Friday, July 16, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
On Saturday, we headed up to Napa Valley, where we tried to instill a love of wine in Christina to no avail. But my dad discovered how much he loves good sparkling wine, and the scenery was spectacular. It got up close to 90 degrees, and that's the first time I've felt hot weather like that since we moved to San Francisco.
We took Stasia to the dog beach, and it was so windy she almost blew away!
It was cold and foggy in the city on Sunday, so we went to Sausalito, where is was sunny and gorgeous. You can add "micro-climates" to the list of things I love about San Francisco. On the way back we stopped in the Marin Highlands before crossing the Golden Gate Bridge back into the city. The fog blowing across the bridge was a pretty amazing sight.
We also ate at (my favorite pizza place) Tony's, had pancakes at Mo's, spent plenty of time on the Wharf and plenty of other things I'm forgetting. Suffice it to say that it was a great weekend, and I'm so glad they got in one last visit to the City By The Bay.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
The highlight of the weekend was without a doubt the party that Alan and Randi threw at our place on Saturday night. Adam has a lot of family here in the Bay Area, and they all came out to celebrate Staci and Adam's 30th birthdays!
All the attendees who stayed really late were treated to a moonrise over Telegraph Hill that we viewed from our roof!
In all we had 21 people in our apartment. Thank goodness the weather was beautiful and we were able to spend most of the evening on our porch, because I don't know if we could have fit that many people inside! Randi and Alan hired a local caterer, and he made the most delicious food! We ended up with a lot of leftovers, and for the last week Adam and I have been living off of pulled-pork sliders, braised short ribs, ham and cheese pastries, macaroni and cheese, brownies with hot fudge sauce, apple cobbler and Randi's horseradish mashed potatoes. I've probably put on a few pounds, but we've been enjoying ourselves.The rest of the weekend included lots of walks (to Chrissy Field and Chinatown), LOTS more food (including plenty of leftovers, an amazing dinner at the Sliding Door, pizza and a great breakfast prepared by Justin) and plenty of time spent lavishing attention on Stasia. The weekend was a huge success, and I think everybody had a really great time.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
The cars are a little scary at times. They don't accelerate as fast as a regular-sized car and have a maximum speed of 35 mph, yet you travel on roads with traffic. Sitting stopped at a light behind an SUV, I could barely see over the bumper of the metal monster in front of me and I found myself wondering whether I'd made a smart decision getting into this little contraption. Luckily, everybody who sees you stops to point and wave, so you know people are very aware of your presence. And we were lucky enough to have Adam escorting us on his motorcycle, which made getting around in traffic much easier. The tour itself was great. It took us to places that I don't think we would have otherwise ever known existed. Because it uses GPS and there isn't a tour guide, we were able to stop for photos and breaks whenever we wanted. Throughout the trip, the audio tour gives you the option to take "detours," so you are able to make the trip as long as you would like.
One of my favorite stops on the tour was a detour we took in Golden Gate Park to Stow Lake. Up a narrow road, elevated from the rest of the park, the lake was full of people in paddle boats, floating around a small island. When you're at the lake, it feels incredibly secluded, and I found it easy to forget that I was in the middle of a huge city while we were there. Adam and I will definitely be returning to Stow Lake whenever we need a break from big city livin'.
We had a really great time in our rented GoCars. I absolutely recommend a tour in one, whether you're visiting San Francisco or live here. Although it can be a bit pricey ($49 for the first hour, $39 for the second hour and $29 for each additional hour), it was the highlight of my family's trip. We're all still talking about how much fun it was. And if you have some patience, Groupon offers discounted coupons for GoCar tours on a fairly regular basis.
GoCars are also available for rental in San Diego, Miami, Lisbon and Barcelona.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
We first visited the Tonga Room and few months ago, and I instantly fell in love with everything about it, from the kitchy, Hawaiian decor and the twice-hourly, indoor rainstorms to the enormous Tiki drinks and flower leis. The food is just above mediocre, but the atmosphere more than makes up for anything the meals are lacking. Besides, everything tastes better after a few Tiki drinks, right?
You can even get a flaming volcano full of chocolate lava for dessert. Amazing.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
how to bandage a wound such as an injured ear,
(she was pretty mad at me...)
and how to splint a broken limb using a rolled-up newspaper.The class was really informative and I feel much more prepared to handle any doggy accidents my charges or Stasia may encounter. Somehow, though, judging by the look on Stasia's face, the fact that I can now save her life if she chokes on a bone doesn't make her nearly as happy as it makes me.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
One of the things I've been most amazed by is the bread, especially the pizza crusts. I don't know if it's the altitude, the water or some other type of magic entirely, but pizza in San Francisco rocks! Even the pizza joints that people call "mediocre" are fantastic. But my favorite so far has been the pizza I had at Pizzeria Delfina, a San Francisco staple.
There are technically three Delfina locations in the city. A restaurant in the Mission with a pizzeria right next door and a pizzeria in Pacific Heights, which is where we ate. It's a small restaurant, with seating at a small number of tables and booths and also at a counter overlooking the kitchen. Without the space for a waiting area or a bar, prospective diners write their name on a chalkboard by the front door and wait outside. We were lucky enough to sit at the counter, and I loved watching the bustle of the kitchen as chefs prepared pizza after pizza after pizza.
