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Visting Lian in Oakland, Part One

by Tara

It's been HALF A DECADE since we flew home from our bike trip and spent two weeks chillin' with my brother in California. To amend this shameful situation, Tyler and I have been trying to organize a time to see Lian for the past year or so. Finally, the dates worked out, and we planned a visit to Oakland in conjunction with our training at BlackHawk Ranch. Hooray! I love spending time with my big bro.

Our visit began with a trip to the Great Houdini Escape Room inside San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts. Together with Lian and his friends from High School we had a blast solving puzzles and eventually made it out of the room in the nick of time.

After exiting the world of Houdini, we got lunch, walked through a street festival, and headed to Golden Gate Park for some bocce, chatting, and chillin'. Literally. It was cold and foggy by the Bay, a refreshing change from the 100+ degree weather of Valley Springs!

Lian & Joe in Golden Gate Park Tyler Playing Ukelele in Golden Gate Park Joe Teaching Tyler Ukelele in Golden Gate Park San Francisco Bay in Fog San Francisco Bay in Fog Lian

Then, we said goodbye to Lian's buddies and did a quick drive around our dear friends/neighbors Charlie and Becky's pre-Maple Hill Road stomping grounds. Driving past their former home, I was struck by how lucky we are to have C&B in our lives. Sorry San Francisco, we got the better end of that deal! In other news, their house was on a hill so steep I honestly felt a dizzying terror being up there.

Finally, we headed back to Lian's apartment in sunnier, warmer Oakland.

Crossing the Bay Bridge

The next morning, Lian took us on a walk through his neighborhood to the Temescal Farmer's Market where we loaded up on fruit (Cherries! Plums! Apricots! All in season!), ate lunch (a mango lassi, two molasses cookies, and a fish taco. Yum!), and marveled at things like the most beautiful salad mix I have ever seen, as well as $20 bougie jams and artisanal sauerkraut juices. Ah, California.

Spring Onions at Temescal Farmer's Market Beautiful Bagged Lettuce Greens at Temescal Farmer's Market

Then, while Tyler went to meet a long-time internet friend, Lian and I drove his Miata with the top down to his old neighborhood in order to attend a recital put on by his friend Sarah. Sarah greeted us at the airport with lively drumming five years ago. Now, she runs BoomShake, "a multicultural music and movement community program for all ages run by a collective of community-oriented artists." Cool stuff! Thanks for treating me to the performance, Lian!

Lian Driving Miata Lian Driving Miata Looking at Graffiti Driving in Oakland Eandi Metal Works Graffiti Feminist Street Art "Boom Shake" Performance

Lian and I spent the rest of the evening watching the Golden State Warriors game and catching up with Max and Manjula. Lian just moved into his apartment—for the next week or so we'll be doing approximately a thousand things to make it more homey. Let's go!