Friday, November 29, 2013

San Francisco's Playland At the Beach: The Golden Years, talk by historian James R. Smith, 12/5/13, 7:00PM

California historian James R. Smith will guide you through one of America's landmark amusement parks with his book, San Francisco's play land at the Beach:  The Golden Years..  Playland at the Beach was a much loved institution.  (to be continued.....)

Tilden Park Carousel During the Holidays

Every year, at holiday time, the antique carousel at Tilden Park is decked out with lights and other fanciful decorations after Thanksgivng.  Each year, I think about it after the decorations are already being taken down.  This year I am determined to visit early.  The "Christmas Fantasy" is from November 29rh  to December 23rd.  If you are looking for something to get you into the holiday spirit, and feel like an evening drive into Tilden Park, then this will be a fun adventure!


Christmas Fantasy
Tilden Park Antique Carousel
November 29th- December  23rd
Time:  5:30PM to 8:30PM
Prices:  $10.00 for 7 rides
             $2.00 per ride

Return to the Little Ice Rink in Alameda, CA

One of our traditions this time of year is going ice skating at the Little Ice Rink in Alameda, CA at South Shore Center.  This place is the most family friendly ice arena that I've found in the bay area, especially since they have these orange skating aides called, Bobby the Seal, that the children can hang onto while they skate.  It is a great way for little ones to both learn to skate and develop their skill and confidence.  We went there for the first time this season on Tuesday night.  My son actually skated from 8:00PM to 9:30PM.  Usually his bedtime is 8:00PM but he was having so much fun, and it is also Thanksgiving vacation, so why not!

We also had dinner at Panera Bread, which is also in the South Shore Center.  My son likes the kids macaroni and cheese, which comes with an organic yogurt.  He also likes the black cherry smoothie, which they make with organic Stoneyfield farms yogurt.  We almost went again last night but we were both too tired.


The Little Ice Rink
at South Shore Center
Alameda, CA
November 8th-January 20th
(510) 629-1-ICE (1423)

Adults $15.00 Including skates, $10.00 if you bring your own skates

Children (up to 8 years old)  $10.00, including skates, $6.00 if you bring your own skates

Bobby the Seal- $5.00 (skating aide)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Crepevine in Oakland, CA is open until 2:00PM on Thanksgiving!

I took my son and dog to Crepevine today for breakfast.  I had my favorite crepe, which is the savory greek omelette with spinach, kalamata olives, roasted almonds, onions with feta cheese, and cucumber yogurt sauce.  My son had one pancake, one scrambled egg, and chicken apple sausage (which doggy shared)!   We had a great breakfast sitting outside, it was sunny so one of the employees pulled down the outside shade.  There are several choices for sitting here, inside, on the patio, or right outside the restaurant for a great dog-friendly choice.


5600 College Avenue
(between Keith and Ocean View Drive in the Rockridge District)
Oakland, CA  94618
(510) 658-2026
(open until 2:00PM today for breakfast or lunch, check website for regular, longer hours)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Recommended Furniture made from Reclaimed Wood, The Wooden Duck

The Wooden Duck furniture store in Berkeley, CA, has furniture made from 100% reclaimed wood.


The Wooden Duck
1823 Eastshore Hwy.
Berkeley, CA  94710
(510) 848-3575

The Wooden Duck
1848 Fourth Street
San Rafael, CA  94901
(415) 453-0345

Farmer's Markets - Temescal, Sundays, 9am to 1 pm, all year

The Temescal Farmers market, in Oakland, CA in walking distance to many of the residents in Rockridge, a district of Oakland, CA.  I love the Blue Bottle coffee, so get there early before it gets busy.  The market features locally grown fruits and vegetables,  fresh ranch eggs, home-made bakery items, fresh cut flowers, unique prepared foods, fresh locally caught fish, handcrafts and more.  It fun to go there and sample the foods, meet the growers, listen to music, and learn about unique food varieties and cooking tips.  Make sure and bring your own reusable bags.


Temescal Farmer's Market
5300 Claremont Avenue
(off Telegraph, at DMV parking lot)

More information about Certified Farmers' Markets at

Gardening - Seed Lending Libraries - Oakland, CA

"Discover the World of Saving and Sharing Seeds!"
                                    -The Seed Library

The Cesar Chavez and Dimond branches have seed lending libraries.  These free urban seed projects are committed to increasing the capacity of our community to feed itself wholesome food by means of education that fosters community resilience, self-reliance, and a culture of sharing.


Cesar Chavez Branch Library
3301 East 12th Street, Suite 271
(510) 535-5620
Tuesday 12:30-8
Wednesday 10-5:30
Thursday and Saturday 10 to 5:30
Friday 12 to 5:30
Monday & Sunday - closed

Dimond Branch Library
3565 Fruitvale Avenue
(510) 482-7844
Tuesday 12:30 to 8
Wednesday 10 to 5:30
Thursday and Saturday 10 to 5:30
Friday 12 to 5:30
Monday and Sunday- closed

Friday, November 22, 2013

Chai - Best in the Livermore Valley!

Bombay Nick's Chai Bar is absolutely some of the best chai in the Livermore Valley, if not the San Francisco Bay Area.  I got introduced to the chai at a festival in San Francisco, and took some of the loose leaf tea home.  The chai can be purchased at home by looking at the website,  Thanks to Bombay Nick's,  I  can now make the chai at home!  It's perfect for this cold weather!


Bombay Nick's Chai Bar
4010 East Avenue
Livermore, CA  94550
(925) 493-7044

Monday-Saturday 8AM-6PM
Sunday 10 AM- 4PM

They also do private events and parties,  with a customized hot and cold chai bar for your guests.