Museum night + 2 year anniversary + Friendsgiving dinner + Berkeley hike at sunset + reunited with kava

Why hello! Is it just me, or is anyone else feeling the holiday rush already? Last week was a busy one as it was filled with activities and seeing friends before we all travel for the holidays.

The festivities started on Thursday as Joe and I had a date night at the California Academy of Science. We’ve been talking about going for ages, so I was excited when Joe surprised me with tickets to their night event. I hadn’t been to this museum before, but Joe has gone many times (he used to be a museum member, ha). It made me happy seeing Joe light up like a little kid once we entered the museum. πŸ™‚

The highlight was the massive aquarium. I adore fish and it was neat to see all the different species. Being in the museum at night was a cool sight as it felt like we were in the ocean at night. There weren’t any kids around and the music was bumpin’ which added to the fun.

The famous albino alligator.

Another highlight was walking through the planetarium, which was a multi-layered indoor dome that had diverse plants, birds, and butterflies. Overall, we had a lovely time at this unique event.

Friday was a special day as it was me and Joe’s two-year anniversary! Exactly two years ago, we were on a weekend trip in Mendocino which is where you could say we became “official,” although we dated for about a month before that. πŸ™‚

Joe got me these beautiful bouquet of flowers. ❀ He is always so thoughtful on these special occasions.

To celebrate, we went to our favorite Italian restaurant in Cole Valley called Bambino’s. It’s a cozy, homey restaurant with upscale Italian food for a very reasonable price. It was nice to get out and do something special for our anniversary – we just wanted to spend time together and didn’t need something too flashy. We got ice cream afterwards at the neighborhood ice cream parlor and it was perfection.

Saturday was a gorgeous day in SF in the high-60’s – I couldn’t believe it was November! We got outside first thing in the morning for a hike up Corona Heights. The park is walking distance from my apartment, but I haven’t gone much because it is a very vertical climb to reach the park. But it’s always worth the trek as I think it has the #1 best views of San Francisco. On a clear day, it was stunning.

In the afternoon, we rested a bit, and then it was time to prepare for our “Friendsgiving” pot-luck at Janice’s new apartment in Palo Alto. She and her husband are the first of our friend group to move to the Bay Area suburbs; up until now we’ve all lived close to each other in SF which has made things fun. I guess it’s a new phase of life… πŸ˜‰

I found this last-minute recipe for caprese bites; they were so easy to put together and ended up being a hit! Highly recommend for an easy appetizer dish (see it on the left side of this photo).

Janice’s apartment was decorated with autumn decor which felt super homey. We joked that this was our first real “adult” Thanksgiving as she had tables and chairs set up for us. I was fully expecting to eat on the couch, ha.

The food was just delicious. I was impressed how our group put this all together with everyone contributing to the meal. This got me excited for all the good food I’m going to eat during the holidays. πŸ™‚

We saw all the usual suspects. This was probably our last get-together for the year as most of us are traveling for the holidays. I’m so grateful for this group of friends; we’ve all become close over the last few years and our group events are always a good time. ❀

Sunday started off on the chill side. Joe and I were pooped after all our activity the last few days. I stayed in bed and played around with my new MacBook Air. I bought it last week and I’m SO excited to have my own personal computer! Since graduating college 6 years ago, I technically haven’t owned my own computer because I just use my work laptop. What I found was I really disliked opening my work laptop outside of work, which meant I would save all my personal errands for work hours, which wasn’t ideal. And so I decided to spend the money for my own laptop, and I’m very happy with my decision so far.

In the afternoon, Joe needed to head to Berkeley to pick up his house keys from Luis and Christine who cat-sat for us while we were in Dallas, and so we decided to make an afternoon out of our trek to Easy Bay. We first went for a hike in Tilden Regional Park. I love this park because many trails start at a high elevation on top of the mountain, so you get nice views of the bay without having to climb that much.

The good thing about the sun setting so early now is that we had a golden-hour glow the entire hike, and it wasn’t even that late. πŸ˜›

After our hike, we drove down the mountain at sunset. We stopped at a viewpoint and it was simply perfection. We could see all throughout East Bay and even across the water to San Francisco.

There was even a duo playing live music which added to the vibes…it doesn’t get more Berkeley than this. πŸ˜‰

After our sunset hike, we drove a short distance to MeloMelo Kava Bar in Berkeley. Ever since Kava Lounge shut down for the pandemic, I’ve missed these kava spots like crazy! Since there are no longer any kava spots in SF, the closest one is MeloMelo in Berkeley so we had to make a pit stop.

I hope your week is filled with light and love!

3 thoughts on “Museum night + 2 year anniversary + Friendsgiving dinner + Berkeley hike at sunset + reunited with kava

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