I drove up to Oakland on Friday and got there by the afternoon. After lazing about for awhile, Eric and I went to Whole Foods and got stuff to make dinner. Deluxe burgers, watermelon beer, a salad that we forgot about but ate a few days later.

Saturday morning we got up early and drove to San Rafael, home of the Marin County Civic Center. The Marin Center was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and was used as a shooting location for the movie ‘Gattaca’. It’s a pretty cool place, and there was an art fair going on by the lake too, but the admission was sort of outrageous so we didn’t go in. After San Rafael we drove to Sausalito and walked around the little downtown area. We got fish and chips and vegetarian chili fries from the fish and chips restaurant attached to Lappert’s and ate by the water. Lunch was good, and it was clear enough to see San Francisco and the Bay Bridge.

Sausalito is nice and all, but even better is…The Bay Model! It is a two-football-field sized scale model of the San Francisco Bay. And it is AMAZING!! It’s huge and educational and was used in an episode of ‘Mythbusters’ to test an Alcatraz escape story. I highly recommend The Bay Model.

A quick trip over the Golden Gate and we headed over to Dolores Park to wait for this bicycle music festival to arrive. We got ice cream at Bi-Rite then walked across the street to the park. The park was packed and made for good people watching, but I fell asleep for about half an hour in the sun. When I woke up the band still hadn’t showed, so Eric and I decided to walk around a bit.

We walked up to the top of Kite Hill which is probably the windiest place on earth, then walked back to the park in time to catch some people setting up a makeshift slip ‘n slide. They had a giant roll of plastic sheeting and a few gallon jugs of water/KY/whatever that they were throwing all over the plastic and people were standing around in speedos and bikinis. One guy went down it – got about 1/5 of the way and then hit a hidden bump in the ground with his chest. The slip ‘n sliders dispersed soon thereafter.

We drove back to the East Bay on the lookout for a GameCube controller for a new game Eric got in the mail. The GameStop was in Temescal and I couldn’t help but notice Bakesale Betty was right there…so we got fried chicken sandwiches for dinner. SO GOOD! And huge. I can’t believe I finished it!

Sunday morning we got up really early so we could go to the Exploratorium before it opened and secure slots for the Tactile Dome. The Tactile Dome is this…dome…where it’s completely dark and you feel your way around. I’ve been trying to get into this place for, what? Four years? So by god, it was going to happen this time. We got to the Exploratorium an hour before it opened and had plenty of time to wander around the Palace of Fine Arts and call our dads to wish them a Happy Fathers’ Day.

The Exploratorium was totally cool! Everything is hands-on and education and fun. We got to go through the Tactile Dome as many times as we wanted and it was super cool and disorienting and great. I think we were at the Exploratorium for at least three hours. Afterwards we went to The Ramp for lunch, which has become infamous due to these unbelievably douchey Palm Pre commercials that mention it.

That night, Emma got back from her parents’ and we went to dinner with her, Dan, Mike and Tiffany. We went to a new place near Eric and Emma’s called The Grand Tavern, which had gotten great reviews on Yelp, so it passed muster for me. It was a fantastic place and everyone left full and happy and maybe a little drunk. We went back to Eric and Emma’s and played Boom Blox until everyone was ready to pass out.

Another great weekend in NorCal!