We had a fantastic time with Megan this weekend, finding random adventures at every turn. Megan is such a dearie and we love her.
We are getting to be fairly decent S.F. tour guides, if we don’t say so ourselves, ‘cuz we’ve been there so frequently in the past year! When we arrived on Friday, late in the morning, the city was alive, bustling with activity and excitement. We went straight to Chinatown to have lunch at a place called The House of Nanking. I had learned, from an online search, that this was a favorite place of the locals. When we arrived, the small restaurant was packed. We stood in a line outside the door and this little Chinese man, with a shock of peppery gray hair and an upturned collar, appeared in the doorway to help keep the line moving. He was quite a busy little fellow. He was very animated and kept trying to hurry us along into the restaurant. Soon we were seated at a tiny table in the corner and handed our menus. Someone brought us some colorful cups filled with water and a slice of lemon and cucumber. I’d never had cucumber in my water before, and I was pleasantly surprised at the flavor.
A few seconds later, the same little man who was ‘helping the line’ was at our side again. Apparently, since he was so talented at being everywhere at once, he would also be our waiter. He grabbed our menus from underneath our noses and asked, "This your first time here?" When we answered affirmatively, he said, "I take care of you. I’m chef." He then asked what we couldn’t eat because of allergies or religious reasons. And I asked for no seafood, please. Before we could say anything else, he was gone with a bow and a whirl. Once he had left, Kevin, Megan and I stared at each other in disbelief and astonishment. Then we started laughing. We looked around us wondering what kind of place this was exactly. All the other patrons seemed to be enjoying themselves thoroughly. Kevin decided that having someone else choose what you would eat at a restaurant was kind of fun. Soon we were brought appetizers, and then three huge family-style platters with all sorts of yummy Chinese variations. It was all very delicious. Incidentally, the three platters included beef, chicken and pork, plus stuffed mushrooms, fancy sweet potatoes, etc. I must say that this whole episode was the craziest restaurant experience I’ve ever had!
After lunch we took a cable car to the wharf, where we observed people cracking open steamed crabs and eating them. Revolting, eh? I wonder who was the first person who had the bright idea of eating something so ugly as a crab. We also spent some time in Union Square. We went to this huge, four story, Williams-Sonoma store. It was rather impressive.
On Saturday we spent some time along the coast. We bought some sourdough bread, salami, and cheese and took a picnic lunch to Stinton beach. It was marvelous to eat and relax next to the wonderful ocean sounds and smells. I love the ocean. I can never get enough of it. After playing in the water for a while, and taking a nap, we started packing up. That’s when we noticed a wedding starting to take place a few yards from where we were sitting. Kevin rolled his eyes when Megan and I said we wanted to stay and watch it for a while. It was very interesting, to say the least. The wedding party followed two ladies singing, throwing flower petals and rapping tambourines. All of them were barefoot. The bridesmaids were wearing bright colored dresses with glitter, sequins, and huge wings attached to their backs. Yes, I said wings. I guess they were trying to be either butterflies or fairies . . . or something. The ‘officiator’ was a woman dressed in a translucent black color with large rainbow-colored wings. The officiator’s wings were larger than any of the other wings. The bride had a flowing veil and a large black tattoo on her lower arm. The wedding lasted approximately nine minutes. In the middle of the wedding ceremony, a park ranger showed up because the bride and groom didn’t have a permit to be on the beach. Hmmmmm . . . it’s pretty much guaranteed that, if you go to the S.F. Bay, you will see fascinating things.
Before Megan left, we made sure that she got a well rounded California experience: We took her to In ‘N’ Out Burger and Jamba Juice. And, of course, we listened to the Beach Boys.