Saturday, April 24, 2010

Florida Farrars

My brother and his wife are trying to adopt and have just completed the process/profile for LDS Family Services. We want as many people as possible to know of their search and of what amazing parents they would be - so please take a look at their beautiful message, pictures, etc. on their profile page. Share their information via word of mouth, blog, etc. whenever you feel inspired....

We are praying that the baby who is meant to be in their family finds its way there soon.

We are also praying it takes after Lisa.

Monday, April 5, 2010

San Francisco (Part Three)

On Wednesday morning, Steph and I tried to wake up early for free admission into the Tea Gardens at Golden Gate Park. The gardens are free until 10am on M,W, F. With Scott's help, we got to the garden's at about 9:45.

I think this Buddha is in a Photoshop book that I have:

The gardens also had this insane bridge. Only I was brave enough to scale it:

But I also had to be brave for the descent:
The rest of the day our plan was to get more use out of our double-decker bus tour. Our first stop on the bus tour was Chinatown. I had been to Chinatown a few times before, but I never knew what to be excited about. I mostly saw a bunch of $1.88 t-shirts, and a load of tourists. In our guidebook we read that most tourists hang out on Grant street, while the locals shop on Stockton.

Here is Grant:

We stopped by the fortune cookie factory and grabbed a bag full of fortune cookies. We had to resist the urge to buy a bag full of "Adult" fortunes.

After the cookie factory, we went to Stockton street in search of some grub. I always have a hard time in international districts. I want to stay away from tourists traps, but I usually can't understand the menu at the places that locals frequent.

We did however, see a line coming out of this place. We thought it best to check it out:

I couldn't understand the menu, so I just pointed, payed 50 cents and ended up with this deliciousness:

My greatest regret of the trip is that I didn't go back and get 5 more of them.

After Chinatown, we hopped back on the bus. While waiting at a stop at Fisherman's wharf I spotted a pier with an interesting sign "Musee Mecanique". We got off the bus and decided to check it out.

The Musee was pretty cool. Essentially a collection of old, strange, penny arcade machines. Some favorites:

I won't post the video of me getting beat by the arm wrestling machine on the "Fly Weight" setting. But I did get to see 3D photos of the San Francisco fire and earthquake.

Our next stop was the Ferry Building which was really cool -- Essentially an old building which was converted to a mall full of fancy foods.

Next we stopped at Civic Center and took a tour of city hall:

After it started raining really hard. We had a few hours until we went to Betsy and Steve's for dinner, so we found refuge in Lee's Sandwiches. Which had a boat-load of Bahn Mi.

So many choices!

After our sandwich, it was still raining. So we found refuge in the Public Library with some smelly and even belligerent homeless people.

After the library, we caught the train over to Betsy and Steve's in the inner sunset. Steve is my new hero because he makes awesome pizza and he is really funny. We are sad that we didn't get to hang out with them more. The evening was fun, as we got to eat pizza and 2 dozen cookies, and catch up.

Another great day - other San Francisco fun will follow shortly.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

San Francisco (Part Two)

On Monday of our trip, Scott and Whitney decided to get all touristy with us and follow us into the city. One of the parts about San Francisco that I love is the amazing public transportation. I really feel like it is relatively easy to get from anywhere to anywhere in a small amount of time. In Seattle, we just have token forms of transportation, like the Monorail. Which is really good if you want to travel from a crappy mall to the space needle. If you want to get from our house to anything interesting in Seattle be prepared to take an 8-hour bus ride.

Anyway, here is us on the L train:
Our object in going into the city was to ride a super-touristy double-decker open top bus. As luck would have it -- it was raining:

The open top was really popular:

To warm up, we had some food at Boudin at Fisherman's wharf, which was pretty good:

After, we walked over to Ghiradelli Square. Which I imagined to be something akin to Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory...Wrong. Really beautiful space, but where is all of the chocolate?

The next day, we traveled with Scott into the Mission to grab some burritos at El Farolito's. I am intimidated by the amount of Mexican food that's in the Mission. So luckily, Yelp was around to help us out.

Scott and I had the Super Burritos. Scott of course had to put Tapatio on his (Scott buys Tapatio in mass quantities. I would often come back to my apartment at BYU to find him eating Totino's Pizza's with Tapatio on top).

Here is my Carne Asada (minus Tapatio plus Horchata):

Steph had a Torta, which was unlike any Torta that we have had. It was grilled, like a Panini:

Overall, I would say that the food was really good. Once again Yelp, you rule!

After eating, we checked out some things that were happening in the mission. One place that I wanted to check out was Dave Egger's Pirate Supply Store at 826 Valencia:

The store was a front for a Teen Writing workshop. There were a lot of cool posters and books, and I even got to see Dave Egger's himself hanging around. Overall, I think the project is really cool and would love to do something very similar with media.

Oh, and do you see that big wooden box on the ceiling. While standing underneath it, one of the workers triggered the booby trap and it dropped Mop Tops on me. Those pirate tricksters!

On our way home, I was still feeling adventurous after all of that pirating. We drove up to the top of Twin Peaks and hiked around:

Twin Peaks has a beautiful 360-degree view of the city.

When we returned home, Stephanie was feeling the pirate urge so she decided to turn Jones into a gypsy/pirate baby:

Still more...

San Francisco (Part 1)

This past week, Steph and I had the privilege of visiting San Francisco for our spring break. While I have been several times throughout the years, it was Steph's first visit and I was really excited for her to see the city. I was also excited because I have several good friends who live there, who I haven't seen for a long time.

We left on Saturday morning and flew into Oakland. From Oakland, we took BART into the city.

Whitney picked us up at the airport where I got to meet this guy for the first time:

Jones is just plain awesome. I really fell in love with this kid over the week -- he is really fun, and not a total chump like his dad.

After eating some great pizza at a pizza place on Noriega, Scott took Steph and I took a bus to Haight street. The Haight is the stoner section of San Francisco as evidenced by this house, which once belonged to the Grateful Dead:

Almost everything on the street smells like pot, and strange architectural features like legs hanging out windows are completely normal:

One of my favorite places on the street was this little shop, Loved to Death, that sells taxidermied animals:

I was going to buy a buck head to mount on the wall, but decided that it wouldn't fit into our carry on baggage.

The next day we went to church with Scott and Whitney. Scott's ward is chucked full of other San Francisco friends including Tim and Betsy & Steve. Sunday was one of the only nice days weather wise. Considering this, Steph and I took a walk down to the beach after church. Scott & Whitney's place is just a few blocks from the beach.

Later in the evening, we had a little Indian/Thai potluck with Tim and his brother. After Dinner, we ditched Jones with the roommates and took a drive up the coast to the Marin Headlands.

Tim was dressed appropriately for San Francisco as he looked a bit like a beat poet:

The headlands have an amazing view of the city and the Golden Gate Bridge:

The Boys:
The Girls:

At the top of the Headlands were some cool WWII bunkers. Tim decided to jump into one -- little did he know that the bunker would point out his Man Freckles.

More to come...