Before I started writing this I had a large coffee. And I am buzzed. Wildly so. So if none of this makes any sense, chalk it up to the caffeine. I was thinking about all sorts of things I could tell you before I sat down to write. And they all sounded really good in my head. (They had good company with all the little voices in there.) But now, for the life of me, I can't remember what I wanted to tell you--or how I wanted to say it. So I will just meander...
We spent the week of Thanksgiving in San Francisco. And I left my heart there. Truly. Can't figure out why that city drew me in so much. It has a lot of tall buildings, which I could not leap in a single bound. And it has a lot of hills. Not so sure about the dales. We did lots of walking while we were there. We had a car for Tuesday only--so we could drive down to Prunedale, (yes, there is actually a town named that--north of Salinas), to visit Tom and Vicki, friends from the days of showing cats. Long time ago. And hadn't seen them in years. We had a delicious Dungeness crab dinner at their beautiful home and much fun visiting for a few hours. Have to remember to send a thank-you card. Keep thinking about it when I am not near my craft room.
Excuse me for a second...ok, I just put a note on my craft desk to send that thank-you card to Tom and Vicki. Now, I will remember!
We flew into SF after going to the Cardinals/Colts game. Which we won. In fine fashion. To promptly lose the following week at Philly. Drat! We had hopes for playoffs this year, but not so much now. Oh, well...at least the Cards have improved on last year's record. Which, when you think about it, wasn't really hard to do. I digress, as I am wont to do when buzzed by lots of caffeine. So sorry.
We stayed at Le Meridien San Francisco, which is in the Financial District. Right next to the Embarcadero shopping district and a couple of blocks from Chinatown. And, if you walk through the four blocks of Embarcadero shopping, you wind up across the street from the Ferry Building, with lots more shopping. Fun. So many shops! Great cappuccinos at the Blue Bottle. And there is a mushroom shop with mushrooms I have never heard of nor seen before. If I lived there, I would be buying lots of mushies for salads and steaks as I sipped my Blue Bottle cappuccino. Heaven. In a fun-gus sort of way. (Sorry, I couldn't help myself--it's that darn coffee.) There were so many shops and kiosks open at the Ferry Building the day before Thanksgiving. But we didn't even stop there on that Monday. We just walked, and walked, and walked, down the Fisherman's Wharf to get to Pier 39. Which is a tourist trap of sorts. But fun to check out anyway.
We had lunch at Pier 39--some fish, of course. It was good, but I have had better in Hawaii. (Snarky, aren't I?) We did a bit of shopping in the gift shops for peeps back home. Oh, and there are a bazillion noisy sea lions at Pier 39. Not sure what they were saying, but since they were crowded on top of each other on the docks, it probably wasn't a very nice conversation. Pier 39 sits pretty much across from Alcatraz, which we wanted to visit. But we were not aware you had to make reservations weeks in advance, so no Alcatraz for you, (or us, as the case was.) Next time. And I do want to go back, because we didn't get to the Coit Tower, either, though we walked all the way around it on the "Streets of San Francisco". Little play on words there. If you are old enough, you will get the reference. If not, I envy you your youth.
After lunch and shopping we walked to Ghirardelli Square, which was much ado about nothing, really. But we did walk there. By now my dogs were complaining. (My feet, for those of you who don't understand the slang). And yet we walked a few more blocks to get to the cable car. Had to ride one. And now that I have, I will never need to again. You stand in a lonnnnng line to get on one, pay a lot for the ride, and it is noisy and very bumpy. And a bit scary to get off, as they let you out in the middle of the street. With traffic coming. Oh, and speaking of that traffic, it is insane! I have never heard so much horn-honking in my life. People drive like maniacs, parking is impossible, and everyone's vehicles are really banged up. Nope. I don't plan on driving in SF ever. But I will be happy to walk there again.
We had to transfer to get on another cable car to get back to our hotel. Hmmmpf! At least we were told we could transfer by the first cable car operator. Ha! Not so much. We had to pay again. It was OK--cheaper than a taxi, and believe me, there was no way I was walking down that
We ate at the hotel twice the first day, and I must say their food was great! So was the service. And the accommodations were fabulous! Beautiful big room with modern furnishings and a wonderful view of the bay. If not for the ugly crane in the distance. But hey, I just blocked that out, for the most part. The night-time view was really pretty with all the lights.
I think I am crashing after my caffeine high. Things are starting to slow down for me. Including my typing. Pardon me if I start to make sense now. We also walked to the downtown shopping district. Holy moly, Rocky! Their stores are HUGE!!! I couldn't believe it. Went to Macy's to get some new tennies, and the shoe department is as big as our whole Macy's store in Gilbert. What's up with that? I would hate to work in that department! You'd need skates to go get shoes for people. And a little red wagon. Hey, that actually sounds like fun...
We did see some cool designer stores. Like Jimmy Choo's. His shoes are really gorgeous, but I would never buy a pair--too expensive. And I'd break my neck trying to walk in them. Besides, I think you need to be frisked by the guy at the door before you can walk in. We did go into Barney's. First time I have been in one, though there is one here in Scottsdale. Might be the last time, too. It was obvious we aren't Barney-shoppers. They could tell by looking at our clothing. So they chose to ignore us. Which was OK with me--I didn't have to tell them I was "just looking". Anyway, it was fun to see San Francisco's gargantuan stores. Next time we go I will do more "window-shopping".
And we spent some time in Chinatown. Now that was an experience. I really enjoyed our time there, except for the street guy who cursed us out when we walked by him. Hopefully, he was mentally deranged. Otherwise there was just no excuse for that verbal bashing. I took a photo of him from across the street. 'Cuz that's the way I roll.
