Friday, May 10, 2013

Norway Day Festival & Balboa Cafe

This past weekend we went with my parents to the annual Norway Day festival at Fort Mason in San Francisco. My maternal grandfather is Norwegian so it has always been something we have strongly identified with. Thankfully we did not run into Ragnar Lothbrok (for those who have been watching the History Channel show, Vikings). Just a bunch of people in their Norway shirts, some sporting silly helmets with horns. Got to sample some delicious mead from Heidrun Meadery. They use the champagne method so it is not your typical mead and is much more enjoyable. There was some amazing folk dancing we got to see done by a father / son duo. We also enjoyed hanging at an upstairs bar where we could overlook the action at the festival or look out the windows at the Golden Gate and Alcatraz. The weather was so beautiful!

Outside at Fort Mason

the art of rosemaling

Meet Arne & Carlos, just in case you have 
been searching for items to knit at Easter.

Looks like I am holding Ben's head. 
Perhaps this was geared towards children???

Beer from the Norwegian brewery Nøgne ø

Bunad fashion show. Work it ladies!

My dad and I.

After leaving the festival we headed to my dad’s old stomping grounds where he used to work in the city. We had lunch at Perry’s on Union Street then drinks at the Balboa Café on Fillmore (est. 1913). My dad and the bartender at Balboa even remembered each other from way back in the day. This bar is beautiful! I wish it was in another location since Ben and I never spend time in those parts. Still so glad I got to experience it and thankfully it was not crowded like every other place in that neighborhood seemed to be. What can you expect on a sunny Saturday though.

Promising signs of a theater restoration we passed by.

Balboa Cafe (est. 1913)


Hope everyone has a lovely weekend. Cheers!


  1. What great fun! I love cultural festivals. There's always something to learn and new foods to try.

    The Balboa Cafe looks amazing. I love old cafe/diners. The food is pretty good but the atmosphere is even better.

    1. It was great introducing the hubby to some of the Norwegian traditions since it was his first time at Norway Days. Usually we have only gone to Scottish festivals (his grandmother came from Scotland). So much fun!

  2. I see that dress again (swoon). What a fantastic bar you went too! I was at an antique store recently that sold solid wood bars like the one at the Balboa Café and I was SHOCKED by the detail and the glass.... oh and the price.


    1. So happy to have already had the chance to wear this dress a couple of times! There was so much detail at Balboa Cafe I'll have to make it back there again to explore some more!