San Francisco Treat

21 05 2008

San Francisco, CA

Oh and what a treat it has been. Nothing to make you forget all of your plans for world domination like a little mommy pampering. Gage and I have spent the last week and a half lounging around in San Francisco and being fed as though we were in trained for an eating competition. Obviously we’ve been here a while so I can’t give you a play by play, but I do have to give you the highlights; the majority it of which are, of course, food related.

First of all, we spent quite a bit of time in Japantown because that is where the ill-fated Chinese embassy is located. Actually the embassy’s fate is fine, it’s ours that wasn’t so great. After several visits via massively long lines Gage and I had to cancel our original plan to visit my cousin Peter in Beijing. It seems so unfair that their products enter our borders with such ease and frequency, yet Gage and I couldn’t get a visa. The only good thing that came out of all of this was the time that we were able to spend at the Japantown Mall eating strange and beautiful food. By strange food, I mean a green tea dough ball filled with red beans.

Dough Ball Dough Ball 2 Dough Ball 3

Gage found this little marshmallow-textured ball at a little dessert shop where a nice lady explained that Asian people ate them for good luck at New Year’s. So in the name of luck we decided to give it a shot. I mean, we could be eating all sorts of weird food in our travels, so this could be considered practice. I just hope the luck holds out if you are unable to finish the thing. The crazy part isn’t that we attempted to eat a green-tea flavored ball of dough filled with red beans. No, the crazy part is that we chose to eat that instead of one of the many desserts from the bar….

Japantown Dessert Bar

We ate at a lot of amazing restaurants in San Francisco – great seafood at Scoma’s, eclectic Italian at Fior D’Italia, rapid fire Chinese at Yank Sing – but there were two restaurants that deserve serious recognition. The first is Avatar’s in Sausalito, which we visited on our way up to Sonoma and Napa. Anyone who is anywhere near Sausalito owes it to themselves to try this amazing mix of Mexican and Indian food. Yeah, I know it sounds strange, but it tasted like all of the vegetables were picked fresh that morning from Eden and there were angels working as cooks. We literally told the waiter what we were in the mood for (like something spicy yet sweet with either seafood or chicken) and he created exactly what we wanted. The second restaurant receiving special recognition is Pizza Orgasmica. Now most people in San Francisco know about this place, but anyone from out of town needs to know about it. There are too many pizzas worth mentioning, so I’ll just say that you should give it a shot…and prepare your o-face.

Now my mother is not only a connoisseur of fine dining, but she also knows how to show us around town. First stop was the obligatory visit to the piers at the Embarcadero to visit my friends, the sea lions. How can you not love sea lions? They’re lazy, bloated, grumpy seals that make embarrassing noises. Just like that one weird uncle you remember from when you were a kid.

Pier 39 sea lions

Over the weekend mom took us on a drive down Route 1 to see the coastline. I have no idea why I don’t find miles of endless ocean to be boring, but I just love to look at it. Gage enjoyed looking at it to, when he wasn’t napping in the back seat. We did have to wake him up from his favorite past time to check out the kite surfers. At this one random beach there were about 25 of these kite surfing people jumping over waves and doing various stunts in and above the water. If you’ve ever wanted to surf and paraglide, this is the sport for you.


Since we had Citypass books (a great investment if you’re wanting to visit some of the sites in San Francisco), we ventured over to the de Young Museum to check out some of the exhibits. Although I was totally taken with the sculptures, the real highlight was the Japanese Tea Garden. It wasn’t very big and it cost $4 to enter, but we loved wandering through the twisted paths and coming across another secret little pond or stream. The only par that confused me were the amount of Japanese tourists walking around the place. Isn’t that like going to Japan for a piece of apple pie? Maybe they were just checking up to make sure we’re doing it right.

tea garden

I would like to take a moment to sing the praises of public transportation. Since our Citypass books gave us 7 free days of riding the San Francisco Muni and my mom lives on the other side of the peninsula, we were given ample opportunity to enjoy the values of city buses. First of all, you can get a true flavor of what the people are like when you ride the bus. Example 1: Our bus trip at 9pm was put on a brief pause when the bus driver suddenly pulled over to the side of the road and made a mad dash into a convenience store to grab a drink. Although I did hear one exasperated sigh, no one really seemed to notice. Example 2: Gage tapped me on the shoulder and pointed out the kid outside who took the opportunity of the brief red light to add his name to the facade of the bus. So you see, public transportation is like the Cliff Note’s version of city culture. For more pictures from San Francisco, click here.

So now for the big news. After our Beijing plans fell through and Gage and I watched some news, we decided that Asia may not be the best place in the world to visit right now. Thailand is having a bunch of issues due to the Burma thing, China won’t let us in the country unless we are guaranteed to leave, and everywhere else on that side of the world is a little too pricey right now. So instead of starting our journey east and working west, we’ve decided to go backwards. Early tomorrow morning we bored a flight that will eventually get us to Bucharest, Romania. It was never really in the plans, but then again, there never really was a plan. So if anyone has any precious advice on Eastern Europe, now would be the time to dispense with it.

Before I sign off, I want to say thanks to everyone who has helped us over the past month and a half. Thank you to Sauce and Don at Casa Lancaster for giving us a week to chill out before setting off on our long road trip. Thanks to Wesley for showing us a wonderful time in Memphis. Thanks to Rhonda and Mike for the personalized guide to Chicago. Thanks to Jeff and Tate for giving me a reason to visit and really enjoy Michigan. Thanks Dana and Amy for making us feel so welcome. Thanks Manda for moving close to CT so I have an excuse to visit you. Dad, in order to properly thank you I’d have to do a brand new post. Thanks to KTB for not being too embarrassed to introduce me to all your Pratt buddies and for loving Gage almost as much as I do. Thanks mom for letting us live in the lap of luxury and for telling us how much you are going to miss us even though I called the cable company to fix your internet and accidentally got your entire building busted for siphoning cable. Thanks to Judi for organizing our lives behind the scenes. And thanks to all our friends and family who read this and actually care what the heck we’re doing. We miss you already.





5 responses

22 05 2008

You got mom’s entire building busted for siphoning cable!

Is Bucharest going to be far enough away?

24 05 2008
Garrett Bryant

keep on plugging away…. I was waiting on the San Fran update…. Oh, my boy BJ fights Sean “the steriod muscle shark” Sherk tonight… and Tito Ortiz’s potential final fight also occurs tonight… wish ya’ll were here.

24 05 2008
Gage Dad

Happy birthday, Gage, wherever you are (24th)!!!

28 05 2008
Anissa Freeman Starnes

Gage and Jennifer –
Hello from Charlotte, NC – I was wondering today if you had started your new “journey” and then I remembered that Gage had told me back in March to check for a blog on in the future, so I did. Then I saw the link to Living Spree (love the title) and was excited to see that you had gotten married and had started your journey! Congratulations! I’ll be checking your blog frequently because I know there will be great and wonderful adventures ahead and I would love to read about them! Enjoy every single minute of the “unknown” in front of you. Travel safe,

Anissa Freeman Starnes

29 05 2008

Hi Jen and Gage,
Have fun in Romania. Paul says it is an interesting country. It will make you think about how we live over here in america. Paul went to Dracula’s castle and to a cemetery over there when he went on a Dracula tour a few years ago with a DJ company he worked with.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: