Escape To Eataly

The Bay Area officially has one of these now!

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Because I can’t keep grumbling about how awful it is being a Bi woman of color of child-bearing age in 2022 ‘Murica, I took a day trip Thursday. Where I chose to go was not to a beach or a state park far from home, but to a mall in the South Bay Area. Hold your side-eyes, because that mall isn’t just any mall, but the Westfield Santa Clara. Where they got your typical mall finds like Macy’s and Cinnabon to shops for the bougie crowd like Bloomingdale’s and Louis Vuitton. And now the mall has Nor-Cal’s only Eataly! I have to say that it was kind of fun telling others at work I was going to Eataly for my weekend, as I had a few thinking I was actually going to Italy. Honey, I can’t squeeze an Italy vacation in my three days off, and I still won’t be flying anywhere until Covid cases reach its lowest.

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Three floors of Italian good-good?! My ass is there. 

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One of the many, many, many, many house-made foods I could not freely indulge in. *sad face*

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Ditto their pizza bar. And not a low-carb option in sight. (And, yes, I am fussy with my low-carbness nowadays.)

You may be asking me the one question I was asking myself upon setting foot into the three-story market: what am I doing in a fancy Italian food market which contains a lot of carb-heavy foods I can only consume through sniffing? Eataly, like the country it represents, was new territory that intrigued me. And while I walked around the place kind of wishing they opened a year ago when I was not doing low-carb, it wasn’t just pastas and pizzas and breads they sold. Fresh-cut meats, fish fresh from the sea, and almost every cheese you can imagine were also available.

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Meats in the middle, and a mozzarella lab. No cheese was being made when I was there, sadly. But there were plenty of aged parmesan cheese logs (?) found.

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No fresh baked bread around. No problem for me, although the 2021 version of me would shriek in horror over this! 

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Three ways to wine. Their vast selection would make a Napa Valley winery jelly. 

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The third-floor marketplace. Oh, and look–more foods that I can only look at but not buy and eat on the spot.

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Rooftop view from the Terra Patio Bar, which I captured from inside the store since the rooftop was only for the diners (thus the reflection of someone in the pic)

I did buy a couple things there: some imported pork fat and the darkest of the dark 100% pure chocolate bar. I may not have shopped till I dropped there (even if I was still eating carbs, that place is pricey), but getting to explore a store that’s only found in eight other locations in North America was the bigger takeaway, and you can’t put a price on that.

The Travel Slut Diaries: Hey Hey, Monterey

What’s a chick to do on her week off from work and she wants to take a trip that’s not too far in distance and not too damaging on the wallet? Why, go to a place you haven’t been to in YEARS.

Though I drove by it once 14 years ago while doing a road trip along Highway 1, it’s been decades since I fully experienced Monterey. I’m not sure how much has changed since my last real visit there, I don’t know why it took me so long to visit the seaside town, and I never realized how near it is. (OK, kind of near.) Who knew that a two hour (and some minutes) drive from home leads you to this: 

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Stretches of pristine beaches with soothing waves crashing under the clear spring sky–you don’t get any more paradise than that! Though the weather was cool during my short stay, the cool was welcomed. I live in the East Bay and shit gets warm there during this time.

I was in Monterey for only a few days, and, naturally, I crammed everything I wanted to do in those few days. Also naturally, I took a buttload of pics, some of which you’ll see (captioned with my typical jibberish) after the jump! 

Continue reading “The Travel Slut Diaries: Hey Hey, Monterey”

The Travel Slut Diaries: Return To Living! (Pt. 2)

NOTE: this sister entry to this post was supposed to have been finished weeks ago. Turns out completing this post was more time-consuming than I thought it would be. I had to select which of the hundreds of pics I took should be posted, plus all the pics you see here had to be resized, then I have to write up my shit, then edit the shit I wrote, and there were those other things I had called a job and pursuing other interests that kept me from finishing this entry. It’s late as hell, but it’s here. 

 **Originally written May 11th**

I’m fighting off seasonal allergies and listening to the Giants post-game wrap as I type. Costco’s version of Claritin must be finally kicking in since I’m no longer the sneeze machine I was an hour ago (yuck). My team won another game and series today, and, being the needy ho that I am, I still wonder, “why didn’t the Giants win when I was there?!”

Going to a ballpark that’s only a 30-minute drive from home (when traffic is fine on the Bay Bridge) may not be the same as a trip to Santa Cruz. But it’s still a trip for me and it counts as returning to living! Especially when I haven’t been to PacBell AT&T Oracle Park in almost five (!) years. The place, at least from the outside, hasn’t changed. 

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Bask in the ballpark’s magnificence and proud Dodger haters! 

The inside hasn’t changed much, but some things were altered due to the pandemic. I had Club Level seats, and many of the displays found at the Club Level got downsized. For instance, here’s how one display looked like five years ago…

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All that memorabilia, now swapped out for quirky simplicity. 

crazy ass crab

Maybe it could be how I captured this, or my contacts need to be cleaned because that thing looks like a mutated orange wart, not a crab! 

This display was something I didn’t see in my last visit, however…

trophies!

Ah, the Preciouseseses. Ya know, I stood in a long-ass line for hours to see those trophies in person when the team did those trophy tours years ago. 

I walked around the place before getting to my seats. You think I’d be tired from the near-mile I walked from the parking lot to the ballpark. But nope!

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View from the Bleachers–one of the few sections I’ve yet to sit in. 

city views

Even if the outcome of the game wasn’t pretty, that day sure was. 

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This dude has all the flairs!

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These flags denotes the rankings of the team’s division at the moment, from first to worst. It has never been a personal thing, otherwise the Bums flag would always be at the bottom looking tattered and shit. **Updated 6/6: Giants are still up top and the Bums slipped to third!!**

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A lovely view of the park from the Arcade/Promenade. It’s prettier in person! 

Continue reading “The Travel Slut Diaries: Return To Living! (Pt. 2)”

The Travel Slut Diaries: Return To Living (Pt. 1)

The last time I went out-of-town for a vacay was back in late October 2019, at the time of my birthday. I had plans on where to go for next year’s birthday, and then some thing called Covid happened and took those plans and ruined them like they were human lungs. Sure, I could’ve made like an attention-starved celebrity and traveled and partied during the worst of the pandemic last year. But not only could I not afford a trip then (all my money went to boring-ass bills), I wasn’t that much of a selfish asshole to take a trip. (I’m not gonna fix that part, either.) 

It’s now April May 2021. (I wrote most of this over a week ago but didn’t finish until now.) I’m fully vaccinated and can feel the 5G flow through me, and that stimulus check helped put a little more change in my pocket. What’s a chick with some extra money to do? OK, some of it went to Sephora’s semi-annual sale a few weeks ago, but I had to nurture the travel slut in me that itched to getaway again. I took a week off from work and the beaches of Santa Cruz were calling me. 

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Although I don’t know why they called me this time of the year. Much like SF in the summer, it was cold and cloudy. And, of course, the boardwalk was closed. It’s weird to see all those rides and the arcades shuttered. Couple that with the weather and it was not the most lively picture. But I still made the most of my Santa Cruz visit. I wanted to; I haven’t been there in *checks photo archive* four years?!?!

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Who needs thrill rides when you can have a beach party with seagulls instead?

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Out on the wharf. Above is the farthest out you can get on the wharf. 

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Feisty sea lions! (Excuse the quality of some of these pics. The camera on my cell phone is no Leica.)

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The boardwalk from the wharf after sunset. 

Not pictured (since I didn’t take any pics of the following): downtown SC, Roux Dat Cajun Creole in downtown where I bought my lunch and dinner (their jambalaya is the tits), and the weed shop where I got a great deal for some edibles. 

More after the jump!

Continue reading “The Travel Slut Diaries: Return To Living (Pt. 1)”