[LMB] What would you do if the Vorkosigan family came to visit?

A. Marina Fournier saffronrose at me.com
Wed Sep 2 07:39:22 BST 2020

On Aug 23, 2020, at 6:56 PM, Eric Oppen <ravenclaweric at gmail.com> wrote:
> Around here, I'd want them to show up in late summer.  I couldn't put them
> up here, but there are motels and suchlike around.
> I'd take them on drives along the scenic river that runs through town, and
> if it was the right time of the year (and no damn virus scare) take them
> down to the Iowa State Fair. 

Put them up in a hotel—we don’t even have enough room for ourselves here. Also, without the virus issue of social distancing, unless they have a way to deal with the bug, and please share it with us! Assuming I have the unlimited funds I currently lack--

I’d take them to Monterey via Gayle’s Bakery in Capitola, with a sidetrip to Castroville (artichokes!), on to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, any time of the year. Perhaps they would be interested in a whale watching trip. Alas, especially given my name, I do not do well in ocean waters. I haven’t been to Bittersweet Bistro in Aptos, in way too many years, but that would be a lovely place for dinner, with the day ending with a walk on a beach, weather and moon permitting.

Second day: If the weather is good, take them up to Lick Observatory—if I still lived in San Diego County, it would be Palomar. Not sure about where to take them, not out of the way, to lunch, before we taste wine at some of the the Santa Clara County or Santa Cruz County wineries, Protègé for dinner in Palo Alto.

Third day, Moffett Field for the Computer Museum when they open for the day, then to Half Moon Bay because the drive is so pretty, and there are nurseries to delight Ekaterin. If possible, late lunch (by the time we get there) at either Sam’s Chowder House on the beach or at Sushi Main Street,. Otherwise, grab something from this seafood shop at the intersection of Hwy 92 and Main St. and eat in a park. Cookies from Half Moon Bakery for after. Take them to the Elephant Seal preserve, watching from a sensible distance. Then back to San Mateo and thence to Mountain View (Cascal for tapas, or Sakoon, an upscale Indian Restaurant, where Agnès and I took Lois one year) or downtown Redwood City with its variety of restaurants & cafés, especially if I took them to Sigona’s Produce market—or to the Old Port Lobster Shack on the outskirts for a touch of Maine, dinner being followed by a stroll around Redwood City or Redwood Shores, or a tour of Stanford University. Depending on the hour, I’d take them to my old booze-pusher, K&L Wines.

Fourth day, San Francisco: Golden Gate Park, through the Presidio (by Lucasfilm, but it might mean nothing to them) to the Palace of Fine Arts—and then wherever the Exploratorium is. Too many choices for meals, but breakfast or lunch should be dim sum. other two meals, their choices. One might be at Fisherman’s Wharf or at the Ferry Building. A cable car trip—say, round trip from Fisherman’s Wharf to the other end, with a break for an exploration at Nob Hill’s Grace Cathedral’s meditation labyrinths. Afternoon tea at one of the hotels across the square?

Fifth day, Sonoma wine country. 
Sonoma: Ravenswood Winery is an absolute must—with lunch at the girl & the fig restaurant, off the Sonoma Town Square beforehand. I think Chateau St-Jean is on the way to Santa Rosa, where Ekatarin might enjoy Luther Burbank’s Home & Gardens. The next stop can be California Carnivores, outside of  Sebastopol, then into Sebastopol, dinner at Sushi Tozai, with Screamin’ Mimi’s for ice cream, sorbet, or gelato. Between the locations for dinner and desert are some residential streets with Junk Art by Patrick Amiot and Brigitte Laurent in nearly every yard. Such lovely whimsy!

Sixth day: A hearty breakfast in Sebastopol or Santa Rosa, then over to Napa County’s Rt 29. for even more wine tasting. Lunch is a picnic at V. Sattui Winery, bought from the amazing deli there. A bottle of what pleased you best in the tasting room. If the geysers at Calistoga interest them, we head up there. Otherwise, more wine tasting. There are wonderful restaurants in St. Helena (Hell-ee-na), such as Meadowood, where they had afternoon tea when I was there decades ago, if returning to Napa by Silverado Trail, with its wineries.
We can dine in the City of Napa, at the restaurant of their choice, especially if one of them has a Michelin star or two.

Stay the night, or head down to Berkeley. 

Seventh day: If Chez Panisse offers lunch, we must go there! If not, there’s a great Jewish deli (Saul’s?—I know how to get there) not far away, where they make herbal, spice, and sometimes floral syrups for sodas. Then, a drive around the UCBerkeley campus, and the more scenic streets, on the way to Oakland’s Zoo & Chabot Space & Science Center.

A drive down Lincoln Avenue allows a lovely view of the bay. Dinner at a Jack London Square restaurant might be nice. Then we drive back down to San Jose. If there’s someplace we didn’t get to in the South SF Bay, that can be addressed after a day or two of rest and research.

As I said, an unlimited supply of funds.


More information about the Lois-Bujold mailing list