this city famous for it’s coffee and I can’t even remember the name of the cafe!
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Berkeley

Last weekend Dominic and I took the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit- the train system that brings you outside of San Francisco) for the first time to go to Berkeley. We made our there in order to have lunch with my new friend, Julianna, and her husband. We had been writing to each other all summer but this was the first time we were to meet in person. Something that I learned this summer, which may sound so incredibly obvious but is really a life-changing realization when it hits you, is that there is really very little point to being nervous about meeting new people. You will literally ALWAYS have things to talk about with a stranger. Your entire lives are a mystery to each other which creates a multitude of topics to discuss within moments of meeting each other. That is not to say that I wasn’t a little nervous/excited to hang out with Jules, but I’ve learned to swallow the anxious energy and try almost anything. We ended up having a wonderful afternoon together and I actually learned a lot about what it’s like to live in the US (which was definitely eye-opening). We also got the chance to check out the University of California campus at Berkeley which was really beautiful.
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Sather Tower or The Campanile- the iconic bell/clock tower at UC Berkeley
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After lunch all four of us went to CREAM- Cookies Rule Everything Around Me, an ice cream sandwich shop nearby. Not only do you get to pick the ice cream inside your sandwich but the cookies that surround it as well! It was especially funny to Dominic and I because the premise of the restaurant sounded like my high school entrepreneurial fair project, and just across the street was a restaurant called The Melt, a grilled cheese place, which was the concept behind Dominic’s entrepreneurial fair project!
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Dominic’s peanut butter cookies with salted caramel ice cream