It’s been over a year since we last visited. As soon as I caught a glimpse of the city lights, my mind was in memory lane. Everything seemed so familiar and new at the same time. I lived in northern California for almost 10 years before moving to Los Angeles. The changes were drastic, and the home sickness still manages to creep in from time to time.
During this visit, we were able to spend more time with my family. Seeing my nieces and nephew are always a treat, and it’s always unbelievable to see how much they’ve grown over the past 2 years. Our conversations lasted until the wee hours of the morning. And though, we were sleep deprived for most of this trip, it was worth to spend these few precious moments with them.
We drove up to Sacramento to see a few friends the next day. I must say our time together is never enough, but I’m glad to see everyone’s doing well. We may not see or talk to each other as often as we’d like, but it’s nice to know we can just pick up from where we left of.
After only a few hours, we headed back to the bay to explore Muir Woods with my family. We had an hour to spare, so we decided to stop by my old stomping grounds, my Alma Mater, UC Davis. The school has received a face lift since my college days. COHO has more food options and there are now hammocks tied to the trees.
We ascended to Mill Valley soon after to visit Muir Woods. The state park is dominated with red woods and a beautiful array of flora and fauna. A small entrance fee is charged for adults for habitat restoration and management. We went on an unplanned 4 mile hike, but the path was mostly shaded with only a few short uphill battles.
With only a day left, we squeezed in one more meet up and a mini food exploration.
Our favorite burger of all time is from Roam Artisan Burgers in San Francisco. We always order the Sunny Side burger with a side of Truffle Parmesan Fries. The burger comes with an organic free-range egg, aged white cheddar, caramelized onions, greens, tomato and smeared with sweet chili sauce. It’s yolk and burger porn in one.
There has been a tremendous amount of hype surrounding San Tung’s dry fried chicken wings, so we made sure to give these bad boys a try on this visit. With our limited time, we had to take it to go. I’m sure my backpack wreaked of savory chicken wing smell, but we had no other choice. I apologize to those of you who were on that Saturday flight from Oakland to Burbank.
We devoured these wings in a matter of minutes. Dinner was quiet which is always an indication of a good meal. I can’t wait to go back and get some more.
The most difficult part of moving is being far away from family and friends. The various rendezvous are always the highlight of my trip. The meetings are always brief, and there never seems to be enough time for all stories of new happenings and countless ‘Remember that one time…’ My heart breaks each time the clock reaches the ungodly hour, and farewells are in order. I hope to see you again next year, until then…
Norcal, you will always have a piece of my heart.