Friday, August 14, 2015

A Night Without Kids, a Trip to San Francisco, a Food Tour of Chinatown - Our 8th Wedding Anniversary

Our eighth wedding anniversary was on July 14th, but we weren't able to celebrate it until July 25th-26th, when my mom graciously agreed to watch the kids overnight for us!

So, we got dressed up, dropped the kids at my mom's with an overnight bag, and headed off to celebrate!

The first half of our celebration was for dinner and drinks at Boneshaker Public House! We loved the beer and hubby loved his Buffalo Bacon Mac and Cheese! We had a mix-up where they actually lost our food ticket and we waited and waited and waited. After over 40 minutes, we went up and asked and they realized they had thrown it away when they brought us our appetizer. But, let me tell you, they did an AMAZING job making it up to us! They came and apologized; they asked if we wanted another round on them; they brought us a not-on-the-menu dessert; and comped our dinners! Mistakes are bound to happen at restaurants, but it's how they fix their mistakes that matter to me, and they really had great customer service!

That night we went home to our EMPTY, QUIET house with no kids!

The next morning we woke up bright and early and headed to San Francisco to enjoy part two of our anniversary!
It was actually the weekend of the San Francisco Marathon (which made the town very busy!) and it was chilly and foggy, so we went to the pier and snuggled with hot coffee!
Then we headed off to an adventure I've been wanting to do for a while: A Sidewalk Food Tour of San Francisco! If you haven't done one of these yet, YOU MUST ADD IT TO YOUR LIST! We did the Chinatown one, because we felt like it's the area we are the most afraid of exploring on our own! I'm so grateful we did it and I feel so much more comfortable going on my own, now! It was over three hours and it had a great mix of food information and history and city facts! Because we did the Chinatown tour, it gave a very detailed account of how the Chinese emigrated to San Francisco (which I especially love because in my world history class, I teach a unit on China!). Our first stop was for green onion buns (photo below on left) and a delicious warm baked pork bun (photo below on right), which were buttery buns filled with barbecue-flavored cha siu por.
On our tour we also had tea at a few different places, pork dumplings, Beijing Peking Duck (which I didn't love, but hubby thought was AMAZING!) with steamed pancakes, pot stickers, and tan tan noodles (Szechuan cuisine), which is the bottom right photo. We also got a special appetizer (that wasn't on the menu) and I can't remember if it was a Szechuan pickled cabbage or a cold sour bean dish, but it was one of my favorites!
For dessert we went to the Golden Gate fortune cookie factory for some fortune cookies and had a freshly made, warm, Hong Kong-style egg tart with a flaky buttery crust. I really liked the egg tart and have never had anything like it!
In terms of the historical part of the tour, we visited the Tien Hau Temple (unfortunately, no photos were allowed. Look HERE to see what it looked like, though. It was spectacular!), which is the oldest Buddhist Temple in the United States (built in 1852) and it actually survived the fire and earthquake of 1906, which is pretty unheard of. 
We also visited Wentworth Alley, which was nicknamed the Salty Fish Alley, and Ross Alley (where the barber Jun Yu from Pursuit of Happiness plays the erhu...and where the brothels in the 1900's were located), the street of painted balconies, the oldest telephone exchange (from 1891) which is now a bank, and probably a lot of other places I've already forgotten about!
I really liked this street art painting of a map of Chinatown on one of the side buildings!
The Sidewalk Food Tour ended right around 1pm and then we rushed off to our next exciting adventure, which I will have to recap in a separate post since this one is getting too long! I really cannot recommend the food tours enough, though! We already have plans to go back and do the Mission District and North Beach food tours. 

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