I’m not a good tourist – I’m a much better fly by the seat of my pants, explorer and wanderer when I go to a city. I do enjoy things like being in awe of the The Golden Gate Bridge, seeing wild seals hang out in a public venue and shopping store after store in Chinatown for the perfect gift that looks like it didn’t come from Chinatown (by the way, this is near impossible). Figuring out how to do this without an experienced plan, I learned this weekend, is super hard. I have been to San Francisco half a dozen times before coming this weekend with friends and after today’s search for dim sum, I felt like a. I had never been to San Francisco b. had no prowess of the ways of, Yelping and c. was the most God awful hostess EVER.
How it is possible to have better dim sum in Orange County, California, I know not – but I did not find better in San Francisco. It could have been the entire experience searching for the dim sum. I wanted our friends to have the whole fabulous experience – the carts being pushed, pointing and saying, “yes,” and so on… I searched Yelp.com (my go-to site for finding the perfect everything) for a gem which yielded me inaccurate results – dim sum, yes – carts, no. I should have just eaten there, but was set on the experience. How hard could this be, we were in Chinatown after all. We walked five blocks up hill until I found a doorman who sent us walking only 4ish blocks which turned into at least a mile for “best dim sum in town” which was also the most expensive dim sum on the planet – like mind blowing. Basically, I hung my head low in shame and was embarrassed.
We are back in, Orange County now and I KNOW where the best places in town are and I plan on taking them to every one of them to make up for my lack of out-of-town hostess skills. Send some positive mojo our way. My Maryland friends totally deserve some good times about now.
I do not like the cold. At all. I can be found in May walking my dog in the morning when it is 60F in my North Face ski jacket. Note – I don’t ski, I just abhor the cold SO much, the best coat for me is the ideal one for a skier – warm, warm, warm. Last night I was reading the weather so I could make sure I knew whether to wear my handy-dandy Rainbows or my tennies today. A lump came to my throat when I read, “Near record lows… 51F…” Oh sweet baby, Jesus. 51 degrees – for you celsius folks = 10 degrees in JULY!!!!!!
Here is what I didn’t do today:
- Wear Rainbows (flip flops)
- Walk across the Golden Gate bridge at 9:30 a.m. when it was 51F, foggy and windy.
- Get upset at the kids for complaining it was too cold. That was a great big, “AGREE” with them.
- Even consider contemplating whether or not I’d be wearing shorts like the other tourists who said, “I’m going to California – how cold could it be in, July?” Note – it was 108 in the long barren stretches of Nothingville we drove through for six hours to get to San Francisco yesterday.
- Book a ticket for a vacation to Alaska in… ever - I hear it is cold there.
Actually, I sound like a total whiney baby right now – if I had thought to bring my ski jacket, I would be totally at peace.
We went back to the Golden Gate Bridge around 3 p.m. and I got one shot in all its glory. Unfortunately it wasn’t a really bright sunny day – but maybe the fog made it an OK shot.
We also went to Japantown where a jazz band was playing outside and I got a nice shot of an old man. We also had some totally rad Ramen soup with pork. This was a little different from the one I am used to in Orange County and LA. It was made with a miso base instead of the broth being cooked for days. If you can find a ramen noodle house with the broth having been cooked for days – TOTALLY go for it. Delicious. This soup was a 7 out of 10 – only because I know what the other tastes like.
I’m off to research soup dumplings and boba tea. Hoping to find some in, I assume, Chinatown. I hope you enjoy these photos.
Golden Gate Bridge – July 14
Man in Park – Japantown
Sidewalk Art – San Francisco, Van Ness Street
Joie’s Miso Ramen – Yum
We’ve talked about my willingness to eat meat in a previous post. Yesterday I drove for nine hours from Laguna Beach to San Francisco – mostly along I-5. Nine hours?! Rush hour and road constructions substantially slowed down the trip. In the last thirty miutes we found and oldies radio station and rocked out (OK – I was the only one… the other three were completely over everything) to Tony Orlando & Dawn singing, Tie a Yellow Ribbon - it’s a toe tapper, folks!
The most poignant part of the trip was how thankful I was that I don’t eat beef. Not eating beef came because my body just decided it wasn’t going to tolerate it anymore – there weren’t any political or social reasons behind it. I supported anyone who chose to down a burger or big ‘ol rib-eye steak. And then yesterday happened. There were stretches of miles (or for some of you – kilometers) of cow farms (a.k.a. – slaughterhouses) with thousands of cows just standing there, hanging out in the mud with nothing to do, and even more miles of a stinky, stinky environment – I exaggerate not.
After we past the first slaughterhouse, I thought of the documentary, Food Inc. and how food in the United States is grown and processed. I heard on NPR last week that it takes 30 gallons of water to process one hamburger patty. 30 gallons! We have a shortage of water in the U.S. – and yet, we eat millions of burgers every year – probably billions. When we get home from our vacation, I pledged to myself – I will start buying my food more mindfully, finding out where it is grown, shopping at farmer’s markets, and cooking at home WAY more. And if I can – I’m eliminating beef from my sweet kiddo’s diet. I think I’ll watch, Food Inc. to give me a quick shove into being mindful about food.
I’m off to nudge the sweet kiddo out of the hotel bed and head off to the Golden Gate Bridge. It looks sunny out there – so hopefully, I’ll get a good shot of the bridge to share.