One hundred posts strong

This marks my 100th post on A Lady Goes West.

What started as a place to collect my thoughts on an impending move across the country, has turned into a travel/fitness/food/lifestyle blog that hopefully entertains readers.

Some of my most popular posts have been about group fitness and what to do in San Francisco.  In fact, I’ve received quite a few emails from people who are interested in trying my gyms and BODYPUMP classes while visiting and are also looking for activity recommendations.  There is nothing better than a local’s perspective on how to spend your time, so I always try to offer a thoughtful reply.

That being said, detailing my weekend adventures and life out west is the main focus, so let’s get to it.

On Sunday evening, Dave and I drove out to the East Bay to visit his sister Mateal and her partner, Emiko, who just moved from Iowa.  They aren’t new to the Bay Area.  In fact, they used to live in Rockridge before moving to Iowa for Emiko’s medical school and are both very happy to be back in California.

They are sweet.  They are self-proclaimed hippies.  And they are foodies.

When we arrived at their little furnished guest house in an adorable Oakland neighborhood, Mateal had prepared a cheese, fruit and bread appetizer along with some sulfite-free red wine for our pleasure.  We enjoyed the spread on their balcony, reveling in the moderate temperature, the quiet and each other’s company.  As previously stated, temperatures in the East Bay are usually about 15-20 degrees warmer than the City, so we always like the change of scenery.

Then, we all walked about 20 minutes into downtown Berkeley to Trattoria La Siciliana.  The restaurant was incredibly busy, and even though we had reservations, we still had to wait about 20 minutes outside along with the other hungry patrons.

Inside, the tiny place smelled of warm tomato sauce and fresh bread and you could see the cooks working in the open kitchen.  For a small restaurant that accepts only cash and the owner is the downstairs waiter, the menu is rather lengthy.

This stresses me out.  It also stresses out Mateal.  Typically, I look at a menu online before going to a restaurant so I have a general idea of what to get.  But I went into this one blindly, since I didn’t know where we were going.

At first, we thought about ordering family style.  The owner recommended this method, but we all got a bit overwhelmed and ordered on our own.  We ended up sharing everything anyways and passed our plates around the table.  The food was excellent.  Everyone except for me had leftovers to take home.

On the walk home, we stopped into Tara’s Organic Ice Cream, a place Mateal and Emiko like to frequent.  Billed as a place to enjoy “sophisticated ice cream”, Tara’s offers a plethora of flavors, like butternut squash, chipotle, cilantro and even avocado.  I tried basil (strange), white pepper chocolate chip (spicy aftertaste) and some others.  I ended up choosing three, and the best one of the night was by far fig & port.  What a treat.  Usually ice cream alone doesn’t satisfy my sweet tooth, but this organic and local stuff was impressive.  I’d highly recommend it.

Something else happened on the walk home: We saw a skunk.  Who knew there were skunks hiding in the bushes of the Berkeley ‘burbs?

Dave and I don’t usually go out on a Sunday night, but with new family members in the Bay Area, it was most definitely a great reason to change up our routine.

For 100 posts, I’ve shared my thoughts and pictures on a transition from Orlando, Florida to San Francisco, California and the adventure is just taking off.

So keep coming back to me, and I’ll try my best to give you something a tad wordy, but worthy of a read.

Welcoming sisters back to the Bay and feasting on a tasty spread.
Trattoria La Siciliana
You know it’s a good spot when people are waiting on the sidewalk with wine.
Trattoria La Siciliana
Excited for the Italian fare and the good company.
Tara's Organic
Sophisticated flavors at Tara’s Organic Ice Cream.
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