SanFrancisco for New Years

tootswisc(z4/5Wi)November 27, 2005

My sister broke her leg scuba diving-quite seriously as she is almost 3 months out and still not able to walk much. She cannot travel so DH and I will be spending a few days over New Years with her. Can anyone suggest some must do things for us. Gil and I are really into olive oil. Are there olive groves we could visit that would be a day trip from Alameda?

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OOOOOH, you'll be awfully close to Alicia! I'm SO jealous!

    Bookmark   November 27, 2005 at 6:52PM
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Not far from Alicia and Jon D. both! I bet they'll be able to give you some great advice!

    Bookmark   November 27, 2005 at 7:25PM
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jon_d(Northern Calif.)

Alameda is in the East Bay, but SF is not far away. In the East Bay, is the Berkeley Botanical Garden. In January it will be cool (upper 50's to low 60's.

In San Francisco the Stribing Arboretum in Golden Gate Park (9th Ave. and Lincoln Way) is a must--great plants, many sub-tropical, and a beautiful garden. Nearby there are lots of great places to eat or have tea on 9th ave. Also in GG park is the history Conservatory Of Flowers--tropical plants as well as the 19th century architecture of the building itself. GG park itself is also worth driving around--so many neat little hidden meadows ponds and lakes.

South of SF on the coast is Half Moon Bay. I am over there all the time. I like to visit Half Moon Bay Nursery--it has a nice greenhouse area of houseplants as well as another greenhouse full of succulents. A nice inexpensive seafood restaurant at the Marina is Ketch Joanne. HMB is very pretty with farms, huge commercial greenhouses and open space making for a good way to visit the Pacific Ocean. Downtown HMB is full of nice shops full of high end art and crafts. My housemate Charles has a shop next to a grove of gigantic rust metal dinosaurs. Our neighbor, who has the dinosaurs, has a great outdoor gardening sculpture and pottery business, but what would you do with a 300 lb fountain? He rarely sells the dinosaurs, because they are so huge; but they are a great stop for tourists with kids, and he just likes having them. He keeps adding more. People are always stopping to check them out and take pictures.

Olive trees do well around here but there haven't been local commercial groves for many years. There may be some to the north near Sonoma, another very picturesque town with historic buildings and shops. Alicia might know. A junior college (Canada College) near me is built on land that once was an olive grove. There are many old trees, growing wild, up and down the hillside and in a seldom visited little canyon. I get olive seedlings coming up in my yard all the time as the birds drop the seeds.


    Bookmark   November 27, 2005 at 9:25PM
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Thank you Thank you Thank you Jon. You make me so excited about the trip. I sure hope Gil's hip will be walkable by then-His six week checkup is next friday and hopefully he will be getting his walking papers. He is still only 50% weight bearing. My sister will be hobbling around also but she plans to have lot's of reading material so we can take lot's of day trips and she can read when rest is needed.

I was reading an article on olive oil the other day and read about late havest mission olive oil that is grown in California that is just about the best you can get. It is from an area closer to Santa Barbara. I have friends in that area but unfortunately they won't be around. I don't think we will be spending $$$$ on lodging since my sister lives right on the bay in Alameda. I plan on spending all of our money EATING OUT IN SAN FRANCISCO!!!!!!!

I feel so blessed to have my sister be my best friend and that she lives in a really cool place. I have just been dying to see her since her unfortunate accident. But since Gil needed me home to help him, all I could do is call her. Thank God for the Cable telephone deal where long distance costs us $45 a month. We talk several times a day sometimes.

Cheap seafood in Half Moon Bay and visiting gardens, nurseries and the Pacific Ocean-sounds like heaven to me.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2005 at 11:20PM
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calla_lady(Z8b N. Calif)

Indeed I think that you could find some Olive groves to visit that could be done in a day. In fact the Sonoma Olive Festival starts next week and runs through Feb. Here is a link to a page that you can find a link to the festival and several local Olive oil producers. Also you can do a Google search with "Olive Oil Sonoma" (or Napa) and you will find more links. Most of our festivals, art shows and such usually offer several Olive Oil vendors and samples. I guess that I've always taken it for granted.

I agree with John - Berkeley Botanical Gardens, Strybing Arboretum, and the Conservatory of Flowers are a must if you have the time. Berkeley is right next door to Alameda, but has some up/down hill walking - something to consider. Strybing Arboretum is a kinder walking (paved trails and gentle slopes). The Conservatory of Flowers involves little walking and is really fun to visit in funky weather (likely this time of year, the rainy season).

If you do get to trek up to Sonoma County (about an hour north of Alameda) you may want to visit the town of Sonoma (has neat historical buildings and plaza, great shopping and the Sonoma Cheese Factory), or if you are heading towards the coast - Sebastopol (home of Luther Burbank gardens, neat town and shopping), Bodega Bay (Where "The Birds" was filmed) for seafood and maybe a visit to the Bodega Head which offers a pretty intense view of the Pacific and possibly some passing California Grey Whales (this their migration time).

Gosh, easy to go on, and on :~). It sounds like you are going to have a great time no matter what you do!


    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 3:55PM
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calla_lady(Z8b N. Calif)

I'm sorry, I forgot to give you that link!

Here is a link that might be useful: Sonoma Zone

    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 3:57PM
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jon_d(Northern Calif.)

Something to keep in mind about the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. The roads around it are closed on Sundays, so plan on another day. If you do go, there is a little known area where you can park on the east side of the building, accessible from a side road off Kennedy Drive. This makes walking to the building much shorter. The arboretum is easily accessible every day. There is a parking lot behind the meeting building, accessible from Lincoln Way at 10th Avenue. If you park there and enter from the side gates, don't forget to go to the garden inside the main entrance--it is full of fascinating plants, and there is a bookshop there. Also, in the arboretum is horticulture library with outdoor seating, amidst ancient carved stones from a European monastary that William Randolph Hearst bought and shipped over for his castle, but lost the plans, so the stones ended up in the park--a good place to park the less ambulatory types.

Also in the east bay is the nursery, Annies Annuals, which now has mostly perennial, subtropical, and other jewels. It is located in Richmond, north of Berkeley and Alameda. It would be a great place to go plant shopping. I am sure that you could find plants that would make great houseplants. Check out their website--they also do mail order. I gave them cuttings a few years ago and now some of them are on their lists (nematanthus, aeschynanthus). I don't know which days they are open but I imagine all that info is available on their website--which is well worth looking at, even if you aren't going to the nursery.


Here is a link that might be useful: Annie's

    Bookmark   November 30, 2005 at 1:19PM
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