Sunday, July 27, 2008

I Have Already Tasted My Piece Of One Sweet Love. . .

It's Sunday!  And what are Sunday's great for?  Brunch!

Today my friend Shagun and I decided to try Mama's in North Beach.  I was excited to go to Mama's because I had passed by this restaurant once before and seen a line of people waiting to get in.  I equate lines to mean that this place must be good!

Shagun and I decided to meet at noon.  I arrived at 11:30 and immediately joined all the other people in line waiting for breakfast.  (Please see the people lined up along the side of the building in the picture above.)

Shagun arrived on schedule at noon and joined me in line.  We waited for two hours!

As we got closer to the entrance we were able to see the menu and start thinking about what we wanted to order.  We decided that we would get two of the specials and split it.  We chose the Dungeness Crab Omelet with Avocado, Sour Cream and Green Onions and Mama's French Toast Sampler Plate with Cranberry Orange Walnut, Banana Nut, and Swedish Cinnamon Topped with Bananas and Assorted Fresh Berries and a slice of Banana Bread for starters.

I know this is going to come as a big shock, but I am actually the one who picked the Dungeness Crab Omelet.  As soon as the plate arrived I realized I don't think I have ever had "Real" crab meat before.  This omelet was filled with large chunks of decadent rich buttery flavored crab meat.  The omelet was almost too rich when combined with the sour cream and avocado.  To help tone the richness down the omelet came with a side of potatoes and toasted sourdough baguette.

The French Toast Sampler was also very good.  I enjoyed the Cranberry Orange Walnut slice the best.

I also have to say the toasted slice of banana bread that we started out with was delicious.  The meal was definitely worth the two hour wait.

After brunch you could have rolled me to the bus stop!  But instead of heading directly home we walked across the street to Washington Square Park where the North Beach Jazz Festival was taking place.  We shopped at a couple of booths and then realized that the fog had aggressively rolled in while we were at brunch and it was now really cold and neither of us had the appropriate layers on to hang out in the park.  So we both went to our respective bus stops and called it a day!

The Song Of The Day - One Sweet Love by Sara Bareilles

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Give It 2 Me. . .

I just wanted to give a quick shout out to the In-N-Out at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco.  My cousin Jacqueline works there...code name "Jackie."

Might I suggest my new favorite, a cheeseburger with grilled onions or the reliable stand by Double Double.  Both very satisfying.

If you are not in the mood for meat you can always ask for a grilled cheese.  Trust me you won't even miss the meat.  It's part of In-N-Out's secret unpublished menu that is really not a secret.

And be sure to check the bottom of your drink cup for bible verses.

Oh, and by the way, In-N-Out is only like two doors away from Coldstone.  I suggest the Cake Batter ice cream with chocolate chips, graham crackers, and chocolate sauce mixed in.

Hmmm...I don't know how I keep putting on weight!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Way Out On The Ocean. . .

Modern world met old world in San Francisco today as a parade of tall ships passed under the Bay Bridge.

The ships were here to take part in the Festival Of Sail from July 23 through July 28.  

The view of these "pirate" ships was a welcome distraction from my fourth floor cubical.  

Later in the afternoon when the ships had come back to dock, I looked out the window and realized there were people hanging from the cross bars of the masts rolling up the sails.  This can be seen in the picture below.  Pretty amazing.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Darkness Falls Across The Land. . .

Ok...this mannequin made me laugh out loud. He clearly has a broken leg, which happens.

I think why it was so funny is how the leg juts out like the mannequin is about to start Michael Jackson's Thriller Dance. Can't you just see it?

It reminds me of when one of the stores I worked in inherited some mannequins from another store. The other store accidentally gave us two left arms. We still had to put "Lefty the Gimp" on the floor to maintain the presentation so he always had to be positioned in a way to try and hide his backwards facing hand.

I always got a kick out of watching customers stare at the mannequin trying to figure out what was wrong. Eventually some of the customers would come over and say, "I think his arm in on backwards."


The Song Of The Day - Thriller By Michael Jackson

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Breakaway. . .

In one of my first blog entries I mentioned my fear of the Muni buses breaking free from the overhead electrical wires.  I went on to express my concern about the possibility of the bus rolling backwards down the steep hills of San Francisco.

One of my dear readers sent me an email after seeing the blog and asked if this was another one of my irrational fears.  She assured me that there were highly skilled engineers who were probably paid lots of money to design a breaking system for the Muni bus system.  

Ok...I see where she was coming from on this point.  But what about the Cable Cars?  Their systems are WAY old.

So I would just like to share with you that this week a Cable Car did break free from the underground cable and went careening down the hill until it eventually derailed injuring several passengers.  

