Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I Love CA: Chinatown

Get used to the series title "I Love CA: -----" because there are a lot of things I love about California, and this trip was a perfect reminder of it.

I mean, what's not to like about the fabulous state of my birth?  (Oh yes, I was born in Berkeley in the 70's and we all know what that means...)  Wait.  You don't know what that means?  Well, I tend to imagine a city of hippies, peace and love, sex and rock and roll...even though my parents were probably not really caught up in all of that.  And every time I visit California I feel like I am coming home.  Cody laughs at me about it and occasionally insinuates I'm slightly crazy...but I feel it!  It's this sense of belonging.  I wouldn't even be surprised if the words "back off, this is my town" came out.  For the record, they haven't.  I'm just saying it could happen.

San Francisco is, in my humble opinion, the best city in the USA.  It's 10 times better than the runners up.  It has everything anyone could want.  We flew into the city and had only half a day to absorb its greatness before moving on to a different area.  So we decided to stroll through one of my favorite areas...Chinatown.  The city was busy (several festivals were going on), the Blue Angels were buzzing us every 5 minutes or so, and Chinatown was hopping as usual.  The smells, colors, bustle, shops piled high with baubles, restaurants, everything pulls me in and wakes up my senses.

We walked around for a few hours then hit a top rated restaurant in the North Beach area called Albona Ristorante.  It was my favorite meal of the trip.  I was tired from walking, so the cozy little restaurant was a haven of rest.  The food made me think I was in Italy.  We had gnocchi in a beef broth that melted in our mouths.  My ravioli with sage butter sauce and Cody's Adriatic stew were both amazing.  We spent a long time relaxing and was the perfect beginning for our trip.

Cody, being the gentleman that he is, even walked back to get our car while I rested on a park bench outside after the meal.  I had not worn the best walking shoes and my ankles were killing me.  Full and happy, we settled in for the hour drive South to Palo Alto...

more to follow!

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