Farewell San Francisco, Welcome Home Japan

Our last day in San Francisco was not the nicest weather, but that was ok, and we just went about our business.  I am glad we had great weather every other day.  Danita was leaving later that night, so her dad drove down to take her to the airport.  We met up with him for lunch in Sausalito.

Sausalito is just on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge.
I have been there before and I really liked it.  Too bad it is not quite as nice when it is raining.  But we still had a good time!

How could you not when the way to Sausalito has you pass into the happy rainbow tunnel.
Lunch was originally planned at a place with a great menu, but sadly, no tables, and since it was raining, that was not the best idea.  Luckily, the Bayside Cafe was right next door.  
This was perfect for me because I had been craving eggs.  It was perfect for everyone because everyone was craving something different.

Amanda had a nice sandwich.
I honestly can't remember if Danita or her dad had this sandwich.
Well, if one had the sandwich, the other had an omelet.
Tony had some spaghetti and meatballs.
And I got my eggs!  I had a nice veggie omelet.
After lunch we drove along the coast before heading back to San Fran.
I had to get back to the hotel to teach a seminar (for Kaplan University, they do live audio seminars, just like a regular class), but Ghiradelli was a must see before we left the city.  I have been here before, but it will always be a must see spot.  They give samples!
I am smiling because I know there is a sample inside...
...and I was right!  Perfect timing for fall.

This picture is for my grandpa.  This is the Buena Vista.  The Irish Coffee was invented here.  We did not have time to go, and because I was heading to teach, I couldn't even enjoy even if there was time, but I did want to take a picture because my grandpa kept telling me about.  Maybe next time grandpa!
We kept seeing this building (house?) and I just had to take a picture.
Dinner had to be some place special.  First off, it was Amanda's birthday dinner (on me) and I wanted her to have something fancy and splurge.  Second, it was our last night in SF and my last night in the US before heading back to Japan.  We asked around and Scoma's came highly recommended.
Scoma's is right on the water, and has an old world, elegant feel.  You can tell this place has been a top of the line place for years.
I started with some lobster bisque, which is one of my favorites.
For dinner, Amanda spotted this massive dish of seafood at the table next to us and just started drooling right away.  We knew she had to have this and totally encouraged her to go for it.  It is a mixed seafood platter, with everything on it.  Scallops, crab, lobster, you name it, this plate had it.
Toni went with the lamb chops, and said they were great.
I went with the Alaskan Halibut Siciliana.  Yum!
What I loved about this place was that even though it was upscale (fine dining for sure!), the staff was friendly, helpful, and ready to make your experience the best ever.  We told them it was Amanda's 30th birthday and our server took care of making sure it was a great one.
Oh, and the cake was delicious too!
When we got back to the hotel, we made sure to have a picture taken of us 3 girls (Danita had to fly back to San Diego for class the next morning).  Look at us rockin' it!
Well, that was it for me back in the US.  The next morning I headed home.  How weird is it to say heading home and mean to Japan?  I still can't get used to that.  I had a minor amount of stress, but tried to relax.  See, my plane was scheduled to land at Narita Airport, and then I needed to go through customs, catch a bus to Haneda Airport, and get on my flight, in only a time span of 3 hours.  Well, I figured customs 1 hour, bus ride 1 hour, and then just in time to check in and board.  I was stressed because I knew that any stray from my set times would possibly cause me to miss my flight.  I had booked the earliest flight I could get out of SF and I booked the latest flight I could from Tokyo to the base, so there was not much more I could have done.  I knew it would be cutting it close.  

Customs was not to bad and I only had to wait 10 minutes until the next bus to Haneda.  Well, it was raining outside, and rush hour, so the 1 hour bus ride was more like 1 hr and 20 minutes.  I got to the airport with just minutes to spare.  Once I got to the gate, they boarded 10 minutes later.  Whew, that was a close one.  I will try and avoid ever having to do that again in the future.  It needs 4 hours, and that is that!

Ryan picked me up from the airport and I was so happy to see him.

So, what was my first real meal after I got back.  Filipino food!  Ryan took his friend and his wife to buy a car and next door was the Lumpia Hut, so Ryan brought me home tofu lumpia and shrimp lumpia.
DSC03090 DSC03091
In case you are wondering what the heck lumpia is, I will fill you in.  This is like the Filipino version of egg rolls, but much skinnier, and usually filled with meat, but I have had some people make me vegetarian versions before.  This was the first time I had it with tofu or shrimp, and both were good.

QUESTIONS:  What's you favorite Ghiradelli chocolate?  When was the last time you went to a fancy dinner (any fine dining restaurant)?  Ever you ever heard of lumpia or eaten lumpia?


Gina; The Candid RD said...

How fun! I have never even visited a chocolate factory, of any kind, other than one we have here (which is actually really good, and I guess that means I HAVE been to a chocolate factory!). I do love Ghiradelli, but I don't know what my favorite is...maybe the pumpkin spice? I've never tried it!

I'm glad you had a nice trip Melinda. Enjoy your weekend!

Unknown said...

I like the peanut butter! that was the free sample when we were there :) http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtargaro/4005751641/in/set-72157622572850560

actually we are going to The Charleston tonight for our 3 year anniversary - soooo, that classifies as fancy I think, LOL!!

Lori said...

Love all the photos. Reminded me of my trip there a while back. And I have to find that pumpkin spice caramel chocolate! I haven't seen those. Those omelets look so good. I've not had lumpia in it's authentic form, but have no doubt I would love it.

sophia said...

I love the salted milk chocolate Ghiradelli chocolate. It's SO good. And haha, rain and gloom...classic SF weather.

Happy to hear that you've had a great trip, Melinda, despite the last weather gloom...

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