Wednesday, August 31, 2011

San Francisco

Fog engulfed the city last night, as practically every night during summer in San Francisco. I hoped it would burn off by nine or ten o’clock in the morning, but when I stepped out onto Mary’s back balcony the cold wet wind drove me back indoors. I decided to get my morning workout once again on the Lyon Street Steps. I hustled up and down the long staircase for an hour, seeing very little of the view and very much of the steps.

By the time I returned and showered, we saw signs of sunlight in the air. After lunch, we were able to head out without jackets and ride the bus to Chinatown. Alla had been looking forward to tea tasting for several months, and I came with her. We like to visit a company called Vital Leaf, where they stock an incredible variety of teas in big shiny metal canisters. Alla and I sampled a small variety of about fifteen teas and chose a few favorites to bring home. It’s amazing how two ounces here and four ounces there add up to a lot of tea. If you come to visit, don’t forget to ask Alla to brew a cup for you.

After tea we intended to cook dinner for ourselves at Mary’s apartment, but we got hungry before we reached home. So we walked from Chinatown only as far as Hayes and Kebab, a Middle-Eastern restaurant we discovered last week. The owner welcomed us back with a big smile and let his younger brother take care of us. Said brother ran back and forth in the restaurant with a big smile on his face, tending to each customer’s needs with a spirit of genuine welcome. We started with a meze plate including delicious baba ganoush and other tasty treats, and then we moved on to a wonderful vegetarian moussaka.

By the time we finished, we felt fortified to walk all the way home, where I still managed to eat another slice of sharlyn melon, a summer favorite difficult to buy in New England. Despite the foggy start, we enjoyed our day tremendously.

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