Allegedly both the Cable Car operators had stepped off the car at the time of the accident and this was a violation of Muni policy and procedure.

Anyway, I would just like to say that maybe my fear was not so irrational after all.

Here is a link to the newspaper article about the accident:

The Song Of The Day - Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson

Sunday, July 13, 2008

So Real. . .

The fake people who fool me are multiplying!

When I was in Santa Barbara recently I came across these two gentleman on State Street.

Be aware the fake people are everywhere and they are out to make you look twice!

The Song Of The Day - So Real by Mandy Moore

Uh Oh, Don't Let Go. . .

It's been awhile since I have blogged about the 30x and last Friday I had the distinct pleasure of riding the bus pressed against the front window.

And because I am always thinking about you my readers I wanted to share this picture I took as I held onto the fare box for dear life.  The black vertical line in the middle of the picture is the windshield wiper.

I want to talk about a pet peeve of mine about the 30x.  There are signs all over the interior of the bus that say "Move To The Back."  That basically means that you should always be aware of who is on the bus and if the back of the bus is empty you should move towards the back to allow more people to get on.

Because the Marina folk who ride the 30x are likely to know a fellow passenger they like to sit next to each other and talk.  So if the bus is thinning out of passengers at the back, 30x riders are not going to "break" their click up to allow more people on at the front.  In fact the Marina folk can be downright rude pretending not to hear you kindly ask to them to move back.  That is the great thing about the iPod generation, you can just pretend you didn't hear someone.  When in fact you heard everything they said.  

Another thing 30x riders are guilty of is not leaning in to allow you to pass them in the aisle of the bus so that you can at least move back for them if they choose not to.  And God knows they will not bend down and move their gym bag or brief case to allow you more room.

I bring this up because even though the bus let off lots of passengers after the second stop in the Financial District on Friday morning, the front passengers did not move back which meant I had to stay squished against the window for four more stops.  


The Song Of The Day - 2 Hearts by Kylie Minogue

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Irreplaceable . . .

To all my Santa Barbara my parents and I went to Santa Barbara to enjoy a beautiful day in the sun while exploring the shops on State Street.

There were lots of new stores to check out since the last time I was in town.  There is even an Old Navy now on State Street.

As we walked from store to store we spotted reality TV star and train wreck Danny Bonoduce.  He was taller in real life than I expected, but I didn't see if he was wearing boots which would have added to his height.

After we made our rounds we ended at Pascucci's Italian restaurant.  I ordered the Insalata Pascucci.  The salad consisted of organic mixed greens, smoked chicken breast, gorgonzola, candied walnuts, tossed in a sundried tomato vinegarette served in a frico (parmesan cheese shell.)

Unfortunately, I was not in love with my salad.  I usually like my food at Pascucci's but this time I was disappointed.  The silver lining through the whole meal was that I kept thinking about going over to Pierre Lafond deli and bakery afterwards to get something delicious to make up for the not so great salad.

After we left the restaurant we headed toward Pierre Lafond on the main court of the Paseo Nuevo shopping center.  The bakery looked dark.  Were they closed?  As we got closer my mouth fell open.  Pierre Lafond was not just closed, it was permanently gone.

I was so sad.  No more Farm Cake.  No more banana chocolate chip muffins.  No more pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.  No more smoothies, earthquake cookies, peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, enchiladas and more.  I spent many breakfasts, lunches and dinners eating the delicious food sold at Pierre Lafond Paseo Nuevo over the years that I worked in Santa Barbara.   This is a real loss to the shopping center.

And while we are on the subject of things that are no longer in Santa Barbara, I still have not fully recovered from the news that the Greek Italian Deli closed.  Who knows how many turkey sandwiches I ate from there?

At least the Lafond's will still operate the Bistro further down State Street.  Hopefully Farm Cake is on the menu.

The Song Of The Day - Irreplaceable by Beyonce

Friday, July 4, 2008

T U R T L E Power. . .

For those of you who have known me the longest you are probably well aware that my family has a desert tortoise

When I was in first grade "Rover" came to live with us.  He was found walking down Sunset Blvd in Brentwood CA in 1980.  My uncle Joe and Aunt Mary Ellen first took Rover in because they already had a desert tortoise named Speedy.  But Speedy and Rover did not get along and that is how we came to own Rover.

Rover has been in the family for 28 years.  I call Rover "The Ultimate Survivor" because he has "Outwitted, Outlasted, and Outplayed" several family dogs, fish, birds etc.  His attitude seems to be..."I was here before you, and I will be here after you."

Rover is a very loyal tortoise.  He is the one pet in the family that every time I come home and step out into the back yard and call his name he comes right to me.

Here is a picture of the family dog "Latte."  I don't want him to become jealous of the turtle's fame!

