By Elaine Ubiña
Photo credit: Elaine Ubiña and Courtesy of Nobu Palo Alto
One of my favorite trips every summer is to the Water Polo Junior Olympics with our 14 year old. This year – his team got 11th place – not bad for an East Coast team! Go YMCA Greenwich Aquatics! Because it’s such a long trip and we rarely have much going on at the end of July, we often tack on some extra days to see parts of California. Many of you know that I am a HUGE California fan and had not been there my whole life (on purpose) till we started going for JO’s five years ago. It was love at first sight and we, as a family, haven’t stopped going.
We enjoyed our days at the tournament visiting pools all over Silicon Valley. It was interesting to see the schools and neighborhoods that our counterparts in the San Francisco area live in. We were in sunny locations from Redwood City to Menlo Park to Stanford University. On the last day of the tournament, following a celebratory lunch at In and Out, Julio and I headed over to Palo Alto to immerse ourselves in a stay at Nobu and to check out the downtown.
We followed the line of Teslas into the parking lot and spent a part of the afternoon at the new and expanding, highly polished, outdoor Stanford Shopping Center. We enjoyed a coffee at Blue Bottle Coffee and did some school shoe shopping at Allbirds. This mall is a cross between The Westchester and Greenwich Avenue, with its Neiman Marcus, Brunello Cucinelli, bluemercury and Apple Store.
After deciding to ship our purchases home, we checked ourselves into NOBU hotel, where we were greeted warmly in gracious Japanese-style with all the wonderful amenities of this true five star hotel. You are at peace the moment you step off the elevator onto the plushily carpeted and silent hallway. The rooms are serene with lighting for every time of day and curtains that can be adjusted by the touch of a button. The design is sleek, warm and comfortable. The beds are my version of a “big white biscuit.” The baths are like a spa – including the very high tech water closet. With a 14 year old – all the snacks in the mini-bar must be consumed and they were yummy, including a selection of Japanese teas.
For dinner, we hosted two dear newlywed friends at the NOBU restaurant. It was fun to catch up with them and to hear about their sporty California lifestyles competing in bike races in the mountains during their spare time. As a Peruvian and an avid sushi fan, I was very excited by the menu and presentation at NOBU. The dinner process was well-explained by our server and we all shared the parade of dishes put in front of us. The delicacies included sashimi and sushi of our choice, must have – Spicy Creamy Rock Shrimp Tempura and Black Cod with Miso, along with Anticucho beef tenderloin plus the Nobu Style Sashimi Tacos – must go for the Wagyu beef – it’s a very special treat. We were guided through a nice selection of Sake and of course, Mochi for dessert.
Breakfast the next morning did not disappoint. The berries were super fresh and the Nobu French toast was perfection for my sidekick.
Stay tuned for more adventures as we cruised to Sonoma next!