Sprocketts by the Bay

Sprockett family adventures as California residents


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Gilroy Garlic Festival

Dan first learned about the Gilroy Garlic Festival when he was interviewing at Stanford, in early 2013. After our fantastic experience at the Shaker Heights Garlic Festival, we both agreed that this was on our list of places to visit in California. The festival has come up every few months since then. My brother, well known for his food/cooking/Bay area events knowledge, was talking about the festival, too. So now, nearly a year and a half later, we have fulfilled our goal. Nick, Dan, and I all had a slightly different idea of what to expect and none of us quite hit the mark. The festival is impressively well organized, starting with your arrival at the parking lot right through the variety of vendors, the efforts to keep the dry dust down, the speed of food service, and the mix of entertainment.

After parking in a neat row, we walked to the air conditioned charter bus to take us to the festival entrance. The fair spreads over acres with food vendors, children’s areas, cooking demonstrations, and gift items. As lovers of garlic, we found our bliss through garlic sausage sandwiches, garlic bread, beer-battered garlic fries, and garlic ice cream. The heat of the day also made our (non-garlic) smoothies especially tasty.

Happy to be at the Gilroy Garlic Festival.

Happy to be at the Gilroy Garlic Festival.

We visited a few cooking demos, which were fun, but I think my brother Nick could have blown them out of the water.

Cooking demo #1.

Cooking demo #1.

Shrimp scampi cooking demonstration.

Shrimp scampi cooking demonstration.

How the shrimp scampi for all the festival goers is made. Check out the heat in that kitchen!

How the shrimp scampi for all the festival goers is made. Check out the heat in that kitchen!

We also made a couple trips through the garlic ice cream line, where they gave away free sample of garlic ice cream. It had just enough garlic flavor to be noticeable, but it was well blended with the sweet cream of the ice cream.

Garlic ice cream!

Garlic ice cream!

We left happily with full stomachs, good strong garlic breath, and dirty feet. I think these are all the signs of a successful garlic festival!

Dirty feet and happy stomachs.

Dirty feet and happy stomachs.

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Mom’s First Visit and the Bay Area Highlights

Although Mom has made several trips to California in her life, this was the first time she trekked across the country to visit her children. I still revel in the fact that my brother and I live in the same part of the country again! Let me share a few highlights from her trip through photos:

A walk through Stanford's campus after a trip to Cream in downtown Palo Alto.

A walk through Stanford’s campus after a trip to Cream in downtown Palo Alto.

A quick trip to Dolores Park. Laura and Nick and their cuteness.

A quick trip to Dolores Park. Laura and Nick and their cuteness.

Playing around at Paxton Gate, Curiosities for Kids before dinner in San Francisco.

Playing around at Paxton Gate, Curiosities for Kids before dinner in San Francisco.

This is just so San Francisco.

This is just so San Francisco.

Dinner at

Dinner at Fiore Caffe.

A trip to the Ferry Building Saturday Morning Farmer's Market.

A trip to the Ferry Building Saturday Morning Farmer’s Market.

Just one example of the beautiful produce at the Ferry Building Farmer's Market.

Just one example of the beautiful produce at the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market.

The "painted ladies" at Alamo Park.

The “painted ladies” at Alamo Park.

Picnic (Full House style) in Alamo Park.

Picnic (Full House style) in Alamo Park.

Afternoon treats at Josey Baker.

Afternoon treats (and kisses) at Josey Baker. Go there if you’re in San Francisco!

Gilled cheese sandwiches for lunch made with cheese from Cowgirl Creamery and fig jam from the Ferry Building Farmer's Market.

Gilled cheese sandwiches for lunch made with cheese from Cowgirl Creamery, fig jam from the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market, and bread from Josey Baker. Notice how helpful I am…

Laura hard at work making one of the most delicious mixed berries pies I've ever eaten!

Laura hard at work making one of the most delicious mixed berries pies I’ve ever eaten!

Mixed berry pie. Laura is a pro!

Mixed berry pie. Laura is a pro!

Meeting the Wassermans and laughing, laughing, laughing and eating, eating, eating.

Meeting the Wassermans and laughing, laughing, laughing and eating, eating, eating.

Finishing the trip with a visit to Google, where Nick works.

Finishing the trip with a visit to Google, where Nick works.