So, the conference ended. I had a great time, but I was out of my cowboy boots (#1 lesson learned: Do not walk down 20% grade hills in cowboy boots) and into my sneakers in 2.3 seconds flat after the last handshake, and then we were pounding the pavement downhill to Chinatown.
Did I mention it was the first day of Chinese New Year? And we were in Chinatown? On a Sunday?
The Kid is getting noticeably better at getting everyone's head in the shot.
Speaking of 'shot,' man, it sounded like downtown Baghdad, what with all the firecrackers going off. Seriously, someone could have whipped out a Tommygun and taken out half a block and not one single person would have noticed the noise.
First, we ate. I made the excutive decision that any restaurant on the second floor was better than any restaurant on the first floor, and any restaurant that had a line was better than any restaurant that didn't. (This opinion has been confirmed by my Chinese ESL students.) So we ate at Kan's.
Then, for dessert, we got some fortune cookies.
No, really, I mean we went and got some fortune cookies, made by this nice lady:
The cashier tried to give my Kid one of the ones she was making. I don't know if you can see that little pile of yellow slips of paper by her left hand? Yellow means something in fortune cookie world, apparently, because she grabbed that cookie out of The Kid's hand and began to apologize: "No! NO! Not for childrens! For adults!!!" I laughed so hard I almost wet my pants. The cashier almost gave my son a dirty fortune cookie! Try to find something like that in the Midwest!
Note the blooming trees? The clear blue sky? The 65 degree temperatures? Man, I was loving life right then. And that was just one afternoon.
The next day, we did Alcatraz.
Did you know the island had been taken over by American Indians in the 1970s? I sorta did, but I know a lot more now. That's the sort of thing I like knowing, because you never know when it will pop up in a book.
The Kid, truth be told, did not enjoy most of Alcatraz, except for the models:
It was so foggy that day that we couldn't see the island (even the parts we were standing on) until the next day, when it cleared off and we were on the Golden Gate Bridge:
That's it on the left.
Oh, the Golden Gate Bridge. It was my Favorite Thing.
It was foggy enough on the north side that it still had that air of mystery to it, but clear enough we could see dolphins and seals in the water below and the city in the bay. It was beautiful. And very tall:
It made me dizzy.
We only walked about 1/3 of the way across, because The Kid was hungry and we had a date.
A date with the Pacific Ocean, that is. Man, that water was COLD. Then we walked up to Haight-Ashbury.
Haight-Ashbury, if you don't know, was the hippie center of the world in 1969. My menfolk think they're being 'cool' over there. Now, there's a Ben and Jerry's across the street. We had ice cream.
So, in conclusion, we stood beside our hearts in San Francisco:
Ate the chocolate in Ghiradelli Square:
And had Mai Tai's at the Tonga Room:
It was an awesome vacation. We saw things you don't see in the Midwest; ate things you can't get in this part of Illinois, and generally had a heck of a good time.
What? What's that you say? After at least four blogs on it, you wanna know what I wore?
This was Friday. I've got on boots under that skirt!
This was the Gala Banquet dress Friday night. Only a few other people changed, but damn it, I bought the dress, packed the dress, and, if I may say so, looked good in the dress, so I wore it.
And that's it. Those are the only two outfit pictures we remembered to take. But have no fear! The 'professional' cowgirl look will be seen again, very soon!
How soon? VERY soon. I'm doing a radio interview for a conference at which I'm presenting in two weeks, and then, of course, the actual presentation (more on that on Tuesday)!