Last weekend, we were fighting a small heat wave where I live, so a trip to the Bay to meet up with my cousin was an agreeable decision made by all of us. It just so happened that Berkeley was also having its annual Kite Festival, and what a stupendous coincidence it was.
We met my cousin around 3pm, and boarded a free shuttle (which was really a school bus) to take us to where the kites were. The ironic thing was that it wasn’t really free, since we couldn’t get out of paying for parking :/ . After leaving the shuttle, we were greeted by so many beautiful sights in the sky and on the ground.
Even a little after 3pm, the crowds were still strong.
As we approached the center of the scene, I got a close-up of some professional kites. Like these multi-themed octopi:
I thought the swimmer & scuba diver kites were an interesting idea! The only odd part was they had no faces(??)
There was even a group helping the tiniest of kids control a kite. This little tot had a tight hold of..
…this kite wayyyyyyyyy up high!
Running around in a gerbil ball in a kiddie pool looked like a lot of fun too—except even if I could, I wasn’t appropriately dressed, wearing my nice work dress and all…
We soon made our way down the hill to where the food stalls were all lined up. They had everything from knishes to pupusas. My cousin got a potato knish, while my Dad got a bag of kettle corn that we split among all of us.
After mulling about where to stop and sit, we found an area behind the food stalls where people were sitting down and families were busy flying their own kites. We sat down ourselves, and chatted while also gazing up at the marvels in the sky now and then.
It was also pretty breezy, and about a half an hour later, the wind started to pick up even more. Noticing that my sister and I had goosebumps, my cousin suggested that we head back. At that point, I could not believe I was complaining about how hot it was earlier in the day. The Bay Area will forever be a weather anomaly!
Since it was 5:30pm by the time we packed up and reached the car, dinner plans were discussed. We first headed out to a cute Mexican restaurant with outdoor seating, but the line was 40+ people long and it was inching towards 6pm. I wasn’t too bothered though, because once the word “Ethiopian” was brought up, I thought yesyesyes, but really said, “That sounds good.”
We carpooled with my cousin for a 10 minute drive to Oakland, and saw our destination across the street.
All of the outdoor seating was taken on this Sunday evening, which prevented me from getting good pictures of the outdoor area. (I didn’t want to look like a stalker to those sitting outside!)
Once we were situated inside, we were able to take a look at the menu.
The breakfast items featured on the half-page sounded delicious, but obviously it was way past morning-time. Even if they were available for purchase at the time when we arrived, I still think we all would have defaulted into ordering the usual: two Veggie Combos to split family-style. It does come with all the fix-ins and injera you could ask for. We also asked for a side order of the mushroom tibs, you know, because we were feeling ultra-daring .
I later learned that the restaurant used to be an Italian Restaurant, but the owners decided to keep the name. I think they did a pretty good job with the decorations, artwork, and logo—despite not being so creative with a name change
After some time spent people-watching and conversing, our food arrived.
They combined two Veggie Combo orders plus Mushroom Tibs all on one plate apparently. It was most certainly a feast for the eyes first.
Once we all got our own share of napkins and gluten-free, 100% teff flour injera rolls, it was time to dig in!
Everything tasted so fresh and summer-y, and the plate itself looked like a rainbow. My sister and I were in an unspoken race to see who could get their injera with the most buticha (the white hummus-like dip that looks like cream cheese but tastes somuchbetter), but I also made my way to the other sides on the plate. As a self-proclaimed Ethiopian food fan, I felt that it was my duty to give myself a good-size serving of everything
After dinner, we spent two more hours at my cousin’s apartment for coffee and tea. We then made our way home when the sun went down since the next day was a working day…but on the brightside, at least our weekend ended, and our week started, on the most colorful note possible
Have you ever been to a kite festival?