Life in the Clouds – We’re Going, Back to Cali

Okay, can you blame us for the title of this? We couldn’t help ourselves. Biggie, you’ll always come to mind when we think California love. Oh, and we apologize to our fellow patrons at DIA who had to watch us dancing around to the song before our flight (but we know you secretly wanted those dance moves).

So if you didn’t know, my dad happens to be a total badass, and professionally races cars. Oh, did I mention that he’s 70?? Yeah, like I said, bad ass. The championships were this past weekend at Thunderhill Raceway in Willows, California so we took a few days off of work to go and cheer him on.

I have a friend who teaches in San Francisco, so we made a pit stop for a day there before heading down to the races. If there’s an opportunity to stuff our faces in San Fran, we’re all over that.

Flying to San Francisco

We left Wednesday night, and arrived around 8. When we told the guy at Budget that we were here to watch my dad race, he hooked us up with a black Camaro. Thanks Budget!

We had an absolute blast driving that thing around. Ben felt very Vin Diesel al la Fast and Furious. I think he yelled, “I never knocked on nobody!” about 70000 times.

We were craving Mexican and it was too late to hit up The Mission (plus Caitlin lives in Pacifica), so we went to Celia’s instead. Celia’s is a humble chain restaurant but we LOVED it. Ben got Rancheros Enchiladas, and I got nachos. Any nacho lover knows that the key to a solid nacho is toppings on EVERY bite, and they nailed it.

When Ben took this picture, he said, “when it looks that bad, you know it’s good”. So true.

On Thursday we got up ready to conquer the day. And the BART system.

If you didn’t know, BART is one of the most popular ways to get around San Francisco. It’s a subway system that runs through the city and the surrounding areas. We drove to the station in Pacifica, and asked the poor attendant about 35 questions about purchasing a ticket and where to go before we finally made it on the train.

Not going to lie, we felt VERY legit.

We took the BART down to the Ferry Building, but not before pretending we were staying at the Hilton so they’d let us use their bathroom.

Apparently it’s VERY hard to find a public restroom in San Francisco.

The Ferry Building Market was our first stop because my brother (who was a chef at Quince and Cotogna for years) said it was one of the best markets. He wasn’t lying. There were SO many amazing, unique, cool, and delicious places inside the building. You could basically find any kind of cuisine, and they’re all locally owned.

San Francisco Ferry Market Building

An added bonus was that on Thursdays and Saturdays, they have additional farm stands outside selling fresh produce. Ben was in heaven.

Acme Bread Sandwich from San Francisco Ferry Market Builiding

Our first bite was a sandwich from Acme Bread. It had russet potatoes, pesto, and creamy cheese on their famous bread. Do I even have to tell you how good it was? Let’s just say their sign says they’re available from 11-2, or ‘until they sell out’.

After browsing the market and trying not to buy everything we saw, we headed down to find Nocina. This is aΒ super authentic Italian style coffee shop/deli. When we say authentic, we mean legit Italy (and now we can actually attest to this).

Norcina San Francisco

They offer incredible Italian sandwiches, classic sides, incredible gelato, and delicious coffee. If you’re in the pier area and enjoy truly authentic Italian, this will be your spot.

Next on our list was Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Warf. Both incredibly touristy spots, but Ben has never been, and I wanted him to get the true experience. Plus we were on foot, so there’s only so far you can go in a day.

At Pier 39 we enjoyed people and sea lion watching. If you’re in San Francisco, you HAVE to do this at least once. They’re so funny.

We munched on ridiculously sugary donuts AND were treated to an airshow. It happened to be Fleet Week, where the Navy comes to the pier and do a bunch of shows. The Blue Angels were flying, and they were incredible.

Pacifica California

7 miles of walking later, we called it a day and headed back to Caitlin’s where I laid on the couch and Ben… went running *eye roll*. Caitlin lives right next to the beach in Pacifica, so Ben was in runner’s heaven.

After Caitlin got off work, we went to an Italian restaurant called Fiorella in the Richmond neighborhood. We’d never seen Cacio e Pepe on a menu before, so of course we had to try it since it was one of our favorite dishes in Italy. It was good. But not Italy good.

The Ice Cream Bar in San Francisco

Afterwards, we stopped at The Ice Cream Bar for some incredibly expensive, but delicious ice cream. I got ice cream cake covered in hot fudge. 100% worth it. SO GOOD.

Ben in Pacifica California

Friday, we said our goodbyes to Caitlin and her adorable pets, and headed down to Willows for the first round of races.

Throughout the weekend we went back and forth between Willows and Yuba City, since my dad said he was not down to stay at a motel 6 haha. I guess when you’re 70, you get to be picky with the bed you sleep in!

We had an amazing weekend of watching races, hanging out at the track, and having dinners together afterwards. After San Fran, Yuba City didn’t have quite the cuisine we were used to, but the company more than made up for it.

I was so proud of my dad and happy that we could be there to support him.

