As fun as wine country with my Schwegfam was, it only took up one day of their 3.5-day trip to Cali, and the fun didn't stop as soon as we left Napa. In fact, it started before Napa, the second Dick, Jodes and Jonathan showed up at my place on Thursday afternoon...
Emily didn't arrive until just before dinner, so I took my parents and Jonny over to San Carlos for a lengthy lunch...of the mostly-liquid variety...at Cask.
Emmy got in, we headed back to San Carlos for a fantastic dinner of small plates and wine pairings at The Wine Project, and then back to my place for a palm tree sunset...
...and a belated-birthday celebration courtesy of Sprinkles Cupcakes! (Em's birthday is July 2, so she was NOT expecting this almost three weeks later...but my parents are awesome and never let a birthday go uncelebrated!)
Friday was Napa day, so we pick back up on Saturday. First, a bit of backstory - while my whole family has met Laura repeatedly over the last six years, Dave was a brand new face for them, and the Schwegfam likes few things better than new (victims) friends to (force to hang out with us) win over with our charming shenanigans.
So when the Schwegs met Dave for the first time that week, it was kind of a bizarre love at first sight thing. Jonathan and Dave had, of course, already become bros during his earlier trip to the Bay, but my parents and Em were rapidly enchanted. To the degree that, when we decided to go out to breakfast on Saturday before heading to Stanford, Dave's attendance was NOT OPTIONAL in their eyes. Dave, however, had plans to enjoy one of his few days off going hiking. Fortunately, he's a gracious and lovely roommate/person and agreed to go to breakfast. At Stacks, when an extra mimosa showed up randomly, my parents, Jon, and Emmy all attempted to twist his arm into drinking it, despite his planned strenuous hike after food.
Dave demurred, with the following exchange:
Jodes: "Dave, honey, are you sure you don't want the mimosa?!"
Dave: "Yeah, no, I just really don't like champagne." (Pause for look of slight horror on faces of entire Schwegfam.) "Oh, no, don't get me wrong, I LOVE alcohol...just not champagne." (Pause for look of dramatic relief on faces of entire Schwegfam.)
Dave, you're a saint of a roommate and thank you for coming to breakfast with my wild and crazy family - we love you!
Long story short, Jonathan drank both the mimosas while wearing his sunglasses indoors because that's just how Jonathan rolls.
I blame said mimosas for his incredible maturity the moment we rolled up to Stanford's campus...
I was so excited to show off campus to my family! I've really loved exploring it and spending more time there with work, classes and activities after-hours. The day, though, was rapidly nearing 90 degrees, and while the Schwegfam is incredibly good looking and very smart compared to the general population, we're not exactly known for our Stanford-level academic ability. So we just had fun instead...
Specifically, we walked around campus sweltering until we beelined for the bookstore, where Emily channeled her best inner Stanford student...
Dick...oh excuse me, his frat-boy alter ego Rick...joined the class of 2021 and got his letter jacket to prove it...
,,,and we screwed around making general fools of ourselves for a nice healthy amount of time. Schwegmans LOVE college bookstores. It's one of our things.
Since Em couldn't decide whether to go the business, medicine, or law route, we decided to throw in the towel and seek cooler temperatures in San Francisco, starting in the Mission at Clarion Alley, a graffiti project that focuses on protest artwork. (We were a teeeeeeny tiny bit out of place. Oops.)
Once we saw our man Prince (RIP), we were good to go and headed toward Dandelion Chocolate for ALL THE SAMPLES and Brasserie St James for mediocre service and excellent cocktails.
When we were in Northern California over the holidays, we stumbled into Fog Harbor Fish House on Pier 39 for a happy hour that turned into one of the best dinners of our trip. Dad, being a creature of habit, really wanted to go back, so we did! As much of a tourist nightmare as Pier 39 can be, it's worth checking out if you're a newbie to the San Francisco thing...and I highly recommend Fog Harbor for drinks, snacks, or a full meal.
One of the biggest draws of Fog Harbor? Their house-made sourdough bread is baked every hour and served HOT tableside...like so hot that it's hard to pick it up at first. Both times we've been there, we've devoured multiple baskets of it. It's crack-delicious.
Emily had insisted all evening that she wanted no further recognition of her birthday, but Dad is a sucker for any kind of party-style humiliation (and for free dessert). To get him back for the sneak-attack strawberry shortcake, Em, Jonny and I stealth-swiped the bill...a coup, if you've ever dined out with Dick and Jodes.
All that was left was taking in a stunning San Francisco sunset to conclude our Saturday in the city...that Bay Bridge photo Em captured honestly makes my heart beat a little bit faster.
In true Schwegfam style, we were pounding mimosas by about 9am on Sunday at Mayfield Bakery in Palo Alto, a brunch we were all kind of eh on...cinnamon beignets aside.
After brunch, we headed back to Stanford to take in the panoramic 360-degree views from the top of Hoover Tower! I can access it for free anytime with my employee badge, and the day was so clear we could see all the way to San Francisco.
After we wound down at Stanford, we took Jonny D to the airport and headed back to my place to relax and enjoy one last glass of California sauvignon blanc before my parents ran Em back. Little did we know, her flight would be delayed by three or four hours...so we turned right back around to pick her up and race back to my place for a little Iron Horse Reserve Cuvée!
Too soon, it was time to say goodbye to the rest of my Schwegfam loves, the only way I know how: with a raised glass and a "Cheers!" for the road.
I can't wait for the next trip they make out my way...or for our next Schwegfam Five reunion in Minnesota over Thanksgiving!