Matt and my’s first official outing was on Saturday. We ventured to Lake Merritt, the ‘gem of Oakland. 3.4 miles around, the lake sits in the middle of the city, meaning there are a ton of cute shops and restaurants surrounding it.
We arrived around 10 am and stopped for some coffee at Merritt Station before heading to the farmers market. Lake Merritt has a massive farmers market every Saturday and we wondered around it for almost two hours. We ended up walking out with some fancy chocolates, apple cider, chicken broth and a cool spinach flatbread thing. Then it was on to the boats!
We decided to rent a pedal boat, seeing as neither of us possess any kind of sailing skill. After an hour on the lake, we were sunburned, tired and hungry. We ended up at a restaurant whose name I can’t even begin to remember. But the food was decent and gave us the much needed energy we needed to go shopping. Tons of interesting stores surround the lake: metaphysical shops, a bookstore (where I only bought TWO books, which is impressive for me), a spice shop and the nicest resale shop I have ever seen were among the highlights of our strolling and window shopping.
There are so many quirks I’ve noticed throughout California. Signs that read, “Proudly Progressive” and “Immigrants Welcome” are pasted in shop windows and on streetlights. Local businesses use their storefronts as a space for political engagement, something I’ve only seen a handful of times in Oklahoma. Solar panels cover roofs and professional looking paintings are splattered under overpasses and along random columns of cement. Everywhere you look, you see something worth calling home about.
We’ve officially finished week one. So, closing thoughts from week one: The cool breeze that rolls in here at night after the sun comes down makes the whole trip worth it.