July 27th, 2003

default, pepper

Vacation planning

What, another vacation already, you ask? Actually, I'm planning my mother's vacation out here.

After waffling about, I decided that the north bay would be a good 'base' for a week or so of vacation time. Then of course I discovered that all the weekends in (nearly) all the nice places in Marin County were booked up to mid-September already. I've made reservations at the Marriott Courtyard in Larkspur; I'll still look around for other places, but I wanted to have something confirmed.

She gets in on Thursday, August 8th, in the afternoon. I figure that night she'll spend here at the house, and in the day we'll see some of the South Bay sights (whatever those may be). The hotel reservations are Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights; the tentative plans are to see Peninsula sights on Friday, working up into San Francisco, then be in Napa/Sonoma on Saturday and the East Bay on Monday, with Sunday an as-yet unknown--maybe back into San Francisco, maybe wandering around the coast (you have to see the Pacific when you're here, right?).

The two other "known stops" at this point are, and this will absolutely surprise anyone who knows me, restaurants. Saturday night I have reservations at Bouchon in Yountsville, the country cousin of the renowned French Laundry. (Readers of this journal may remember the French Laundry being mentioned in mid-May, when I stopped to take a picture of a field across from it.) Bouchon is considered a top-notch French brasserie in its own right.

Monday night is dinner restaurant which sounds French, but isn't, the Cafe at Chez Panisse. This is another one I've written about before; while it's one I've been interested in for a while, it's also one my mother asked about, after she'd seen an article on Alice Waters. This restaurant pretty much started what's sometimes called "California cuisine," and it's considered one of the best restaurants in the country. That's in Berkeley, hence Monday's status as the East Bay day.

This deliberately leaves most of the time open. If anyone has any "must do" suggestions, I'll be interested in hearing them, of course. (Or suggestions for lodging that I can find in the next, oh, day or two...)