Sprocketts by the Bay

Sprockett family adventures as California residents

Mom and Dad Sprockett Visit California

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We were so excited to have Dan’s parents visit us in California. We’ve been trying to sell them on the visit for more than two years, so our anticipation has been building as the pieces came together and they scheduled to come out to celebrate Dan’s birthday. We picked them up from the airport on Saturday, making our first stop in California for a mid-afternoon Mexican meal and margaritas, followed by relaxing time to catch up on Saturday evening.

It was good to take the first day easy, because we packed it in on Sunday for Dan’s birthday. We started with a stroll through the farmer’s market and brunch at Joannie’s, one of our favorite local restaurants where breakfast is served all day and such a comfortable environment and really yummy foods. Dan and I had been plotting our meal for weeks: a shared combo with one sweet (brioche French toast) and one savory (egg’s Benedict) meal. Mmm, I’m making my mouth water just writing about Joannie’s.

Strolling the Farmer's Market before brunch.

Strolling the Farmer’s Market before brunch.

After a mid-day birthday cake decorating break, we followed brunch with a trip to Picchetti Winery for wine tasting and cheese and crackers picnicking.

Birthday wine tasting.

Birthday wine tasting.

And, because we certainly hadn’t eaten enough, we had dinner out at Rangoon Ruby and teal velvet birthday cake. Yes, teal, because when Dan found out it was only red velvet cake by convention and food coloring, he decided to make it more interesting!

It's Your Birthday.

It’s Your Birthday.

Can you read the label on the beer? It says, "Big Papa."

Can you read the label on the beer? It says, “Big Daddy.”

Monday gave Mom and Dad a bit of a chance to rest, while both Dan and I worked. Although Dan did take them on a tour of campus, so I’m not sure how much resting actually happened.

Memorial Church

Memorial Church

Hoover Tower

Hoover Tower

Picking out some Stanford swag at the bookstore.

Picking out some Stanford swag at the bookstore.

They also spent time enjoying the California sun (Dad was working very hard to take a tan home…or at least to their next stop in Oregon before heading home) before our dinner out at the Peninsula Creamery, a pleasant trip back to a 1950s diner with the largest selection of milkshakes I’ve yet to see.

Tuesday was another day to take it easy, before we split up for evening activities. Mom and I went to the craft store to pick out fabric for a (still in progress) tablecloth while Dan and Dad went to see Condeleezza Rice speak on a Stanford panel about international affairs and a post-panel “debrief” beer at the CoHo.

On Wednesday, we had lunch at a diner in Ghirardelli Square, ice cream sundaes (because it’s pretty much mandatory to do that if you have visitors in town and you go to Ghirardelli) and took a little driving tour of downtown SF and Lombard street.


Chocolate! Ghirardelli Square had changed a bit since they were last there, and it was really just a factory and not the little shopping plaza it has become now.

On the drive home, we learned about the last time Mom and Dad had been to California, more than 40 years ago when Dad was stationed at an Air Force base in Southern California. After dating long distance, Mom had come out for a visit. With one tent, one blanket, and one pillow, they spent the week driving up the coast to San Francisco, camping along the way. And then, in San Francisco, Dad asked Mom to marry him and she said yes. She then returned home to Ohio, and he back to his base. When he visited her a few months later in December, they decided to get married immediately instead of waiting for the summer. [Insert cute “ahhhs” here!]

The end of our almost last day (we couldn’t believe how quickly their visit went!), we had dinner out at one of my favorite Italian restaurants on University Ave and said then goodbye on Thursday, sending them on to the next West Coast family to visit. So the only question is: when are y’all coming back?


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