Friday, March 2, 2012

San Francisco Again

So last weekend I had a little day trip to San Francisco.. and it was really nice. I got to hang out with a couple of my friends and a couple more of their friends, and the five of us got dim sum at Imperial Palace Restaurant in Chinatown. We sat down and they brought the dim sum out to us in little bamboo baskets, and we must have had at least ten different kinds. Pork buns, shrimp dumplings, veggie dumplings, little taro squares, sesame balls, something with egg custard inside... it was everything I hoped it would be. I was so hungry I just wanted to try everything, and I didn't take any pictures, but just google "dim sum" images and you'll see what the beautiful world of dim sum is all about.

After lunch, we looked around at some little shops. I got two very pretty, soft scarves at a little shop I spotted before we went to lunch. They're made out of pashmina and silk, and I've been wearing one or the other to work every day. One is blue and gold, and the other is pink and magenta. They come in every color you could imagine, so I might get a couple more next time I go. They're so soft and light, yet keep me quite warm. Perhaps I'll wear one in a picture in one of my future entries.

Anyway, we also paid a visit to the Fortune Cookie Factory, which is inconspicuously hidden down this little alley. There, you can buy bags of fortune cookies, and even watch this lady make the fortune cookies. The cookies are cooked on this sort of rotating belt, and the lady peels them off their little irons and slips a fortune inside, and bends the cookie together before it hardens. There are even chocolate fortune cookies.

Before leaving Chinatown, we got some bubble tea, and hung out at a little park to rest. At the park, there were a whole bunch of people-- old and young, just enjoying the sunny day. Some people were even doing group Tai Chi, and there was this pretty oriental music playing. This is why I love San Francisco, it just breathes with such life and energy.

 Chinatown is so colorful, too. There are always pretty red paper lanterns hanging along the street.

We met up with my sister and her boyfriend at Blue Bottle Coffee Company, and my friends enjoyed some coffee before they left. I got the brew of the day, Giant Steps. They have more than enough to say about it on the website, and I'll just say it wasn't anything less than what I was expecting. Blue Bottle is huge in San Francisco, there is often a line out the door. My sister got a New Orleans style iced coffee, which was also quite good.

The Mint Plaza location, where we went, is unique to some of the others in the city, because it has a bunch of fancy coffee machinery. One thing they're very proud of is their siphon bar. I'm not exactly sure how it works, but it's very pretty.

 After coffee, we headed over to the Westin Hotel, which boasts 32 stories and is said to be one of the tallest buildings in San Francisco. Passers-by can go up an elevator and view the city from the very top floor.

Everything just looked so peaceful from up there. It was so quiet, too. My ears were popping a bit because of the elevation. Just imagine what it would be like to stay in that hotel!

Walking around throughout the day, I saw several pretty murals. I guess that's a thing in the bay area, cool murals everywhere. Here are some of them.

After walking around a bit, we went and got some pizza for dinner, went to a record & CD store, and went to H&M, my new favorite clothing store, where I found some cardigans for work. Then we parted ways and I looked back happily upon a great day.


  1. The Imperial Palace Restaurant looks like a wonderful place, to be with your friends to sip tea and feasting on the innumerable assortment of delicacies that make up Chinese dim sum.... Literally dim sum means "to touch your heart" this post did it for me.... Jen, it seems you transported me there with you as well!


  2. Yes, that's one thing I love about Chinese/Japanese restaurants.. the warm, lovely tasting tea, never too sweet or too bland. Glad you enjoyed the post, Meesh. I enjoyed writing it. :)

  3. Jen,

    I absolutely enjoyed what you posted. The picturesque presentation...You know what captured me? Those beautiful murals, you know here where I live...I have never seen this, first time when reading/enjoying what you display here. I thank you!

    I am also looking forward to what inquisitive questions Al has to ask... he always seems to pick up what I missed..he is very inquisitive and smart too. What a great post Jen!

  4. I love the murals here, too. They're everywhere. Looking forward to hearing from Al too. :)

  5. Mere words cannot capture the true essence of a wonderful day trip experience in any great city, Jen, but like Meesh has shared, you have managed to give the reader an up close and personal view of your amazing experience in San Francisco--Cheers!

    Was recently reading a little about Elvis Presley, and his fondness for wearing scarves doing some of his performances. Am happy you managed to find a couple good choices to your liking during your delightful day trip (We'll be holding you to these words ===> "Perhaps I'll wear one in a picture in one of my future entries.") Have to agree with Meesh's favorable assessment about the murals--thanks for capturing them with your camera, and sharing them within this interesting post. Enjoy your day.

    Care to share what your fortune cookie had to say? You don't have to...but my inquisitive nature is getting the best of me.

    1. Leave it to Al, the scarves (Elvis reference) and of course the inquisitive question...what was written in the fortune cookie. He never ceases to amazes me. However, I thought for sure he would have something to say about the coffee (the brew of the day, Giant Steps) and that siphon bar.

      Yes Jen, this recent post is packed with delightful information.

    2. That is an interesting fact about Elvis. I bought my friend the same fashion of scarf, in red and gold, and he loves it. :)

      Actually I didn't eat any fortune cookies, but in my friend's bag they tossed in some broken up little cookie chips that I snacked on.

  6. Nevertheless @ actually not eating a fortune cookie, Jen...fortune still comes to mind when I think of how fortunate your family, co-workers, and your Friend are to have you--toss in Meesh and I as well. Hope your week is moving along on a positive note. Off to catch up with a bright and beautiful Canadian.

    Just curious, Does the colors blue and red have any special meaning in Chinese culture? Especially when paired with gold?

    1. Thanks Al :). You and Meesh are great friends, and you make blogging so much fun for me. I love being able to share my adventures with you and hear your thoughts when you share your own experiences.

      I'm not sure about those colors in Chinese culture, but gold is definitely an important color for them. Red is also important in the Chinese new year. It symbolizes good fortune.

  7. Hey Jen!

    Thanks for your kind words, and we are glad to be mutually giving something back to you in return. Appreciate the response to my question, and we wish you a week full of "gold" and "red"--may good fortune abound. Am scrolling up to your latest...