I’m sure you’ve watched, read about, and heard of people who take advantage of long lay-overs or their own love for adventure and try to see all they can of one city in 24 hours. I’ve always found this interesting. It’s remarkable to see how people choose to spend their precious hours in new and exciting places.
I was able to try this do-it-in-a-day experience last weekend when my family and I planned a trip to Berkley that lasted just over 24 hours. We were traveling there for a wedding which took up about eight of those hours, so I guess we really only had 16 hours to traverse the lovely streets of Berkley.
Regardless of how much time we had, I think we used it quite well indeed.
We arrived at SFO in the evening. Because most places in Berkley close after 8 p.m., there was little for us to do besides heading towards our lovely hotel that was situated on the Berkley Marina.
The next morning, however, we all arose and set out just after sunrise 🌅 for a brisk walk along the marina.
Our hotel was essentially an extension of the marina. Thus, there was a little harbor with small boats ⛵️ sitting just outside of our hotel room.
After a stroll along the marina, we crossed the street and walked along a little rocky strip of beach.
After our walk, we hopped into the car to meet up with some friends for breakfast at Reem’s California, an Arab bakery and cafe.
Reem’s is such a cute place to have breakfast – it’s not too big and there’s outdoor seating – and all of their flatbreads are made fresh to order. But if you’re only stopping by for a snack, try their lemonade. It’s delicious!
For the past couple of months, we’ve been hearing about a coffee shop called 1951 which trains and hires refugees to run it. (Then name, 1951, is significant because it was in that year that the first international refugee convention was held. At this event, leaders drew out exactly what defines a refugee as well as the rights of refugees and the obligations of countries towards them.)
Excited to see what 1951 was like, we headed there for a cup of coffee.
The coffee shop was exactly how you would expect a Berkley coffee shop to be, meaning it was perfect. The shop is located in proximity to UC Berkley, but since we were visiting while college students were on break, there was just enough seating room open for us. Apparently you can’t find a place to sit when school’s in session!
I never want to be that person taking pictures of their food, but I also really wanted to fill this post with as many pictures as possible so…ouch. This image brought with it much inner grief.
As you can see, I had a matcha latte 🍵 which I have mixed feelings about. It’s not that it wasn’t made well – it was made perfectly – but I’m not a big fan of green tea. The drink was beautiful though.
Oh, and if you decide to stop by the 1951 coffee shop, don’t leave without grabbing a chocolate-chip sea-salt cookie 🍪 or a pistachio-rose cookie. Both were incredible.
We ran back to our hotel after coffee to get ready for the wedding. I was a little apprehensive about how it would be to get all dressed up in a tiny hotel room when I had to share the mirror 👗 👛 with four other people, but it worked out just fine.
The wedding took part on the campus of Zaytuna College, the first fully-accredited Muslim liberal arts college in the West. Both of Zaytuna’s campuses (the buildings on Holy Hill and their new property which is on top of a mountain 🗻) are absolutely stunning and I highly recommend anyone visiting California to stop by. If you call in advance, you could schedule a tour and have the opportunity to walk the college’s beautiful halls and grounds.
I was too enamored with the place to take very many pictures (and the few that I have feature me or family members or friends) so I’ll swipe some old pictures to show you how stunning the campus is.
After the lovely wedding, we stopped by a family friend’s house and stayed until midnight 🌉. Needless to say, I didn’t take any more pictures until 5 a.m. the next morning as we drove towards the airport. 😭 ✈️
Have you ever spent a single day in an exciting (can any new place not be exciting?) city? I’d love to know!