The Bay: a breath of fresh air

By Sammy Park
Staff Writer

Photos by Sammy Park

My family and I packed our bags and rushed to the Bay Area the day after school got out to help my brother move to a new apartment. We flew to visit him in October during UC Berkeley’s family weekend,  but this time, we chose to drive up to Northern California.

During our drive up to the Bay Area we were surrounded by minimal traffic, cows, and dirt. After the dreadful five hour drive listening to my parents’ music of choice (80s pop ballads), Emeryville’s Hyatt House was an oasis.

I was immediately dragged from my air conditioned hotel room to the huge IKEA in Emeryville. Almost getting stranded in the kitchen department while my whole family was looking in the bedroom section was slightly scary. But shopping for my brother and his roomates’ apartment was entertaining. I prioritized aesthetics over practicality (who needs a mattress when you can have a bed canopy?). Eventually, most of my suggestions for decor, lamps, and couches were shot down, but my adventure to IKEA was enjoyable.bridge

The Bay Area never ceases to amaze me with its beauty and capacity to entertain. On my second day in Emeryville, my family decided to go on an impromptu beach outing. While NorCal is not known for its beaches, a 30-minute drive brought us to the beautiful Montara Beach. Montara Beach is located near several small restaurants and offers a break from the noisy, urban environment of the nearby San Francisco.

Across the Bay Bridge, San Francisco is the epicenter of life in the Bay Area. It hosts restaurants serving food from different cultures, ranging from pizza to trendy Asian fusion. Its Chinatown is the largest and oldest in North America and holds hundreds of quality Chinese restaurants.

Boba and milk tea spots are abundant, but there is no shop like Plentea. It offers excellent milk teas and impressive variety. Its trendy environment and cute presentation of the tea make Plentea stand out from the abundance of other tea shops. Other than its Chinese food, San Francisco is home to elegant dessert and charming brunch stops.

Although the purpose of the five day trip was to help my brother move in, the Bay Area was a welcomed departure from the monotony of ‘regular’ life. Its vibrancy and weather provide a figurative and literal breath of fresh air.