A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

The sister visits..

Posted by Pepper on June 23, 2017

I hardly write here but this is something that I have to put down on the blog. The sister is visiting and I really can’t be more excited.

You see, we’ve been planning this trip forever. In fact, we really wanted her to visit even when we were living in the Bay Area several years ago. But back then, she always had some reason not to. She even cancelled her trip because of a silly college assignment at one time. Talk about being nerdy!

This time she seemed very enthusiastic about visiting us. She had almost two months off from school. The summer break is one of the few perks of working as a teacher, I suppose. So plans were made and tickets were booked. I had a mental countdown going on.

Of course, I always have to find some reason to worry. This time, I was worried about her traveling alone, since it is something she has never done before. I sent her detailed instructions about the process she had to follow to get through all the formalities at the various airports she would pass through. A part of me knew she would be fine, yet I was anxiously pacing around at the airport waiting for her to step out. I breathed such a sigh of relief when I saw her finally emerge.

She spent the first few days combating a bad jet lag. We started venturing out only after her sleep cycle was regularised to a small extent. What do I say about her experiences so far? Let me just say that as of now, the sister hasn’t been that enamoured by the US.

We usually spend weekdays at home, watching some show or the other. I still don’t drive (despite having driven in this country for years, and despite having a valid California license. Sigh.. somebody shoot me!), so we are usually dependent on Mint to take us around. We go for long walks by the lake in the evenings. The lake side is something she really appreciates. It’s so beautiful. Who wouldn’t?

Weekends are a burst of activity. We’re usually out all day and you’d be a little horrified if I showed you my tan. But who cares? So far, we’ve done the typical touristy stuff. We took her to the Golden Gate bridge, and despite the heat, she felt too ‘cold’ because of the constantly lashing wind. Honestly, I don’t blame her.

We also did the customary Pier 39, Lombard Street and other touristy spots and while she seemed to be having fun, there was nothing in particular that she was really wowed by. We’re definitely taking her to Lake Tahoe and Yosemite but other than all of that, do any of you Bay Area folks have any recommendations for us? Any favourite hang out spots, food joints, up coming events that you can point us to? Any information will be much appreciated.

Other than all of this, visiting this country has given her a reality check of sorts. The sister has been so utterly spoilt, always having lived under the care of my parents. She is disgusted by how quickly the dishes pile up in the sink and that they don’t actually self clean, that you got to work to put every single meal in front of you and that food doesn’t self cook, that vacuuming and laundry can really tire you out.

She is still getting used to the fact that you got to step out to buy something as basic as milk or carry the trash out yourself. There is no ‘milkman’ delivering a bag at your door step or somebody knocking on your door to collect the trash. She now agrees that just fending for yourself is a full time job. I’m glad this visit is proving to be such an eye opening experience for her.


34 Responses to “The sister visits..”

  1. That’s exciting! Btw we are also going to Lake Tahoe and will be there over the long weekend.

    • Pepper said

      Ah, we’re actually going to be in LA / Orange County over the long weekend. We always miss each other, don’t we?
      Have fun in Tahoe!

  2. The Bride said

    So while SFO was the second city in the US that I had any interest in visiting, I have to say that it didn’t wow me over. That said, we kind of saw it through my brother-in-law’s eyes. If I could have, I would have wanted to take a wall art tour (in the Mission district?) or hung out in some cafes in the area where there’s that enormous Pride flag.

    Howeva, Muir Woods was lovely, but if you’re going to Yosemite then that is even better (I could never go because of the weather). We also did a short trip to Sonoma which was awesome (and since I was pregnant, we did an olive oil tasting rather than wine which was very good). My sister just did the Alcatraz tour with visiting cousins and highly recommends it.

    Oh, and there’s an outlet mall near Livermore which is very good. And of course Target. Those were my preferred tourist attractions 😉

    • Pepper said

      Oh we love walking around the Castro district in SF too. There’s a rainbow flag in every street there.

