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.
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.
An added bonus was that on Thursdays and Saturdays, they have additional farm stands outside selling fresh produce. Ben was in heaven.
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 a super authentic Italian style coffee shop/deli. When we say authentic, we mean legit Italy (and now we can actually attest to this).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!