Monday, January 18, 2016

Cozy & Full in Oakland, CA

I was reminded this weekend that there's so much to love about the special bond of family and how you can impede on their life with little repercussions for personal gain. Just this last Friday night we had plans to head out to the Oakland Hills to have dinner at Jay's brother's (aka Logan) house. Their Dad/Stepmom were staying the night before their Saturday morning flight to Mexico and a family dinner seemed like a nice way to kick-off the weekend outside the city. We were invited over for dinner. Just dinner. Just dinner on Friday night. And I'm typing this on Sunday and we have only shortly arrived home. We overstayed our welcome like true Cousin Eddies and turned our Friday night dinner invitation into an impromptu weekend long staycation in the East Bay. And you know what? I think our crassness benefited all parties involved as we had a cozy, rested, funny, blissful, yummy weekend at my BIL's cabinesque house high up on the hill.
^Arrived for dinner at Logan's house on Friday night and quickly sunk into the coziness that is this large, picturesque home.

^In an East Bay home, facing West.

After a scrumptious meal of homemade lasagne and fresh salad, we corralled around the table for conversation. We discussed what my In-Laws were most looking forward to on their trip to Mexico the following day, our highs and lows of last year and lots of discussion about the bay area lifestyle. The food was incredible and the conversation was impeccable and it was a wonderful mental and physical reprieve from the hustle of the city. The next morning, Jay, Logan and I woke up and had our sights set on some Oakland eats. Well, eventually we planned on doing that. There was a long stretch before that that was all about coffee, "Always Sunny in Philadelphia" marathons and the normal walk the dog/shower/get ready ordeal. But then it was down the hill and into Oakland proper to see what this city was all about.

We started by popping into Barclay's Pub in Rockridge. 

^I got a "Not Your Father's Root Beer" (yummy!)
^Just hella love those cats.

Following that, we waited for our reservation at Noodle Theory. Logan had gushed about the exquisiteness of this place and how we just had to try it. One look at the long line of wannabe patrons spilling out into the street outside the front door reiterated that fact. We were beyond stoked to try it out.

^Overwhelmed with every amazing menu option.

^They welcomed us by bringing over edamame in a sweet plum sauce. So yummy.
^His & Hers drinks.
^We started with the "Shrimp & Chinese Chive Dumplings" which tasted so unbelievably fresh and amazing.
^Jay & Logan both got the Grilled Niman Ranch Beef Udon in Coconut Lime Curry Broth. Um, I easily could have drank that broth as a drink order. It was so unbelievably good that I am jonesing to go back for it alone. I kept stealing tastes!
^I ordered the Grilled Fulton Valley Chicken with Ginger Noodles over crushed peanuts. It tasted substantially different from the boys but equally mouth-watering. From the large noodles to the perfect hint of ginger, it was all beyond incredible.

It was easily the best thing I've had in the Bay Area since moving here. Easily. I'm honestly jonesing to go back soon and try another item. Yum, yum and yum! Definitely recommend Noodle Theory.
Following that meal, we walked around other areas of Oakland for awhile and did a driving tour of the city before heading back up the hill to Logan's house to watch movies and relax in that big ol' space.

^Looking over the house and into the very foggy bay area.

^Fireside wine while watching a movie Saturday night.

^I love all the new types of trees we don't have in the NW. Note this is not a Black & White picture (look at the trunk). Was just a rainy, foggy, grey weekend.

^View from Logan's balcony, the Bay Bridge all the way there in the distance.

I gotta tell y'all, I have not slept that well in probably years. Logan gave Jay and me his bedroom for our stay and it's nestled in this huge brick/wood room, with high ceilings and a large balcony. We had the balcony door open and let the cold air envelop us while we tucked into the covers and listened to the rain stream down against the trees. I slept like sleeping was my job. Even Chandler was feeling really relaxed Sunday morning and had no interest in rousing despite my prodding.
^a 19-second video I took Sunday morning, showing the air and the relaxation.

We drove back into the city Sunday afternoon feeling like a million bucks and both thankful for our successful overstaying of our welcome with his brother. We did little else Sunday besides quickly put together low-carb sandwiches for this week's lunches, organize our gym bags, do some laundry and watch the Broncos beat the Steelers (yes!)

And now it's off to work we go. Happy MLK Jr. Day everyone! I hope you have the chance to do something meaningful with it. I have to work but plan to head to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Fountain at lunch to pay respect to him.
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SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

Now that is the way to do a weekend. Noodle Theory looks amazing.

I'm in love with the photo from the balcony with the city lights in the distance.

Pat Hatt said...

haha the pup sure looks relaxed as can be. Sounds like the perfect spot for some r and r indeed. Just don't go super Cousin Eddie and clean out any Shi**er's lol

Mattie @ Northwest Native said...

My husband's family is from a suburb outside of Oakland and we pretty much never leave the house when we're there. I really want to actually explore Oakland! Adding Noodle Theory to this list!

Unknown said...

This looks awesome! I haven't had a vacation in a while and this looks just absolutely serene! I'm so jealous. I'm hoping I can getaway for a couple days to something relaxing like this. The food looks absolutely delicious too!

I've never been to Oakland, but definitely have to put this on my wanderlust travel list!

Ashley Lillis said...

That seriously sounds like the best weekend ever! I love impromptu weekends, especially when it involves family and delicious meals like the one you had a Noodle Theory. I practically started drooling when I saw your post on Instagram, and I'm totally drooling right now just looking at your pictures! It looks like Chandler and Dart had pretty similar ideas about what to do this weekend, lots of sleeping in bed! I'm glad I'm not the only one that had to venture into work today!

Jax said...

Always Sunny in Philadelphia would make me want to stay too! lol I kid, I kid...but I love that show. Sounds like a great staycation, whether or not it was anticipated. Now back to hustle... ;)

Emily @ Martinis | Bikinis said...

Don't you love impromptu weeekends like this? Their house looks so cozy to spend the weekend and the food at Noodle Theory looks amazing especially the curry broth!

The Siberian American said...

That house looks amazing! I could sit outside for hours! Noodle Theory looks amazing, and I am seriously impressed with your food photography. I'm so bad at it! Haha. :)

Amanda - Voyage of the MeeMee said...

Falling asleep listening to the rain sounds like heaven!

Kati Rose @ Constantly Seeking Wonder said...

What a fun weekend! I'm hoping to try and make it out to San Francisco in late spring/early summer and I may have to make an afternoon excursion to Oakland to try a few of these places out. That noodle place in particular looks delicious.

Tabitha Lee said...

Sounds like a perfect weekend to me. Love these pictures. All of them. Your BIL house looks like somewhere you would never want to leave.

Unknown said...

Officially hungry! Those meals!?! My oh my! And root beer, mmmmm, I drank so much of that when I was in the US (it's pretty scarce here in Oz) and those stemless wine glasses I adore!! :)