Sunday, October 16, 2011

Back in Ohio... SF overview

WARNING: this blog is very long and may contain pictures that may not do the trip justice.  carry on at your own risk.

we are back from san fran... i had a GREAT time! i want to go back.  :(  i am not ready to go back to work.

we did so much while we were there! here's what we did (for a 5mp camera phone, my photos turned out quite well):

Saturday (day of arrival):  we ate dim sum (eric's favorite), walked around chinatown & wandered into downtown.  visited Westfield mall and let's just say, it's MORE intriguing than the one in strongsville.  then went to kirin (spelling?) chinese restaurant for dinner.  eric enjoyed the fried smelt there. even though we've been together for almost 4 years,  it still surprises me about what he likes as far as authentic chinese cuisine.  he loves fish, but i never would have guessed the smelt.  :)  glad he enjoyed it.  well, since we only had 2 hours of sleep the night before, we turned in for the night early so we can rest up for the next day's activities.
above (left):  standing directly in the middle of the floor where the spiraling escalators were.  love this photo :)
above (center): the dome at the mall
above (right):  a drawing i did on the plane.  i drew it from the American Way magazine cover. had to throw an artwork in this blog to make it complete! :)    

Sunday:  we started our day with the golden gate bridge.  that week was fleet week, so over the course of the day the blue angels and some other aircrafts put on a show over the golden gate bridge and bay area.  they're so fun to watch.  i don't know the last time i saw an airshow (probably when i was no older than 13 for the labor day or memorial day holidays).  it brought the inner child back out again. :)  after taking a numerous amounts of pictures we then headed to the ferry building, where we met with jun yee.  for those who don't know, the ferry building marketplace is located at the embarcadero.  we visited the food shops and cafes.  i enjoyed it a lot! you know me, i LOVE food!!! :) we got lunch from Boccalone Salumaria: salted pig parts.  eric and i shared the italian sausage sandwich and then we also grabbed an empanada from a stand i don't remember the name of.  the food was SO gooooooood!!!!!! oh my goodness, if i did live there, i might end up fat. after the ferry building, we walked back towards downtown and eric and i rode the cable car back up to chinatown.  it was our first time.  while waiting, across the street were a huge group of protesters... and well, i saw my very first naked protester.  ew gross....... as soon as we got to chinatown, eric and i proceeded to buy more souvenirs for people.  so many cute things!  for dinner, eric and i went to oyaji, a sushi restaurant.  ben and i went to this restaurant a couple years ago and LOVED it.  our service was kind of terrible, but the food was still great! :) it was still a good ending to our day.
Above (left):  view from the first post.
Above (center):  view from the cables holding the bridge.
Above (right):  view from the walk to the first post.
Above (left):  the ferry building marketplace entrance.
Above (center):  the cable car ride up to chinatown.
Above (right):  picture of Oyaji's menu.

Monday:  it was a very rainy day, and we were originally going to go visit my grandparents.  but because of the weather, we needed to switch activities around.  So, since the Academy of Sciences was an indoor activity, we went to that instead of wednesday.  we had a lot of fun.  we took so many picture of the aquarium section (as usual for me). :)  after the academy, we went and walked around ling yee's neighborhood.  we visited the used bookstore that she loves and then we tried this one crepe place that she loves.  i got the banana, caramel, and custard crepe.  it was SO good!!!!! perfect for dessert. except we had it  before our dinner. lol!!! then we also visited a tea shop to get tea for my grandparents.  only to later find out that they don't drink tea!  oh well.  for dinner that night, we stayed home and ordered thai take out and watched "howl's moving castle".  they had the best duck fried rice i have ever tasted.  also, my aunt made "rice crunchy" which i have NOT had in SO long!!!! it was soooooo good!
Above (left):  a couple of sea dragons.  they were beautiful creatures, i want one!
Above (center):  some sea anemones.  i love the colors in this photo :)
Above (right):  eric and i waiting for our ride outside of the academy :)

Tuesday:  we toured alactraz.  ling yee has lived in SF for a long time and has never been to it.  so we had her take us there.  it was great! we took SO many photos!  it would have been cool to tour it at night.  this took most of our day.  after the tour, we went and got lunch at pier 39 and fisherman's wharf area.  we ate at Boudin Bakery Cafe.  I had the turkey avocado 1/2 sandwich and a bowl of clam chowder soup.  it was delicious!! :)  mmmmm so good! to top that off, we grabbed a macademia nut ice cream waffle cone.  that was SO good as well! we then took eric to see the sea lions.  it reminded my aunt of the time when ben was about 2 years old and how he mimicked them.  we laughed :) we headed back to the apartment to relax.  then eric and i had dinner plans around 7:30.  we had dinner at bushi tei.  a japanese-french fusion restaurant.  we don't get to go to a nice restaurant very often, so we took the opportunity to do so in SF. :) it had pretty good reviews , 4 out of 5 stars.  and we enjoyed dinner very much!  loved it!  

Above (left):  the "entrance" to the island.
Above (center):  the staircase by the penitentiary social hall.  love it.
Above (right):  the morgue.  so eerie it's awesome.
Above (left):  the entrance to the prison.
Above (right):  near the end of the tour.
Above (left):  the sealions at , they're so cute!
Above (right):  dinner at bushi-tei.

Wednesday:  our last full day in the beautiful city.  it was a gorgeous day out! so we took pictures at Legion of Honors.  that place is beautiful.  eric's an architecture major and he wanted to really go.  then we toured the castro area.  yes i took eric to the gay district.  i love that place.  i bought a few things for myself and other people.  then we headed to my grandparents apartment.  i was so nervous.  i don't know why.  i just was.  when we got there, i  never realized how bad my chinese was... i struggled.  but all in all, the visit was good.  eric got a drawing from my grandfather.  my grandfather received an honorary degree for chinese calligraphy. he teaches both in a class room and one on one.  he's a really talented man.  he can speak: cantonese, mandarin, french, vietnamese, a little japanese, english, and possibly one other language that i can't remember.  he's 89 years old, soon to be 90, and aside from a recent cataract surgery and slightly losing his hearing, he's still got a sharp mind, almost perfect health, and still moves very well.  plus, you can't tell he looks almost 90.  i don't have a picture, but believe me, he dosen't look as old as he does.  :)  and then you have my grandmother who only has high blood pressure, is 85 and doesn't have any other major health problems and also teaches dancing at the senior community center.  they are truly talented people.  now you know where we get our artistic side from.  not to mention, the more i talk to my grandfather in person, the more and more my dad looks like him (just a younger version of my grandfather).  after the visit, we headed back to chinatown for dinner.  we went to R&G Lounge.  and treated ling yee to dinner.  we were very sad that jun yee couldn't make it, but we brought back leftovers for her.  we then visited jun yee at her apartment to say goodbye.  

So this pretty much concludes our first trip together.  we both love san francisco and thank both aunties for everything they have done for us.  they helped make this trip memorable and we couldn't thank them enough.

we will try to make this an annual trip.  if not to san francisco, then to the other west coast cities.  let's see what airfare is like next year :)

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