Gardens, Green Juice, & Vegan Mac n’ Cheese

Touch down SF!! Finally… because somehow 6 hours of traveling turned into 12 hours of traveling.

Hours wasted at an airport turns me into an angry gorilla

Well, actually I’m in Berkeley at my sister’s house. I have to say that I absolutely adore everything about this place. Berkeley is such a freakin sweet town.

My sister lives in a 1920’s mansion converted into apartment style housing. Only a five minute walk from the train station.

I’ve only been here a few days, but screw it, i’m ready to move in. I love how, well, pretty everything is. I guess it’s just not something i’m used to. Hawai’i is pretty, but in a different way. The beaches are nice, the weather is temperate, but not a lot of thought goes in to things like the architecture of the buildings or the bricks used to in the sidewalks. Everything is kind of old and run down in Hilo, not much has changed since the 60’s, and that was because a tsunami wiped out half the town.

So far I’ve seen quite a bit of Berkeley and a little bit of San Francisco. The first morning here my sister convinced me to go running, I’m not really a runner (like… at all) but it was pretty fun getting to run around town. When you’re so caught up in looking at all of the beautiful houses with the quaint little gardens you don’t really notice how far you’ve actually run.

A pretty sunflower in the neighbor’s yard

We ran up to a track and from there hiked up a GIANT hill to a view over the city.

I almost crapped my pants when I nearly took a sliding plunge to my death, and I was breathing like a 70 year old chain smoker by the time we made it to the top, but the view was pretty awesome.

The run back (well… it was more like a walk because I caught a cramp… I told you I wasn’t a runner) gave us a chance to admire all the beautiful houses and gardens. After that we showered and headed to treasure island for a rugby tourney that my sister’s friend was playing in. On the way we stopped at a local produce market and I got some fresh fruit for breakfast and some walnuts and dried fruit. We also stopped at Trader Joe’s for some champagne (it was made clear upon arriving at treasure island that rugby and drinking go hand in hand.) It being my first time in Trader Joe’s, I was pretty excited. We only stopped in but I will definitely be back.

The free coffe with soy milk was a definite plus (so adorbs)

From there we took the bart, the muni, and the bus (I’m not a fan of the commute but I would say it’s worth it if you get to live in Berkeley) and eventually made our way to treasure Island for a day full of my two favorite things… drinking and rugby. Just kidding, I’m not an alcoholic like most 18 year olds, so it was more like a day of waiting around, watching people get sufficiently shit-faced by noon, and seeing girls pummel each other into the ground. Pretty entertaining if you ask me. By the time that little shindig got finished we went with our friends to dinner. Of course we went to a steak house. It took about 5 seconds after the menus were handed out for the jokes to start and by the end of the night the only way anyone would address us was as “the vegans.” But I thoroughly enjoyed my chickenless cheeseless salad, dressing on the side.

Am I a Cali Gurl yet

Later that night we went into the city and checked out some of the nightlife. The city is very vibrant and there is so much happening. It’s pretty cold though, even during the summer. But then again, I’m used to 70°+ on any given day. After a night of bro-y music and dancing we (surprise) ended up at an ihop. Let the vegan jokes ensue. Literally the only thing I could order was fruit. We spent the night in the city and the next morning went and got soy lattes and falafel wraps from the coffee shop down the street. Super yummeh. I ate the whole thing before I even thought about taking a picture… lol. After wandering around a little we headed back to east bay and chilled. Then we walked around Berkeley and explored some of the nooks and crannies. The weather was absolutely beautiful and we had a great time just wandering down the streets, stopping in any store that piqued our interest. Then lo and behold we came across Herbivore an all vegan restaurant in downtown.
This was my first all vegan restaurant experience. There are definitely no places like this in Hilo, and it was… love at first bite! Their menu was incredibly diverse and they had a wide array of everything from pancakes to pad thai. We got seats by the window and let the warm sunshine pour down on us, it almost felt like home … then we started sweating so we snuck over to a table in the shade. The food was amazing, our waiter was friendly, and overall I really enjoyed the place. Definitely worth another visit before I leave.

Appetizer’s anyone?

We even ventured on to the drink menu and got the green drink. It kind of looked like swamp gunk… the taste wasn’t far off either… but after drinking it I felt like doing a backflip.

mmm… frothy

Yay I finished it all 🙂

My sis cured her craving for some Mac ‘n Cheese, a staple food for us growing up. If we weren’t having beans n weenies for dinner you can bet we were having mac ‘n cheese, preferably kraft please.

Mac ‘n Cheeeeese

I got the phillo dough pie and it was the freakin bomb diggity. Warm flaky crunchy phillo dough (almost like a pastry) filled with spinach, tofu, nut cheese, mushrooms, onions, capers, and artichoke hearts all over this red pepper sauce and steamed kale. Holy moly cannoli it was soooo good.

And it came with a pretty salad. I vowed that I would try to have at least one salad every day while on this trip.

We even got dessert! Grilled naners with soy ice cream. Mmmmm the grilling really caramelized the bananas and brought out all of the flavors. And the coolest thing happened….

I took a bite of ice cream, then I sent a message to Corinne and when I looked back down there was a perfect heart shape in the cinnamon. My sister and I think it was a sign, or all of the good vibes from all of this yummy hippie food.

Our waiter even drew a kitty cat on the back of our receipt 🙂

After that mui delicioso meal we an hour in the book store down the street. I got a Generation V for Corinne and a vegan baking book Lickin’ The Beaters for myself 🙂 I can’t wait to try out a few of the recipes when I get home. We walked home and just lounged around for the rest of the day. The sun stays out until like 8 o’clock at night, definitely not something I’m used too. Tomorrow we are going into the city because my sis has a job interview, I plan on getting lost in a book store or thrift shop while I wait 🙂 Then we are going to fisherman’s warf and Thomas is coming in a day early!!! I really miss him…

So that was my first two day’s in California and it’s been “hella” cool so far… please shoot me if I start using that word in a serious not mocking way

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2 responses to “Gardens, Green Juice, & Vegan Mac n’ Cheese

  1. Great blog… I love it. I can hear your voice as I read it… andI want more. Makes me think about going vegan… Keep the posts coming I’m hooked… xoxo

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