So it's actually been about two weeks since I've left San Francisco. Therefore, I am recalling the last couple days of my journey with lesser detail than immediate posting would have allowed. You should be so happy. Brevity isn't a friend of mine.
It starts off with Sunday in San Francisco. Of the many churches in the nearby area I could have attended, Dorothy and Jeff asked me if I would like to accompany them to their church - a place called The Journey. So in accordance with a recent Christian Unity campaign by religious leaders such as the Pope, I thought it would be nice to step outside of my usual place of worship and try something new. And it was new - a very modern take on traditional sacred values. I later asked Dorothy if it would be at all insulting to compare it to a Christian rock concert. Much of the service was led by a couple of singing guitarists and a drummer, and the crowd could sing along while reading lyrics from a Powerpoint presentation. There were breaks for a pastor to preach about a modern-day acceptance of faith and putting belief into practice by living your convictions, etc. It was nice, and it was held in what looked like an old theater that had been assembled on an upper floor of a department store building. It was captivating, and although very different from my more traditional upbringing, it never seemed conflicting and never got boring.
Afterwards we drove up to Twin Peaks, which sadly I hadn't seen before. It's a beautiful area slightly more south than I have been accustomed to venturing. It was a gorgeous day and the views of the city were clear and nostalgic - looking at the city from above just makes it seem even more a place I could call home. Of course, from this height, nothing could be wrong with my city. ;)
We also visited an extension of heaven called Scharffen Berger, a fantastic little chocolate factory across the Oakland Bay Bridge. We first watched a presentation on how fine chocolate is made from a wide variety of cocoa beans worldwide. We got to sample various 'nibs' and discover how subtle flavors from one crop can completely alter the taste of the final product, as grapes from various regions can affect the flavor of wines. We took a tour of the factory and inevitably purchased some limited edition chocolate, which I've been craving but saving for the time being.
Dorothy and I went dress hunting later at a bridal store with no luck, but soon went on to do some real shopping downtown, and came back with a bag or two from a European-style outfitter called Zara. Dorothy found a cute white fitted shirt with a green and silver pinstripe, and I found a deep teal, artsy, fitted t-shirt with silver, black, and various metallic patterns more or less scribbled on the front.
We worked up an appetite and made our way to Little Italy where we dined at Michaelangelo's. What a fantastic dinner. They came out with fresh bruschetta and greek olives before we could blink an eye. We split a calamari salad (marinated rings of fresh calamari atop viniagrette greens) and shared tomato-cream spinach ravioli and one of the best cioppino dishes I've ever had (fragrant tuna, salmon, clams, mussels, scallops, squid tentacles and calamari rings). Out of this world! For a cute little end to the meal they brought out some puffy ginger (?) cookies and a plate full of gummy bears. It was too cute! We were the only two in the restaurant and couldn't figure out why.
Back at home, Dorothy gave me an early birthday present - a pair of Swarovsky earrings with dark purple and green stones in a dangling leaf pattern. They are beautiful and I can't wait to wear them out to a nice dinner with Naveen or my family. And purple, of course, has been 'the color' since I got engaged, strangely enough! Of course she knew that and chose a beautiful gift. Thank you so much!!!
One day left in San Francisco... one more post to go. ;)
See, toldya brevity and I don't get along...