Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thirty, flirty, and thriving – San Francisco, CA

Yep, I turned the big 3-0 when I was in San Francisco. Most people dread turning 30 but for some reason I wasn’t torn up about it at all. Maybe I didn’t mind because I would be starting out my 30s doing what I do best….traveling the world and having fun. Now, check back with me when I’m turning 31 to see if I still have the same outlook on life!

The day started off with a dance party in the living room….thanks to Lizzy and Taio Cruz (Dynamite). Perfect way to wake up! Lizzy, Dan, Ruel, and I woke up super early to go to breakfast at Mama’s. Yum, yum, yum. If you know me, you know I LOVE breakfast food! After breakfast Lizzy and I went and got manicures (another thing I love).

In the afternoon I met up with two of my favorite friends, Mark Pahnke and Marina (Mo) Olsen, to go to Alcatraz. I know it’s a weird thing to want to do on your birthday, but I’ve been dying to go and it couldn’t have been a more perfect day. The weather was absolutely gorgeous – 80s on Nov 3rd -- not too shabby. The tour was very interesting and was definitely worth the trek out there. In fact, I would go again in a heartbeat. The views of SF were incredible. I’ve never seen the sky so clear when visiting SF. The weather was truly a special birthday treat.

That night Dan, Lizzy, Mark, Ruel, and I went to eat at One Market. Dan’s friend is a sous chef there so it came highly recommended. The food was divine and everyone left completely full. If you are in town you should definitely check this restaurant out. Afterwards we went to Coit Tower, one of my favorite places in the city, for a great view of the city. I love seeing the city all lit up at night. Breathtaking!

We ended the perfect birthday with some amazing pumpkin cake (thanks Lizzy for making it) and then we watched an episode of Modern Family. Life simply doesn’t get better than this. Here’s to another amazing 30 years!!!

Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) – San Francicso, CA

If you are ever in San Francisco for Day of the Dead, then you must go to the celebration in the Mission. It was crazy! We took it upon ourselves to make homemade skeleton masks to wear to the gathering. We purchased some plaster bandages and a styrofoam head from a store in Haight Ashbury and before we knew it we were neck deep into to the best art project ever. Huge shoutout to the head artist, Ruel, who coached Lizzy and I as we attempted to use any artistic skills we might have on these masks. The masks turned out absolutely amazing and were a hit at the celebration. We were stopped several times as we were marching down the street so people could take our pictures. It was awesome!

All Hallows Eve – San Francisco, CA

Dan, Ruel, Brant, and The Help (me and Lizzy) hosted an epic Halloween dinner for 20 people in their fantastic Victorian style apartment. It was exhausting getting ready for the party but in the end all of our hard work paid off. The theme of the party was 1906 and most people dressed up accordingly. The menu was amazing. Everyone pulled through with his or her food assignments, and I must say, we did an excellent job with the pot roast and root vegetables. Just so you know, braising is definitely the way to go.

Left my heart in San Francisco - San Francisco, CA

We had an amazing time hanging out with great friends in San Francisco. We stayed with my cousin, Danny Snyder and his two roommates Ruel and Brant. They have the most amazing apartment in the city and were gracious hosts. We loved spending time with them and hopefully they enjoyed us too. We had so much fun (and were suffering from a bit of jetlag) that we didn't go to bed before 2am every night! We spent 6 action packed days there. We had a rough time saying goodbye….but hopefully we will all be reunited in a couple of months!!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Breaking up is hard to do - Hong Kong, China

Our last day in Hong Kong was really great. We wanted to try Crystal Jade (a restaurant Lizzy's friend recommended) for lunch so we headed over to the IFC mall. I was crossing my fingers for an amazing Chinese meal (because I had been highly disappointed in the food thus far) and boy did we hit the jackpot! This place was so amazing. By far the best Chinese food I have ever had in my life. In fact, it was so amazing that we went back for dinner before we headed to the airport. Oh, and yes, the hostess did remember us from earlier in the morning. Embarrassing? Yes, but oh well, it was worth it. We just might be addicted to the pork soup dumplings. Best dumplings ever!!!

After lunch we headed over to the Bank of China Tower for a nice view of the city. Then we headed to the ladies market to do some shopping. There were a few good finds, but most of the stuff was junk. After shopping we went to the Tsim Sha Tsui harbor to watch the nightly light show. Then we had dinner at Crystal Jade and then it was magically time to go get our stuff from the hotel and head to the airport. We were quite sad to leave!

We LOVED Hong Kong and would highly recommend visiting. It's an international city that it very easy to get around and is packed with things to do. So, do yourself a favor, come visit this amazing city