This entry is way overdue, sorry for the delay. Had in my draft box for more than a week now. So here goes…
I’ve finally met my long time chat mate and good friend last Tuesday morning aboard US Airways. I picked him up at the Oakland Airport (around 1:00 AM) and we headed home for some much needed chikahan. It was amazing to finally see him in person, after years of just online chats and long distance phone calls. Our conversations seem endless that we didn’t get to bed till 4:30 AM.
We woke up around 10 AM to start our first day in the city. We took the BART train to San Francisco, got down at the Powell Station and headed for Union Square. We took some snap shots of the monument surrounded by shops like Neiman Marcus, Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Goyard, William Sonoma, Baccarat — one place where you can probably shop till you drop!
For brunch, we decided to have Latte’s and Panini at Emporio Rulli situated in one corner of the Union Square. It was perfect, as the view and the food was great. Add to that the pigeons and tourists having the time of their life as we were taking some photographs. It was one lovely site! Then we walked a block and went shopping at Borders, which was one bad idea. My friend and I, being book suckers ended buying more than what we could easily carry. But nonetheless, we were able to get by, with a little bit of muscle spasms. Which I think is a small price to pay for going gagah over books!
We then decided to head for Fishermans Wharf and we took the cable car to get to Hyde Street. I promised my friend a delish clam chowder at Boudin Bakery. And true enough, my friend loved it! We ate almost the whole thing, the sourdough bread bowl included. Hahahaha! We took some more photos by the wharf, the ships docked at the marina and the famous Alcatraz. Of course, the trip to San Francisco wouldn’t be complete without visiting those two must see spots!
And after that, we walked a couple blocks to Ghirardelli Square. And on our way, we happen to passed by the Benetton shop. And I just could not stop myself from getting this black messenger bag. I was quick, as it only took me five minutes to decide (that would be another entry).The next thing I know, I handed the lady my debit card and added another shopping bag in my hand.
When we got to the Ghirardelli Square, we took some more photos and sampled their Milk Chocolate with Caramel Filling. There chocolates were absolutely divine, it just melts in your mouth and left craving for more. It was so good! And of course, we also ended buying some items from their store. And by that time we got out, it was already 7 PM. So we decided to call it a day and headed for home.
For dinner, we had it back in the East bay. We went to Red Chilli’s Thai & Vietnamese Restaurant. It was my first time to have Tom Yum, which my good friend recommended. We also ordered Pad Ka Kraw, quite similar to my Thai Basil Chicken. Except that it’s spicier and has this hint of lemon grass in it. We were so full and so tired after, that by 11 PM my friend and I were knocked out!
The next day, we were feeling sluggish and took our time. We didn’t get to leave my place till about 1 AM. Our plan was to visit the Legion of Honor Museum and Scharffen Berger Chocolates. However, we had to cancel our plans to the chocolate factory as we didn’t have enough time. On our way to the museum, we found ourselves getting lost in the Portola District. We were looking for Geary and 34th, but instead we landed on the street heading for Twin Peaks. Blessing in disguise, isn’t it? So we’ve decided to check the glorious view from up hill and took some photos with the whole city behind us. Didn’t took us long and we started heading for the museum, not knowing that they’re closing at 5 PM that day. Grrrrrr! Trying to look for 34th Street was such a big hassle. We got to our destination a half hour till closing. Darn it! But then the attendant didn’t charge us any entrance fee. We went inside the palace (for free) and had a fabulous time going thru some of the most marvelous paintings and sculpture. Being surrounded by all these masterpieces, made me want to be an artist. But then again, I realized that I’m no Cezzane or Claude Monet. So I think, I’d rather stick to writing!
On my friends last night in the Bay Area, we decided to have dinner in San Mateo. We went to California Roll, where Chef Sho and Santos served us the most scrumptous nigiri and rolled sushi. I think I’ve had about six servings, while my good friend have around five. Anf after that, we went to Draegers Deli and sampled their Very Berry Cheescake and Cream Brulee. The word DIET does not seem to exist at all!
We didn’t get home till about 9 PM and by the time we got there, my friend decided to start packing his stuff. His departure was at around 6 AM, so we most definitely need to get our early good night sleep. On his last night, we were discussing some of our future plans. There’s this Bangkok trip that they’ve been telling me all along. Then, this asian cruise that’s definitely worth looking into. And last, was this trip to Manila which I’ve cancelled three times in a row. So the next time we see each other, it maybe in Bangkok, Singapore or Manila. But regardless which country we intend to explore, the high light of our trip would always be this wonderful friendship that extends beyond boundaries.
PS: And thank you Rino & Mayne for pasalubong. Me love it so much! I am almost done reading all three books and I’m currently reading The Kite of Stars by Dean Alfar. It shouldn’t take long and I’ll start Neil Gaiman’s after. The cat picks, should work perfectly for cocktail parties and dirty martinis. And that persian cup is nicely displayed on my bedroom side table, keeping my favorite writing and calligraphy pens organized. Thanks again, love yah lots!