Jessica has owned Brushstrokes Studio, paint-your-own-pottery place, in Berkeley for 14 years. She is wife to Otto Williams, a furniture designer, and mom to two young boys Otto (5) and Henry (3). She also produced Peekaboo Map, a kid-friendly map to Berkeley and Oakland, with fellow mom, Seran Chen. I sat down with her recently and asked her to share her favorite destinations in and around the East Bay.
Favorite restaurant to eat as a family?
We love to take our kids to Dim Sum on the weekends at the Asian Pearl Restaurant in the Pacific East Mall in Richmond. The food comes quickly, you get to see what you're ordering, and, for entertainment, there's an aquarium (in the form of a crab tank). Also, you can run the kids around the mall afterward, looking at stuffed versions of Totoro and Hello Kitty.
Best way to spend an afternoon in the East Bay?
Our favorite way to spend the afternoon is at the Berkeley Marina, flying kites, riding bikes, and pretending to be lions in the tall grass.
Favorite park or playground and what you like about it?
We took our kids to playgrounds all over the East Bay doing research for Peekaboo Maps, and it turns out my favorite park is right by our house: La Loma Park. The view reminds me why we love to live here. The toddler playground is enclosed, has a shady picnic table and a couple of sunny benches to relax with the other mommies. The lower playground has a huge slide and fun challenges for bigger kids, as well as dump trucks in the sand for quieter play.
Favorite family day trip?
Our favorite family day trip is tidepooling at the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in Moss Beach. We check the website for low tide then stop for breakfast or lunch at 3-Zero Cafe at the Half Moon Bay Airport. The kids can watch the planes taking off and landing while their eating their Mickey Mouse-shaped pancakes. The decor is all model airplanes and memorabilia with a basket of toy planes for the little ones to play with.
[all adorable photos provided by Jessica; all rights reserved]