Road Trippin’: Day 16 – Beautiful Lake Merritt, CA

Republic hit the road for 18 days to find free WiFi. Follow along with us on our crazy crazy adventure by subscribing to our blog. See you on the road!


Beautiful, sunny Oakland. It was my first visit to the city just across the bay from San Fran. We soaked in the picturesque weather by walking around Lake Merritt, enjoying the pop-up market in the area, and having a great Italian dinner.


But first, Target. If you’re ever feeling homesick on a trip, just stop in a Target. They’re all the same! My friend needed a few essentials for his new apartment. I just love the sign you’re immediately greeted with when you walk in.

After our quick errand, we were off to breakfast at Beauty’s Bagels. Don’t let the name fool you, this place has tons more than just bagels, like shakshuka (wow, I actually spelled that right on the first go), a little iron skillet dish of poached eggs, tomatoes, chilies, and more.  More than the food, I cared about the free WiFi notification my phone popped up when we all walked in. Nice work Beauty’s, you’re certainly pretty to me.

Two grapefruit marmalade bagels and four orange deviled eggs later, we headed to Lake Merritt. It was the perfect day too. My favorite part are the lights strung up around the entire perimeter of the lake for when the sun goes down. They really set a nice mood. Before sun-down, we stopped and had a drink at Heinold’s First and Last Chance Bar. This place is awesome! It’s a bar that literally survived an earthquake, so the actual bar itself is caved in and turned over on it’s side. But, they make it work. There is no free WiFi there because the whole bar actually frowns on using phones at all. There is a sign prominently displayed when you walk in that says:  “No talking, texting, or tweeting on your phone – talk to each other!” I loved it. It was a nice throwback and a great little spot. And of course, signage aside, not too terribly painful phone-wise, since there was free WiFi outside in the city plaza area.

And people say the Moto X camera is no good…


We walked up and down the street, enjoying the local bazaar. There were all sorts of crafts like handmade soaps, clothes, and art. You name it. I made a few purchases like some shaving lather from the Faerie Goatmother. We enjoyed our time so much, we decided to stay in the area for dinner, stopping at Lungomare – an Italian restaurant with pretty good pasta and a delightfully friendly wait staff. Our waiter was tossing out jokes as much as he was refilling our drinks. Lungomare had free WiFi as well, but I barely touched my phone during dinner in favor of taking in the vibrant view of the sunset from their outdoor patio.

"Just around the river bend."
“Just around the river bend.”

That night, we took the BART into San Francisco to meet up with some old friends. One of them works at possibly the coolest movie theater I’ve ever walked inside – the New Parkway. It serves actual food and they don’t have chairs. They have a room full of big comfy, well-loved couches with dozens and dozens of eclectic coffee tables to sit your meal or drink on while you watch your flick. Great idea, and the place was absolutely packed. Glad to see such a different take on going to the movies doing so well.

Photo thanks to:
Photo thanks to:

We headed back to Oakland for the evening and turned in. Again, free WiFi is in my friend’s apartment, so things were easy-breezy WiFi-wise. Oakland and SF are both pretty connected cities as well. Tune in tomorrow when we spend the day in San Francisco and take a nice hike away from civilization. I was most eager to see how my phone would do walking around in the remote hill area.

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