The Song Of The Day - Animal by R E M

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Time To Say Goodbye. . .

And so my week in Hawaii is coming to a close.  On this last full day before heading back to the mainland we did a bit more shopping, of course more eating, and a little bit of laying out at the beach.  Unfortunately it was "vogged" in.  However, on the news tonight, the weather man did say that tomorrow's forecast will have "Decreasing Vog."

The Song Of The Day - Time To Say Goodbye by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman

Sign Of Life . . .

Here is my favorite sign on the island of Hawaii.  Evacuation Route!

Now in case of emergency I am not sure if this is the evacuation route for lava flow or a tsunami.  

What is great about the location of this particular sign is that it is partnered with another road sign.  I guess you can choose which way you want to evacuate.  Good times.

Here is another interesting sign from the Magic Sands beach of Hawaii.

"If In Doubt, Don't Go Out."

Basically there are huge rocks right where the waves are breaking.  However this did not seem to stop anyone from body surfing and boogie boarding in the water.

The Song Of The Day - Sign Of Life by LeAnn Rimes

Take To The Sky. . .

As promised, here are some pictures from parasailing!

I snapped the photo above of myself with a disposable camera I took on the flight with me.  I am really high up, trust me.  Just to prove it, the next photo is looking back down the other way!

And just like Tom Petty said, "And now I'm Freeeeeee...Free Fallin!"

Look out below...I am coming in for a landing...and no hands!

Here's Wendy just after her dip!

The Song Of The Day -  Take To The Sky by Tori Amos

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I Will Remember You . . .

Day Six in Hawaii and we were up at the crack of dawn to catch a flight to the island of Oahu.

There were five things on the agenda:

1.  Visit Pearl Harbor
2.  Eat a Puka Dog
3.  Find The Gap at Ala Moana 
4.  If time permitted go to Waikiki Beach for a swim
5.  Fly back to Kona

I was stopped by the TSA's at the Kona airport because my Trader Joe's sunscreen was a threat to national security.  The good news was that I had already applied the lotion before getting to the airport.  The bad news was they confiscated my brand new bottle.

When we arrived in Honolulu it had just rained.  Fortunately the sun was out and that was a nice change after the constant Vog in Kona.

We opted to rent a Jeep Wrangler for the Day.  We unzipped the windows and were off to find Pearl Harbor.  I missed the turn off to the memorial and we ended up driving way off course.  This turned out to be a good thing because Wendy had been craving a Jack In The Box taco since her arrival back on the west coast and of course the off ramp I chose to turn around on had Jack right there!

Word to future Pearl Harbor visitors, Hawaii does not have clear signs on how to get to the memorial.  I think the only reason we found it was by accident.

We arrived at about 9am and were given tickets for the memorial at 11:15.  This gave us plenty of time to take the $5.00 audio tour of the museum.   Just like our trip to Ellis Island in 2005, Wendy powered through the museum and I met back up with her about an hour and half later.  

I will say there was so much about the attack on Pearl Harbor I did not know and I have a far deeper appreciation for the magnitude of the tragedy now having visited the memorial.

Below are some pictures from Pearl Harbor.


After Pearl Harbor we were off to find Puka Dog.  Wendy had seen a show on the Travel Channel that said Puka Dogs on the island of Oahu were a must for hot dog lovers.  Prior to our trip I had Map Quested directions on how to get from Pearl Harbor to Puka Dog.  We found Puka Dog in a little shopping center.

A Puka Dog in my opinion (Wendy thought it was fabulous) is a glorified hot dog.  Seriously, the hot dog is put into this bun with a hole in it.  That's it.  I was expecting a little more.  I guess I thought the bun would be different, more substantial or something.  But it tasted like a regular hot dog bun.  The one cool thing about Puka Dog is they have a wide variety of tropical relishes used to flavor your dog with.   I went with Banana relish and it was good.

Here is Wendy about to enjoy her Puka Dog.  

Here is me contemplating the fact that half the reason we had flown from Kona to Honolulu was for a hot dog.  No joke.

After Puka Dog we traveled a few blocks to the Ala Moana shopping center.  A huge mall with lots of great stores.  And to continue my shopping mall tour of  America...I can now cross this one off the list.  

Thank God I arrived when I did because The Gap store had forgotten to mark down the Men's Overdye Tote Bag.  Fortunately I was able to get an employee to properly price these items.  Imagine if I hadn't have shown up when I did.  We may have lost sales.  =)

After the mall we walked across the street to the Ala Moana Beach for a short swim and some time in the sun. 

It was then time to head back to the airport to return to Kona.  

The Song Of The Day - Migrate by Mariah Carey featuring T - Pain