Tuesday, October 2, 2012

There and back again.

At the end of August, I was able to accompany Mr. Awesome to San Francisco for the first couple of days of his week-long VMWorld conference trip. We traveled with Brian and Courtney who, like Frank, stayed for a week while I had to return to the real world of a new fall semester after three days. Three days is better than no days. Over the next few days we squeezed all we could out of San Francisco. Some highlights:
  • Eating dinner at Boulevard, the 2012 James Beard winner for Best Restaurant. On the way back to the hotel, our cab drove past Fleur de Lys, the restaurant run by Hubert Keller. Guess who we spotted standing out front, at 11 at night, in his white chef's garb, looking all chefy and awesome. Yep. The man himself. It was surreal and special.

  • Walking across the Golden Gate Bridge.

  • Eating meatballs in the Castro.

  • Eating lunch with Courtney at The Slanted Door. Can't go wrong with Vietnamese. Also, notice the "eating" theme. We were the group who ate San Francisco.

  • Walking up and down steeper hills than during our Rocky Mountain hikes.

  • Going to the bathroom in the Academy of Sciences building so we could see the dinosaur without paying for admission.

San Francisco is a lively, exciting, fascinating place and I am looking forward to hopefully returning soon so we can hit up sights we missed this time around (I'm looking at you, redwoods).

Upon our return, we had a couple of weeks off before we headed out again, this time for a week in Texas for a few Ben Folds Five shows. The shows were great, and we managed to find a few really great things to do in Texas that we highly recommend to anyone heading there in the future.

1. The Dallas World Aquarium. Nestled downtown, it looks like an office building with some tropical plants scattered about the exterior. But once inside, the place is amazing! Otters, a sloth, an octopus, alligators, birds, fish, turtles, a jaguar - so many things to see! We loved this place.

2. The Cockrell Butterfly Center at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Thousands of butterflies, a cocoon viewing area where you can watch butterflies being born, more butterflies, spiders, ants, centipedes, and even more butterflies. Butterflies everywhere!

3. Densetsu sushi restaurant in Plano, Texas. One of the most creative - and affordable - sushi places we've been. Super fresh, lovely and delicious. Here's our spread from one of two visits:

We would have eaten there a third time, but we got a flat tire on our way from Houston to Dallas and didn't end up in Dallas until late.

So now we're home for a while, and though I love traveling, seeing new places and eating my way through new cities, I'm really glad to be home. I'm ready to do some home cooking!

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