Anyway, we did a bit of shopping in a couple of the stores there. And then spent two hours with the funniest Malaysian/Chinese guy in a tea store called Vital Tealeaf. (The store, not the guy. His name was Kenny. Not really, but his Chinese name is unbeknownst to me, and he called himself Kenny.) They do tea tastings, and sell loose tea. But you don't go in to buy a cup of tea. Just so you know. We had a blast with this dude. He was hilarious. Some gals came in asking for a weight-loss tea. He said you could buy any tea, drink it and lose weight. Just as long as you exercised and ate the right foods. I don't think these girls were impressed with his answer. But I laughed my butt off. (If only. Wishful thinking on my part.) We had some wonderful tea. And we bought a lot of it. Just not the one that costs $800 per pound, even if it was really delicious.
Our Thanksgiving dinner was at One Market, an elegant restaurant down near the Ferry Building. We were given a table next to the window, but, more importantly, it was near a waiter. And a very clever waiter, as he talked us into a bottle of Pinot Noir. A really delicious Pinot that went with both of our entrees. We didn't know it was $98 until we got the bill! Like I said, we had an efficient and very clever waiter. To start the meal, there was an amuse bouche--which, truth be told, didn't do much for either of us. It had duck liver pate, which I didn't try, but Gary did. And he didn't like it. It also had a tabbouleh salad, which was really moist and perfectly seasoned. Then there were some pickled veggies, which were meh. So much for that.
For our first course, Gary had a Golden Lentil soup with cauliflower, puffed rice & yogurt, which he said was pretty good--a compliment, coming from him. I had a fabulous Warm Quince & Pt. Reyes Blue salad with baby wild, (or wild baby), arugula and toasted pecans. I almost licked the plate, it was so flavorful. (Plus, I was hungry.)
We had different main courses, too. He had the Roasted Willy Bird Turkey with mashed potatoes, cornbread-sausage stuffing, root vegetables, and a shallot-thyme gravy. He pronounced it "OK", not exactly a ringing endorsement, hey? I was smart and had the Grilled Mahi Mahi, with shiitake mushrooms, bamboo rice, and coconut milk nage. All I can say is OMG! I wanted to finish it all, because it was beautifully scented and delicately flavored. But I had to save a bit of room for dessert. So my entree was super-delicious, and I would order it again in a heartbeat. Or a New York minute. Whichever came first.
For that favorite course of mine, dessert, Gary ordered the Sonoma Apple Dumpling with brandy-cinnamon sabayon, apple cider raisins, Tahitian vanilla bean ice cream and apple-caramel jus. Well, that was pretty good, but we both agreed that I had the far-better dessert. I had the Sweet Potato-Pumpkin Tart, which was served with butter pecan ice cream and a maple-mascarpone mousse. You can bet your bippy that I finished every bit of it--well, except for the bite that Gary tried. Fabulous, fabulous. Wonderful tender crust, yummy filling--not too rich, but just right. Kind of like Goldilocks and the three bears. For me, the meal was really worth the cost, and I would eat at One Market again anytime.
Another tidbit: people keep telling Gary that he looks like Heisenberg, or Walter White, on Breaking Bad. (I think he secretly loves that.) At one point a waiter told him that the Goorin Hat Company just made a Heisenberg pork pie hat for retail shopping. Gary has been searching for a pork pie hat to wear. Well, we ordered him one. And they sent us two. Why, I am not sure. But both of them were mediums and too big. (Gary has a large brain in a small head--plus he is bald so that makes his head circumference even smaller.) So we sent the two mediums back today and ordered a small. Hopefully only one will be sent, and it will fit when he gets it. The Goorin company made the actual pork pie hat that Walter White, "Heisenberg", wore on the Breaking Bad series. Kewl. Merry Christmas, Gary.
I am really crashing now. I need to finish this up so I can collapse. Or go have some tea. Perhaps a bit of caffeine would help. Before I get to my card, I have to tell you that we also went to the Japanese Tea Gardens in Golden Gate Park. I had been there as a child--right before my twelfth birthday. It certainly brought back memories, especially the curved bridge that I am pretty sure I climbed as a kid. I wouldn't now--I'd probably fall and break my neck. But I took photos of it anyway. And I got a shot of my ding-dong hubby, doing what I'm not sure. Here he is in all his glory. And then there is the bridge. I like it.
Oh, and just FYI--we did have tea and cookies in the Tea Garden. That, for both of us, was a no-brainer. Let me just say, "Yum!"
So, I actually used a shoe image for my card this week. I chose Jellypark Friends Summer Flip Flops for my image and printed them on MICBC. Then I colored them, and my clouds, with my Copics and Twin Touch Brush markers:
YG61, YG63, G000, G00, C00, C0, R02, E07, E18, TTY44, TTY49
I set up a scene--why, I don't know. Apparently, it seemed like a good idea at the time. I made several die cuts, using the following dies:
Memory Box Big Splash Border
Memory Box Oceana Border
Memory Box Loopy Rings
Marianne Designs Sea Shells
LaLa Land Palm Tree
SCACD Alice's Clock Statement Corner
MFT World Traveler
MFT Fishtail Flags Stax
MFT Grass Border
MFT Cloud Trio
I finished my card with some Washi tape, some rhinestones, and a bit of Wink of Stella Brush Clear. Oh, and my cardstock is from Stampin' Up.
We have a new sponsor this month: Time for Tea Designs. And the winner will receive 3 digis. The digis I've seen are really cute! And please do check out the fabulous cards by my talented teamies! They are really great inspiration for you. So, get out your markers and color up some shoes. Looking forward to seeing what you create!
Have a fabulous weekend! (And, if you read this entire piece, consider yourself a fan, or a nutcase. You deserve a reward either way. So, go have some coffee. Or tea, if you prefer.)