We started with a fresh mozzarella appetizer, which came with a side of perfectly salted and oiled arugula. The mozzarella was fresh-pulled and was creamy and flavorful, exactly like fresh mozzarella should taste. The menu changes each week, and I've noticed that lately they have been serving Burrata, chewy mozzarella filled with fresh cream that oozes when you cut into it that just happens to be one of my favorite things in the whole world. Just in case I needed another excuse to go back to Delfina's!
We ordered 2 pizzas: the Salsiccia with house-made fennel sausage, tomato, bell peppers, onions and mozzarella; and the Margherita. The crust, oh, the crust! Perfectly thin and crispy on the bottom with just enough chewiness on the sides, Delfina's crust is so good it hardly needs all the delicious, fresh ingredients they put on top of it. The sauce is delicious without being too sweet, and perfectly applied in a thin layer. The toppings were all fresh and added in moderation, with just the right amount of that delicious mozzarella. We thought with two pizzas we had ordered enough for plenty of left-overs (there were only two of us, after all), but the pizza was so good that we ended up with just a couple slices to take home for breakfast the next day. They have a small but very reasonably priced wine list with plenty of choices by-the-glass, but no beer on tap. They do, however, have a small but tasty selection of bottled beers which they will serve you with a frosty glass, and I am forced to forgive their lack of a beer tap because the pizza is just that good.
It was difficult, but we managed to save a tiny bit of room for dessert (I fit it somewhere just below my left lung), and I'm so glad we did. Delfina serves gelato they make in-house daily, and it is perfection. I ordered a scoop each of Meyer lemon and grape flavors, and both were crisp and creamy at the same time. Neither was overpowering or too sweet, and they were complimented perfectly by the expertly-brewed Americano I ordered. It was a perfect meal, and I can't wait to get back again. Don't be scared away if the wait is long. It's worth it. I promise.
Pizzaria Delfina (in Pacific Heights) 2406 California St., 415.440.1189. Click here for the menu.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Luckily, we have found what I feel must be the best veterinary office in San Francisco. Both of veterinarians who work at the office are the most gentle, wonderful, kind men, and it's clear that everybody at this office really loves animals. When we first arrive at the vet, I always feel like I'm traumatizing her with visits to the doctor because of course she doesn't understand why some stranger is poking and prodding at her. Then she gets a treat from someone, becomes instantly happy and excited and any trace of the trauma that I was worried about disappears. I find it amazing how, even when she's sick, Stasia can put on quite a show for treats. She wags her tail and looks up at the vet with a face that says, "Please, my owners starve me," until they reach in their treat bag. They croon at her and tell how pretty and nice she is, and she scoots a little closer, her tail wagging just a little more feverishly, her eyes looking just a little more sad. And, inevitably, they reach into the treat bag one more time because they can't resist her charms. All I can do is shake my head and nod with understanding.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Her posts feature aerial shots, Chinatown, architecture, bookstores, Downtown, the Ferry Building Farmers' Market, an awesome tea shop (look familiar, Christina?) and the Mission.
Monday, March 22, 2010
But, really, this Target is so cool! There are enormous palm trees right out in front of the store. I find it so amazing that I live in a place where palm trees grow outside!
Better yet, there is a special escalator in this Target for your shopping cart! You slide your cart in, and it glides up or down right next to you as you ride the escalator. I had never seen anything like this, so, worried that you wouldn't believe me when I told you about it, I had Adam take a picture as proof.
Here's hoping you all had exciting weekends too!
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
We headed over to Mo's , unsure of what to expect. Through the front windows we could see into the kitchen where cooks were making enormous omelets and other traditional breakfast fare. Inside, it felt like a old diner, with glass on top of the tablecloths and pictures of Marilyn Monroe on the walls. I was expecting a decent meal, but I was surprised when I bit into some of the best pancakes I've ever had! They were full of really ripe banana and perfectly crispy on the outside. I didn't even need syrup, they were that delicious. I have seriously been thinking about them all week and can't wait to go back this weekend for more!
Mo's is located at 1322 Grant Ave. in North Beach (They also have a location at the Yerba Buena Gardens). Visit their website here.
Monday, March 15, 2010
At times like this that I have to stop and giggle and pinch myself because it's still hard to believe that I live in San Fran-freaking-cisco! "Why, yes, that's right, that is the Golden Gate Bridge in the photo I took just a few blocks from my apartment."
Sunday dawned even warmer than the day before, so we knew we had to spend the day doing something outdoors. After a stroll around North Beach and an amazing breakfast, we headed to Fort Mason, a former U.S. Army port that is now part of the Golden Gate National Parks network and one of the many parks that dot the area near the water in San Francisco. We laid our blanket out on the large, grassy field overlooking the Marina and spent the afternoon drinking beer, tossing the Frisbee around and soaking up some sun. And we weren't alone. The park was teeming with people and dogs running, biking, napping, hula-hooping (not the dogs, although that would be awesome), Frisbeeing and generally having a great time. It was pretty much the most awesome day ever.
Stasia put in some solid time rolling around in the grass and looking like a happy seal, something she doesn't get to do nearly as often as any of us would like.
And to top it all off, there was even an unexpected appearance by the red and pink Power Rangers. We are learning to expect the unexpected in this city...