Ni hao ma

Posted: August 20, 2011 in Free Styling, Vacation/Travel
Tags: , ,

What’s up guys? Well, as promised, the adventure continues, and it’s a big one today. I’d jump into Updates and New News, but unless something comes up, I’ve got a good break from predicaments and developments until school starts on the 25th. That being the case, I’ll jump back on chronicling the vacation.

Picking up where I left off, I…or we decided to sleep in yesterday morning. 5AM, way too early. My mom may be able to do 4:30/5 on a regular basis, but I usually don’t touch that with a 10-foot pole. Me and AM have issues with each other, so we just try to keep as far apart as possible. Once we crossed the threshold into PM we were in good territory to get out and be active.

I wish I would have checked-in to the place we had lunch at, because for the life of me, I can’t remember the name of it. It was pretty good though, nothing to write home about, but merits a positive recommendation.
The plan for the afternoon was to go back to Pier 39 and explore for a while. We’ve also been trying to get the full San Francisco experience while here, so we decided to take a trolley. Pretty cool.

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Even though we briefly toured through Pier 39 the other day, we went through it way too fast to really be able to take anything in at any less than a blur. Given the opportunity to slow down, I did see a lot more that we just blew by the first time. We found a nice little knife shop and I ended up grabbing a souvenir, so watch out now.

We never actually decided to eat dinner today, and rather just snack everywhere we got a chance. The place we ended up at was a little restaurant called Louie’s. Not much to tell here. A beer and some garlic fries later, we moved on.

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We paroosed a few more shops in Pier 39 before deciding to move further on down the wharf.
(I thought that paroose was an actual word, but my iPhone is complaining about it. Addition to my dictionary? Nah, I didn’t event it.)
After exiting Pier 39 and walking down the way, we found this bread shop. My buddy Jason had told me about these sourdough bread turtles that San Francisco was famous for, and I told him I’d be on the lookout for some. Well, I guess I found them.

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That big dark thing in the middle there is actually a huge sourdough bread alligator! (Could have been a crocodile, couldn’t see the teeth.) Even though that was particularly badass, we didn’t wanna carry around a bread animal for the rest of the week. I decided to follow the advice of the age old expression, “Take a picture, it’ll last longer.” (I’m sure if you look back in a month or so, ^that^ picture will still be there. Let me know if it isn’t though.)

We ended up getting as far as the official Fisherman’s Wharf area and getting some snacks before deciding to head back to Pier 39 to get some dessert. Besides, that’s closer to where the trolley would pick us back up, and that’s where the cool kids were. That ended up being a great decision, because we stumbled upon a thin French pancake place. (I can’t say the name; Ricky Bobby says it’s un-American to speak it.) Oh, and they were so good too! They had so many fillings you could slap in them. What to choose?

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It’s kind of hard to fight chocolate, especially Ghirardelli chocolate made right here in San Francisco. My smite for sweets be damned, I’m on vacation. Not much to tell after that, we hopped on the trolley and went back to the hotel room, fat and happy. Well, a couple of us anyways.

We woke up this morning with a pretty cool game plan in place. The majority of the day would be occupied taking a walking tour of Chinatown, one of the areas that San Francisco is really known for…well, besides Castro.

The lady who led us on the tour knew so much about the area. She actually was born and grew up in Chinatown. The area was so amazing too.

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We went to Portmouth Square first, it’s a park where all the old dudes hang out, play cards, shoot the breeze, whatever. Most of them still don’t get very far out of Chinatown, so they need somewhere to socialize.
After that, we went and checked out a couple of temples. I even received a blessing from one of the temple’s…I guess clergy is the best word I can come up with. Anyways, that was pretty far out there. Never done anything like that before.
From there we moved on to a tea shop. They let us try a really fresh white tea from an independent grower in China. These people were passionate like you read about. Talking about how sweeteners, milk, or lemon is a slap in the face to a really good tea. Passion, like you read about. After that we went to a couple of fish markets and a fortune cookie bakery. Apparently fortune cookie are actually a Japanese invention that just took off really huge in China. That was an interesting little Fun Fact, I’d have thought Japan would be a little bit prouder of that one. It was approaching lunch time at this point, and thankfully our guide had a stop planned for us. Again, I couldn’t tell you the name of the place we stopped, this time it’s because my Cantonese is a little rusty. I think what we ate there was a big kind of sampler of a bunch of traditional stuff. I’ll try and list off for you what we had to the best of my ability, but our guide ordered for us, never saw what was coming our way.
We started off brewing some white tea that we got at the tea shop.
Sidebar – It really is relaxing drinking an unadulterated tea at it’s purest like this. I’d say try it some time if you’re ever stressing, but finding the right tea is difficult.
We got some spring rolls and what I believe were bean curd dumplings. Then they brought out some egg drop soup(I think), and some sort of chow mein noodles. All were pretty darn good. They also brought out some shrimp balls and some other kind of meat dumplings. Those shrimp balls looked like mush, but were pretty good once you got through the exterior.

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Last but not least, they brought out dessert. I have absolutely no idea what this was, so I’ll do my best to describe it and hope that Jason can give me a name for it later. It was a rice ball with a sweet filling that had a batter on the outside, like a sweet roll, with sesame seeds on it. If anyone cares to venture a guess at what that is, go for it.

With lunch under our belts, the tour was over. We spent a little more time in Chinatown, wandering around on our own for a while getting souvenirs and what not. We’d been on our feet all day at this point, so we decided to head back to the hotel and cool our heels for a while.

Once we were well and rested again, we set out for dinner, with one nice detour along the way. We decided to make a run down the world famous, worlds curviest Lombard street. I wish I had a picture of that to put up. Maybe I can throw one up here after I get back to Denton and upload all my pictures to my computer.
After Lombard street, we headed over to the wharf, to grab dinner at a place called Scoma’s. We also decided to celebrate my mom’s birthday tonight, so we decided to indulge a little and do it well. Scoma’s was good, it was very good.

We called it a day after dinner. Went back to the hotel and proceeded to sack out for a while. It’s been a long day, but a very good one. Tomorrow will be an alcoholic expedition, some choose to call it a wine country tour though. I get crazy when I get wine drunk. There’s no telling what could happen next, wish me luck!

Keep your heads up, your minds sharp, and your hearts open.

– The Outlaw

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