Thunderhill Racing in Willows California

And, in true badassery fashion, my dad took 1st in the Championships. He races with SCR Performance, and Colorado repped by taking home quite a few trophies.

We took a late flight out on Sunday night and arrived home at 2AM, with our alarms set to go off at 6AM for work. Needless to say, we were pretty tired and spent the rest of the week recovering.

But, it was 100% worth it to watch my dad race. He honestly is such an inspiration to me and everyone that meets him and I can only hope that kicking ass like he does runs in the family.

Thanks for the hospitality Cali (and the delicious food), we’ll be back soon!


  • April Nunez

    October 23, 2017 at 2:13 am

    Such a great post, look so fun! Thanks for sharing.

    April of:

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      October 23, 2017 at 11:36 pm

      Thanks April! It was a blast!

  • jordan @ dancing for donuts

    October 23, 2017 at 2:35 am

    umm your dad is the COOLEST. that must’ve been so fun to hear about/see his job growing up!! and SF definitely has some of the best food in the country, hands down. somehow i’ve never been to any of the places you’ve mentioned to eat (except for the Ferry Building – so expensive but SO delish!), but i’ll have to jot them down for my next trip!! and those seals omg, i think we watched them for 45 minutes when i was there last year…too funny!!

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      October 23, 2017 at 11:37 pm

      Isn’t he though?! He actually just started racing in the last few years. He’s so good! And YES. The food is AMAZING. There are so many places to eat there. We could stay for weeks! I could’ve watched them all day!

  • Eena

    October 23, 2017 at 4:49 am

    Chris and I were just in SF a few months ago! You and the hubby should totally head down Southern California one of these days ;D

    Anyways, glad you guys had fun! The BART system is something I’ll never be fond of, blah.

    ☼ cabin twenty-four

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      October 23, 2017 at 11:39 pm

      We LOVE SoCal! But it’s been years since we’ve been down there. I guess a little refresher trip IS in store! You don’t have to twist our arm haha. Oh my gosh, the BART was such a riot! Colorado doesn’t have half the public transportation that Cali does, so it’s always an experience!

  • Nora Gouma

    October 23, 2017 at 11:42 am

    This is truly such an amazing post, stunning pictures as well, I love your post, love your blog as well. Thank you for sharing, cannot wait for the next great post!!!


    1. Mile High Dreamers

      October 23, 2017 at 11:39 pm

      Thanks Nora!

  • Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

    October 23, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    omg your dad is such a badass! (Athletes gotta get good sleep when they’re competing! ;P) // You and Ben are so cute & this whole trip looked so fun! // lol @ Hilton. You gotta do what you gotta do // ahh Acme Bread sounds so good! Must be nice working those hours haha -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      October 23, 2017 at 11:40 pm

      Ah haha this is true! Thank you! Acme Bread was SO yummy. We’re still dreaming about that sandwich! I wouldn’t mind those working hours either!

  • Emily

    October 23, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    Yesss! Nothing like California and the bay area. I am going back for the bagillonth time next month, and cannot wait. SF is truly one of my favorites cities. Also, your dad IS a total badass!! That’s nuts! Haha.


    1. Mile High Dreamers

      October 23, 2017 at 11:42 pm

      YOU must know all of the BEST places to go for food! Give us some more recommendations! We want to go back and have some more time there so Ben can see more of the city. What’s your favorite place to eat??
      And isn’t he?! Hopefully it’s genetic!

  • Brandy

    October 23, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    It looks like you had such a great time. Mexican food is one of my favorites, but I need to eat in moderation due to IBS. Italian food is at the top of my list though, as I can eat pasta every day. Looking forward to hearing about more of your adventures. πŸ™‚

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      October 23, 2017 at 11:42 pm

      Oh my gosh, we could eat Mexican all day every day. But I’m the same, my stomach does NOT always agree with it! Italian… YES please. Every. Single. Day.
      Thanks Brandy!

  • Jeanne

    October 24, 2017 at 3:59 am

    How cool is your dad?! So awesome!

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      October 24, 2017 at 11:27 pm

      Isn’t he though?! It’s pretty amazing! And inspiring!

  • Gabrielle

    October 24, 2017 at 11:51 am

    This both looks and sounds like the absolute BEST trip! Stopping overnight in San Francisco is the best decision ever and your dad is killing it – racing cars at 70+?! Daaaamn!

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      October 24, 2017 at 11:28 pm

      SUCH a good decision! One day wasn’t nearly enough though. There are so many cool places we didn’t get to see yet! And YES, he’s the greatest!

  • Sheena Sy Gonzales

    October 24, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    That looks like such a fun trip!! The Enchiladas though! <3

    Sheena |

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      October 24, 2017 at 11:29 pm

      It was! And they were so delicious!

  • Zung Vu Tran

    October 24, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    Hello Susie:

    Enjoyed reading your post, including the previous one about fear of failure. One of the reasons that I enjoy racing, and have such a passion for it, is because failure is ever present. The margin between success and failure is razor-thin. Racers are always striving to do a perfect turn, perfect lap, and a perfect race, and it almost never happens.

