Monday, August 29, 2011

walk around the neighborhood (testing out the new camera)

I recently purchased a Canon T2i DSLR camera and am really excited about it!  I've been wanting a quality camera for a while and love taking photos with it.  I know that it is going to benefit in more ways than the simple pleasure in taking random photos.  We will definitely be taking more photos before the end of the summer and I am very excited for that!

These photos were on the day after I got the camera.  We had a spontaneous walk out around our street because it was so sunny.  However, the fog rolled in quick so our trip was short lived.  I think I still got some pretty good photos.  Click on the photos and you can get a better picture quality.  Enjoy!

She brings a whole new level to the word: Beautiful.


Excited to live here obviously!

We like wine

This cool detail only comes out nice because of the camera
Awesome details!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Happy Birthday Abby!

On Saturday, Matt's younger siblings, Abby and Josh came out to visit us. Abby was turning 17 on Monday, so they came out to SF to visit us and go to the giants game. When they got here (two hours laters than we anticipated), the first thing they told us was that they were starving. So we asked them what they wanted to eat....and we expected a "I don't know" or a "I don't care" but Abby blurted out, what about deep dish pizza? So we tried this Chicago-style pizza chain called Patxi's, the one in Hayes Valley. I think Hayes Valley is known as a trendy mini shopping area. Cute ritzy stores. Good food. Patxi's awesome. We were starving, so we ordered a lunch special (pizza slice + salad + soda) and a large pizza. Josh was so hungry, he practically licked his salad plate clean (best salad ever). And the waiter gave us an extra slice of pizza because we had to wait a little longer (since someone else took our slice). Overall, a great experience (plus the giants game was on).


After eating, we decided to walk around a little in Haight Ashbury. They had never been there before, so of course, they had to experience the one place where it's practically cool to be homeless. I was on the hunt for a new pair of Toms, and Josh was on the hunt for some new sunglasses. We stopped in pretty much every store that sold sunglasses for 10 bucks. But Josh couldn't find anything!! We did check out some cool shops and met some interesting people. Nothing like a good dose of Haight Ashbury to get you acquainted with San Francisco. We also took them into Amoeba Records, the world's largest independent record store. It's just cool to see all the records/cds/tapes and learning about this place's history. There are also a ton of stores that sell giants apparel. Awesome.


Haight Ashbury sign!

After eating and shopping and people watching, we decided we wanted some ice cream!! Abby had looked up this place called Bi-Rite Creamery in the Mission. It turns out that Bi-Rite Creamery is also on the Big Eat SF List so of course we had to go. There was a long line and we must have waited at least 20 minutes, but I think it was worth it. Matt got the trifecta ice cream trio, which included the flavor on the Big Eat SF List, salted caramel. For the most part, I think it's a really great flavor and it's yummy, but it wouldn't be my cup of tea all the time. It's definitely worth trying once though. I ordered the balsamic strawberry-vanilla swirl soft serve...and it was the BOMB! I love soft serve ice cream, so I'd probably be just as excited about McDonald's soft serve ice cream. We walked up to Mission Dolores Park and took some pictures of the awesome view of the city. But it was getting dark...which means time to get out of the Dolores Park (pretty sure it's a major hang out for druggies and dealers...uh-oh). For some reason, Matt was craving coffee (weird right?) and so we stopped at Philz Coffee. Yes I am embarrassed about how much eating we did that day. Philz is awesome. They individually brew each cup of glorious coffee. It's definitely a little bit more $$$ but well worth it if you're looking for a coffee treat. Plus they were closing and kind of rushing us out, so they gave us some free donuts because they felt bad. Good customer service...well good save anyway. Afterwards, we were too tired to do much, so we just came back to the house and hung out.

On Sunday, we tried a new place for breakfast called Howard's Cafe. The food was pretty good and decently priced. We picked Howard's because it was the only place with a tv and the giants game was already on at 10 in the morning. We'll probably be back. Looks like it's been around for a long time, so they must be doing something right. Afterwards, we took the N-line to Union Square to the Ferry Building. Abby was super excited because it was her first time riding public transportation!

first time riding the muni!!!

We walked around a little bit in that area because there was a really cool waterfall water structure. Sunday morning was also the day of the SF Marathon, and there were tons of people at the Ferry Building who had just finished up their 26.2 miles. Very busy. We tried to take the cute little bus to Fisherman's Wharf but we ended up going the wrong direction. Worked out for me though because I stopped in forever 21 and bought a pair of sunglasses. We finally took the right bus to Pier 39 and walked around the shops in that area. I think Pier 39 might be one of my favorite places in SF. There were a lot of seals out that day, making their crazy seal sounds. Matt and I totally pretended to be seals and made embarrassingly loud seal sounds. It was awesome. We also saw a magic show because there was a magician performing for "free." I think from now on, whenever I go to Pier 39, I will just put 10 dollars aside to pass out to worthy street performers. We tried on some hats in the hat store, played around in the left-handed store, bought some salt water taffy, and grabbed some coffee. Being a Sunday afternoon, it was super crowded. We walked through Fisherman's Wharf a little bit and saw a group of guys break dancing for a crowd. We also saw some pretty lame silver/gold "robot" men. I've seen some pretty good ones, so these guys were just mediocre. Abby really wanted to see the "bush man" who hides behind a fake bush and pops out at unsuspecting tourists, but apparently he was taking a break. Sad :( We meandered through North Beach, finally making our way to Chinatown, the neighborhood that I think Josh and Abby were most excited for.

seals and alcatraz!!!

magic show. yes he is throwing knives.

trying on hats. best place on pier 39!

i wanted to buy everything!

we love america!!

break dancers!

We walked around and stopped at all the stereotypical Chinatown shops. Josh bought some fake Ray-Bans finally, so at least he was successful in his shopping. We stopped in our favorite Chinese restaurant, Snow Garden, where we had last gone with Amber and David before a Giants game. I think I like this place so much because the food is super cheap and the people are really nice. Plus there were other white folks there (and the inside of the restaurant is orange...and who doesn't love orange walls!!). We got some chow mein, orange chicken, mongolian beef, and some potstickers. Overall, big success! Abby said they were the best potstickers she had ever had! I think the highlight of our trip was Matt's purchase: this man bought a fanny pack. No joke (I wish I were kidding). He also bought an alcatraz shirt in anticipation of our trip to alcatraz in August. He plans on bringing a camera and wearing his fanny pack. Embarrassing I know. 

he's so cultured.

we're not tourists... 

we don't monkey around!!

Nothing quite says tourist-y like Chinatown. After all the neighborhoods we had perused (did you lose count...i did), the kids were tired and we headed home. Quite a crazy weekend. So much that on Monday morning, I was almost late to work after waking up 20 minutes before I had to leave. Too much partying ;) just kidding parents.