      Muir woods is great too. Already covered that, though with my current fitness levels, I was hardly able to do any hikes. We also enjoy the Alcatraz tour, though I’ve done it several years ago. In fact, my sister is currently touring the prison as I type this, while I sit around in Starbucks in a neighbouring street.

      What about Target did you like btw? You mean just as a shopping destination?

  3. Swaram said

    Have fun you two. 🙂

  4. It’s always good to bond with siblings and sharing so much that you’ve missed. How you’ve been?!

  5. So glad you sisters are enjoying here ! Aah, if you are into rock bands – this place is worth a visit. They play bands every single night. You can read more about it here : http://www.bottomofthehill.com/info.html -> if you live closer to union square, then it’s just 10 mins by car, take taxi, parking might be challenging.

    • Pepper said

      Oh this sounds great. Thank you so much! No we don’t live around Union square but can always take the BART and get there. Will definitely be checking this out.

  6. Jo said

    Mystery spot? Muir woods? Rocket boating was a fun ride we loved at Pier 39.

    • Pepper said

      Mystery spot is something even we haven’t done, in all the years we’ve lived here. For some reason, it is almost always booked out whenever we check. Will take a look again. Thanks for reminding me!

      • Jo said

        Hope you have considered pfeiffer beach, CA1 drive, big sur, montery bay aquarium as well. Or a riverside camping? RV camping? Or some adventure fun like skydiving, skyjump in Vegas, ziplining, parasailing?

  7. Bhavani said

    If you have not seen Beach Blanket Babylon.. it is a nice show.. a nice evening in the city with dinner and the show…

    Have fun..


  8. Dee said

    Carmel , Big Sur – though I am not sure if it opened after the landslide work. Carmel has this Mediterranean food spot called Dmitri , its ones of the top food places in US as per some list.
    Point reyes is a great drive too , scenic countryside , it fits the theory of its the journey not the destination.San rafael( on way to point reyes if you are driving from peninsula) has a nice place called “Sol food”.
    Have you been to the “hanuman temple” on mount madonna yet ? It is a great peaceful place to be( irrespective of religious beliefs) , esp during early mrng hours .

    • Pepper said

      We were wondering if Big Sur reopened too. Will check it out this weekend on our way to LA.
      I doubt I will be able to climb up to Point Reyes in my current unfit state but like you said, the drive itself is lovely. Thanks for tellng me about the food joints. Love such reccos. The temple sounds great too.

  9. Sk said

    SF Botanical gardens, Lands end, SF Moma, Legion of Honor, free summer concerts at Stern Grove, the 50th anniversary summer of love celebrations happening all around SF especially in Golden Gate park, the wave organ, the Exploratorium… You’ve barely scratched just the very touristy tip of what San Francisco has to offer.:)

  10. yaadayaada said

    SD has some hidden gems like http://www.tiledsteps.org/ . Not many tourists but beautiful steps and beautiful views from top. Twin peaks offers breathtaking views of the city.
    In and around Half moon bay (Pescadero beach is my favorite).

    • Pepper said

      We love Twin peaks but usually it is too windy for me to stand there for long and admire the views.
      And had no idea about Tiledsteps. Thank you so much! 🙂

  11. Poonkodi said

    Sisters are the best ! Hope you enjoy your time together . Often being together with bffs or sisters makes even regular spots n sights super exciting !!

  12. Surbhi said

    Hey Pepper! Great to hear that your sister is visiting.
    Stanford will be a great place to visit. One can spent anywhere from 2 hours to a full day exploring the campus. Campus also has some guided tours – http://visit.stanford.edu/tours/

    Computer history museum is another interesting place – fascinates both techies and non-techies.

  13. MR said

    Just came back from Yosemite and sequoia .. beyond beautiful.. we were there for 7 days and the hiking and climbing is fantastic and the night sky and seeing the milky way … mind boggling..
    Stay at the majestic in yosemite ..

  14. scorpria said

    So, is the sister enjoying US a bit more now? Slightly bit enamoured at least?

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