    In racing, as in life, you are always presented with another opportunity to succeed. You only fail if you do not take that opportunity. There is a saying in racing, “Don’t let the successes go to your head, and don’t let the failures go to your heart!”

    And, I have read (scientifically demonstrated) that “badassery” is genetic!

    Your badass Dad!

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      October 24, 2017 at 11:30 pm

      I love that! “The margin between success and failure is razor thin”. I think we’ll have to steal that one. It’s so very true, and it all depends on your outlook. That’s something you’ve taught me!
      And thank goodness it is :). Looks like I’m in for some good years!

  • Deborah

    October 24, 2017 at 11:25 pm

    Your posts are always fun and full of good vibes!! Your dad is such an inspiration and a total bad ass!! Looks like you guys had a blast!!

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      October 24, 2017 at 11:31 pm

      Thanks Deborah! He really is. We had so much fun out there!

  • Beatrice

    October 25, 2017 at 4:38 am

    Okay first of all congrats to your dad!! Second, I looove San Francisco. I went there for the first time last year during Spring Break and I just fell in love. The weather, the hills, the ocean, the incredibly variety of plants, the colorful buildings, everything!! I was so sad to find out it was the most expensive city to live in, haha. I went back for a day another time that we were in California, but with those two trips combined, I don’t think I visited any of the places you visited! San Francisco is such a big place with so much to do πŸ˜› I did want to go to the market though and that sandwich is just confirming that! I must visit the next time I’m in SF. Hey, maybe I’ll even live there – a girl can dream! πŸ™‚ Happy Tuesday x

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      October 26, 2017 at 2:12 am

      Thank you! And we LOVED it too. I’ve been before a couple of times, but it was Ben’s first time and he was SO excited and had so much fun. I still want to show him all of the other places! It’s honestly crazy how much they’ve fit into such a small space haha. You HAVE to visit the market though. And bring lots of money and an empty stomach! So worth it :).

  • Len Parent

    October 25, 2017 at 4:44 am

    Lovely photos! You both look great together! Thanks for sharing!
    Have a wonderful day!
    Much love, Len

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      October 26, 2017 at 2:12 am

      Thanks Len! You too!

  • Merel

    October 25, 2017 at 7:45 am

    Love reading your blogpost! Such a great recap!

    X Merel

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      October 26, 2017 at 2:13 am

      Thanks Merel! We love catching up on yours too!

  • Heather Rowland

    October 25, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    I love the look of your trip – the food in particular looks delicious!

    Heather xx

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      October 26, 2017 at 2:14 am

      The food was SO good – San Francisco is a foodie city for sure!

  • Zhanna

    October 27, 2017 at 3:53 am

    It looks like you had so much fun trying all kind of the food there πŸ™‚

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      October 28, 2017 at 12:32 am

      SO much fun! There’s honestly so much good stuff to eat there!

  • the adventurer

    October 28, 2017 at 4:15 am

    I remember seeing some of these photos on instagram! Especially the one with the sandwich =o) Looks like you guys had a blast up north, I’ll be there visiting family over Thanksgiving, hopefully we have sunny weather like you had =o)

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      October 28, 2017 at 5:01 pm

      Haha that sandwich was definitely insta worthy! We had so much fun, we hope to go back soon! I hope it’ll be beautiful for your visit!

  • Laura Mitbrodt

    October 29, 2017 at 1:45 am

    It looks like you guys have so much fun together

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      October 29, 2017 at 1:49 am

      Thanks Laura! We do! We’re pretty lucky in that way πŸ™‚

  • Nancy

    October 29, 2017 at 5:44 am

    So cool that you guys got to visit California! Even more that your dad is a professional racecar driver. Oh man, driving a Camaro must’ve been super fun! Oh man, I was so confused about using the BART when I went to San Fran a few months ago. I totally agree with you about the public restroom – especially when you’re trying to find CLEAN ones. You guys had a lot of great food! Congrats to your dad for taking 1st place home :).

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      October 29, 2017 at 3:09 pm

      Isn’t it?! And driving the Camaro was actually a little scary since it didn’t belong to us haha. So much pressure! Oh my gosh, the BART was SO confusing, especially trying to get back home. But we made it! And the food was worth the walking haha.
      Thanks Nancy!

  • Hiro

    November 9, 2017 at 12:34 am

    Your dad sounds like such a bad ass!!! So cool! I was in SF like 3 times last year, and definitely loved the ice cream at the Ferry Building Market. If I go back again, I’d wanna check out the Italian… I do love me some Italian food :9
    I went to Alcatraz on my first trip there of the year, and I loved it! I’d definitely recommend the tour next time you’re there!

    1. Mile High Dreamers

      November 9, 2017 at 1:05 am

      Ben wants to go to Alcatraz so bad! We saw it from the Pier, and he was so into it. We definitely want to go back because we didn’t get to see much in our short period of time. The Ferry Building will be a repeat visit though, we loved it!

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