DAY ONE: saturday 02 february
after a late night of last-minute packing and unexpected cat-housing issues (poor casey cat), sean and i headed to jfk super early saturday morning, dropped off the car at a long term parking lot, and waited patiently for the shuttle van. it was still dark outside and bitterly cold; we were both so sleepy and cold that it was hard to process that we were going on vacation. after all the airport security rigmarole, we finally boarded the plane. our kooky head flight attendant gave us free access to the movies in support of the 49ers or somesuch :) i watched wreck-it ralph, and fell asleep through an uneventful flight--always a good thing. we landed in san francisco around 1130am, collected our luggage, and headed to our rental car. apparently if you're a hertz gold member, you get a personalized stall/parking spot for your car. baller. our trusty steed for the trip: a silver hyundai elentra.
we were both pretty hungry, so we made a quick stop in the mission district on our way to the hotel. we found el gallo giro taco truck and got two tacos (carnitas and al pastor) and a steak super burrito. the food was well-cooked and flavorful and well-portioned. the burrito was definitely super in size but held up and didn't gush out after a couple bites. we scarfed it down in the car (parking was pretty much impossible to find since it's mostly residential/permit) and knew we were off to a good start.
now, off to the hotel. we decided early on that we would avoid all parking garages ($50/day, hilton? no thanks.), so we drove over to russian hill and lucked out with a slanty-hillside parking spot where we could leave the car until monday morning. winners.
after a little downhill walk wheeling/carrying our luggage, we made it to the hotel, checked in, and freshened up. it always feels good to shower and change after a long flight--wash away all that stale airplane air.
we didn't spend too much time in the hotel since we were scheduled for some serious hang time with mike and sarah in berkeley. sarah and i dropped off mike and sean at a bar while we went to berkeley bowl west to shop for sarah's sunday brunch. oh my, i loved this place: all that california produce and the assortment of bulk bins! how i miss good bulk bins~ anyhoo, we finished shopping and went to pick up the guys and dinner--zachary's deep dish pizza. pair that with arancini, mozzarella sticks, and a tuscan kale salad, and we have a satisfying end to our first day in california.
DAY TWO: sunday 03 february
SUPER BOWL SUNDAY! 49ERS! WOOOHOOO! okay, now that that's out of the way...
we started the day in chinatown: dim sum at new asia, a quick stroll through the chinese new year booths, and bags of almond cookies from mee mee bakery. i really like chinatown during chinese new year; everything is cleaner and more festive, and everyone seems nicer. i love all the goodies and decorations. it just makes me happy.
we toted our chinatown treats and made our way over to north beach for some coffee and desserts from stella pastry. sean chowed down on a sfogliatella (i'm not a huge fan--too crunchy), and we shared the tiramisu. mmm, the tiramisu was really nice. it might have been one of the best i've had. it was light and not too sweet or boozy and perfectly layered. i could have totally eaten the whole thing, but caring is sharing blah blah... :P
the rest of the afternoon was pretty lazy like any good sunday. i cozied up in bed to read and promptly fell asleep. naps sure are lovely. i woke up just in time for the half-time show and the amazingness that is beyonce. we watched the rest of the game then rode a bart train full of sad 49er fans :( we had a simple sushi dinner with mike and sarah then finished with some fenton's for dessert (scoops of coffee cookie dream for me and a chocolate milkshake for sean). i think every day should end with ice cream, don't you?