Barking in Berkeley

25 May 2011
Our Favorite Places posted by Nan Tofanelli

There’s nothing better than getting out of town for a weekend. Sometimes two days is all you really need to catch up on your sleep, gain new perspectives and see some not too ordinary sights. We recently spent a weekend with Robin in Berkeley.

Our first major decision of the trip was where we would eat on Friday night. We all decided that we wanted something light and fast like pizza. Now in Berkeley, finding a suitable pizza restaurant for take out is not all that easy. There are too many choices! Once we narrowed down the choices we wandered over to the Cheese Board where on any given night there is a line that sometimes wraps around the building to pick up pizzas.

One choice every day, that makes it easy, today’s choice was Margherita with fresh herbs. 

We noticed an abundance of dogs on the sidewalk and at the outdoor tables with their owners. Yes, Berkeley is a very dog friendly city. 

The next morning we walked Robin to the BART station so she could catch her ride to work and proceeded to the dog park with our new puppy HUGO and Robin and Mike’s dog BAILEY.

Now in case you’ve never been to a dog park, let me tell you that they are not just for dogs. They are also for their owners. This particular park had chairs and picnic tables and places where owners could mingle and talk. We spent a nice hour and a half learning about BLUE and how she was adopted and also about little old LADY, who was adopted at the ripe age of 14 after her elderly owner died. We met full breeds and half breeds and multi breeds with names like DAISY, HUNTINGTON and JAKE. Our BAILEY was an old hand at dog parks but this was HUGO’S first time and it took some getting used to for him. He finally caught on to the whole “run with the pack” thing and had had a great time running unhindered by leashes and orders.


On to our next stop...4th St Berkeley. One of my most favorite shopping areas in the Bay Area, small stores, two lane street, lots of interesting architecture, ditto people (street performers)



and yes, dogs. Saturday afternoon, local Humane Society sets up their most appealing animals to tug at your heart strings!


Luckily with one new dog in our household, I wasn’t tempted to add another.

After wandering for at least an hour in one of our fav stores (The Gardener) we made our purchases, had gifts wrapped and set off for the big city........ be continued







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Our Favorite Places posted by Nan Tofanelli

Saturday...sunny Saturday. And so warm for January. Perfect for a walk to Farmers’ Market with the grandkids in tow. Literally in tow, in the wagon. The only way to coral three feisty imps ages 5 and under. 

First stop, apples from the Noble Orchards in Paradise.

Kids screaming for food already... how about some beets?

So much color, even in the dead of winter. Deep red beets, fuchsia beets, orange carrots. 
Even the signs are colorful.

Our favorite olive oil lady from Spain, Lola, with a big warm smile!

So much fun, running into friends and family.

Shopping is almost secondary!
Humanely raised, freshly laid, organically grown, what could be better for our bodies and souls?

I know, how ‘bout some homemade treats from the Pie Lady?

Saturday...sunny Saturday. God certainly put us in the middle of paradise.



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Tell Tale

19 Jan 2011
Our Favorite PlacesOur Stories posted by Sara Tofanelli-Barroso

A friend of mine recently told me that she goes out of town so often because when she comes home her head is clear and she can see things in a different light.  I never put it into words myself but that's exactly what this San Francisco trip was... enlightening.   I love Chico (which is why I chose to live here) but there's something delightful about finding hidden paths and enjoying new places. 

Tell Tale Preserve Co. is just that... new, fresh, enlightening and delightful.  With a new pâtisserie and delicatessen opening Spring 2011 (on Maiden Lane off Union Square in San Francisco) their "trunk show" location is where we found them...attached to Big Daddy Antiques by way of one interior door to the shop and one exterior door to the world beyond.

As you can see, Tell Tale Preserve Co., is by no means a normal cafe to enjoy your coffee and delectables. 

Their cafe/showroom exhibits their pastries, etc like works of art (which they may well be) and houses a well, trunk-load of antiques to admire and be entertained by while benefitting from a cup of joe.

They were (almost) sold out for the day but had we been earlier we would've seen these rustic stools displaying all of their pastries.


Wheelbarrow wheels replaces canvas.

With just a few specially placed jars, flowers and tables this cafe is simple, demure and completely inviting.

And with the slight opening of a door you're in a entirely new fantastical world...


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