Redeeming The Day
So I’m still in Frisco… 😀 Sunday was supposed to be really cool, but turned out to be a bust at the start of things. We went to the Oakland Chinatown StreetFest and it was just a lot of vendors trying to sell stuff. Not even good stuff, ya know? There were insurance folks and people giving out health pamphlets, others trying to sell timeshares… it was just weird. Plus it was hella hot outside and the sun was BLAZING down. We went to this restaurant, the Silver Dragon Restaurant on Webster Street. What amazed me about this place was the fact that there was a festival going on outside and the restaurant was COMPLETELY DEAD. The place has the impression of being a family style restaurant, complete with the center lazy susan. The food was okay at best and I don’t think it deserves the 8.5 that they got on CitySearch.
Anyway, we ended up catching the taiko drummers, but they were at an intermediate level so it wasn’t particularly amusing. You know how much fun it can be with the performers doing all kinds of cool moves? Nah, there was none of that. But it was nice to see, I guess. We got some bubble tea (which was okay too — seems to be the case all around) and booked it. I thought that given the weirdness of that festival that we should do something relaxing and take in some nature. So there’s a park not far away with a lake, Lake Merritt, so we went there. Talk about a good call… oh man, the lake is so huge and the area around it is gorgeous. Nice looking buildings (they remind me of South Beach for some reason!), plenty of cool ducks and geese and other miscellaneous creatures… We ended up walking a fair amount and came upon Shakespeare in the Park — a performance of Much Ado About Nothing, modified version of course. They were SO dramatic, but funny! We sat and wated for a little bit. Right across the street, there was a bird feeding area with a little pond for the suckers. There were a LOT of them. When I say a lot, I really mean it. There were these cool birds sitting on the gate, almost like bouncers or something. LOL. That lightened the mood some, which was a really good thing.
Afterward, we went into SF by the pier at the end of Van Ness (Municipal Pier) and looked out the water and GG bridge and Alcatraz. The whole scene was eerie… there was this pervasive looming fog overhead, and it moved very quickly, engulfing the view of the bridge, then Alcatraz. It was such a nice sight. My camera chose that moment to die — no more power. I did get some nice pics of Alcatraz and the god-like view from the clouds. There’s a pathway up a big ass hill that we walked up and you could see all kinds of cool stuff. Apparently there’s a hostel on that hill too (we even saw some bicycling Swedes going there!). All in all, it was a nice set of views. But GOD, it was bloody cold. I knew we’d be by the water, so we brought jackets with us, but it was colder than expected. The wind alone was enough to make you shiver uncontrollably. For eats, we went to this Johnny Rockets-ish place called Lori’s Diner, which is in Ghiradelli Square. The food there was pretty good; I liked the burger I got. It’s a very nostalgic 50s looking place with standard fare stuff. The prices were pretty damn good too. I recommend it. It sure beat the “chic” looking place across the way, this seafood restaurant that was way too expensive considering the Fisherman’s Wharf was right down the street.
To culminate the evening, we headed back to Mountain View and went to play some billiards across the way from the hotel at the California Billiards Club on El Camino Real. While that would have been a nice way to top it off, it ended up being a source of annoyance for Herman. The place itself is cool; roomy with pretty nice tables. There was just a song that irked him, then this guy talking in obnoxious Russian and some other stuff. We just played a couple games and left. Shame, I was doing so well too.
And so was my Sunday. Monday was nice and quiet (and not as long as everything I just wrote!). Dropped Herman off at work, then I went to the mall and walked around. I got 2 shirts from Abercrombie and a stupendously wonderful book entitled Sky Burial by Xinran. This was a total impulse buy, but I’m so glad that I got it.
Go get this book. NOW. It is an epic love story about a young Chinese woman, recently married, that goes in search of her husband when she receives word that he is presumed dead in Tibet. Her whole life changes and the full extent of her love for this man is incomprehensible. But this is a brilliant book and it drove me to tears. TEARS, I say.
After the mall, I went out to Shoreline at Mountain View (which is right behind the whole complex where Herman works) and read my book. This place is very scenic; you can see the mountains in the distance and there’s a big lake right there with a boathouse and a place to rent bikes. There’s also a historic Victorian-style house called Rengstorff House. The place is a wildlife refuge, so you see various birds and other wildlife floating around. It’s very cool! I sat in the car and relaxed, reading, did some writing and so on.
Then lastly, I met up with Herman and we hung out in the hotel’s jacuzzi for a while. Man, those things are unbelievable. I love me some jacuzzi. 😀 We went to this restaurant down on El Camino called Fuki Sushi. The place looked really nice and it was actual Japanese speaking people working there. The food, however, was just okay. We got this Tuna Pokki (raw tuna, onions, scallions… in a spicy marinade) that was really good, but the rest of it was just okay. Not bad, it just didn’t knock our socks off. Also, they use mayo as part of their spicy sauce, so that was unusual. They also marinate their regular salmon nigiri, which Herman warned me about as being not so hot (and that’s being generous), as he’s had something like that when he went to Hawaii. It was rather pricey too (that tuna pokki was $9 and it was really small!), so I’d say it was a mediocre sushi experience. I think I’m done with sushi for a while — unless it’s Sen-nin. I just want regular food.
Today, I’m going to get my hair done. Nuff said. That’s a challenge all to itself. I spent a better part of Monday morning looking for someplace that does black hair. I KNOW there are black folks out here, so that’s just weird. The chick I spoke to, Annette, said she’d do my hair, so I’m heading out to her now. I haven’t done a whole heap of a lot, but I figure why should I work so hard? I’m on vacation!