We spent the Memorial Day holiday weekend in the Bay Area. Friday evening I flew out of LAX on Southwest because there were considerably more flights to choose from. I actually lucked out and got on the first flight I was listed for. And just in time too. I got to the terminal around 6:15pm and there was no line at the security checkpoint. I checked in at the gate and she handed me a boarding pass. The plane left about twenty minutes later. The timing couldn’t have been any better. Patrick and Bill picked me up along with Michael and Sara. We had dinner at the Hooters in Fremont. Yes, there’s a Hooters in Fremont. We probably won’t eat there again. It’s pretty expensive for mediocre food and the girls all looked frightningly young.
Saturday morning I met up with Veronica and we spent the day walking around the Westfield Shopping Center on Market Street in San Francisco. I’d never been there before and I was really impressed. It’s a really nice shopping mall. We were on the hunt for wedding shoes for me… white, ivory or champagne colored ballet flats or flat sandals that aren’t typical flip flops. Unfortunately, we had no success. The only pair I found that were remotely interesting were over $300. No thanks. We had an excellent lunch at Out The Door which is the more to-go version of the Slanted Door. Veronica had Vietnamese style chicken noodle soup and I had a pan fried sea bass with orange and ginger. We shared some spring rolls that were filled with shrimp, thin-sliced pork, ginger and mint with a peanut sauce. It was very tasty. Later in the day we snacked on some dark chocolates from Cocoa Bella Chocolates. It’s pretty cool how they have different chocolates from around the world.
After we were done shopping for the day, she dropped me off at Mom and Dad’s house for Patrick’s birthday party. We had smoked tri-tip, grilled bratwurst, German potato salad, a tossed salad and Pugilese bread. It was all wonderful and we had a good time drinking Mark’s rose wine. It was even tastier with it’s new wine label. We had a good time listening to Patrick’s new music archive. He got an external hard drive with over 200 gigabytes of music. He has all of the Billboard Top 100 songs from 1950 through 2002. It was really funny watching everyone reminisce to the songs from their youth.
Here’s Mark’s new wine label:
What do you think?
Sunday Bill and I had intended to have lunch at Tin’s Tea House in Walnut Creek and spend some time with Alice going over the wedding menu and the contract with Dad. Alas, we forgot that Dad was flying to Shanghai on Sunday morning. That plan has been rescheduled. Instead Bill, Patrick and I went to one of San Francisco’s H&M stores to take advantage of a couple of 25% off coupons I had. As I expected the store was packed and we tried to pick our clothes quickly. Trying them on was out of the question as there were probably thirty people in line for the dressing rooms. We got out of there quickly with a few new shirts and took a moment to decide what to do next. We decided to drive towards the wharf and pick a place for dinner. On the way we happened to pass Cobb’s Comedy Club and Patrick told us how he saw Russell Peters stand-up there. As we drove by, the sign said that Gabriel Iglesias was performing all week. Bill and I both yelled at Patrick to pull over. Bill hopped out to check the availability of tickets while we found a place to park. Bill and I first heard Gabriel Iglesias when we borrowed a friend’s XM radio for our move down the Long Beach. We had it in the moving truck with us. The bit was about a road trip incident with his buddies, a CHP officer, and the soundtrack to Bad Boys. It had us both laughing so hard we were crying. I think we actually pulled over to hear the whole thing. Since then, we’ve kept an eye out for him on Comedy Central. He was on Last Comic Standing and, from what I’ve heard, he should have won. It was pure luck that we drove past the club on Sunday. One hour later we enjoyed a fabulous show with extremely over priced food with the two drink minimum. The three comedians who were on before Gabriel were all good as well. The reason I like Gabriel’s comedy so much is that he isn’t up there telling jokes or scripted material. He’s just up there telling stories about his life. Since Sunday was the last night he was performing for the week, he talked for over and hour and a half. At one point he asked if anyone had questions. One guy asked about when he worked for Nickelodeon. Another guy asked for a specific story that transitioned him into the bit about his road trip… the story that got us hooked on him. After the show we hung around to get his DVD autographed. In his comedy, Gabriel talks about flying Southwest airlines a lot, so Bill gave him his business card and asked that he give jetBlue a try. Which is convenient since Gabriel lives in Long Beach. Gabriel’s response was, “I’m pretty ghetto, I’ll call you!” Bill laughed and said that he’ll answer. Here’s a picture of us with Gabriel and his buddy and fellow comedian Noe Gonzalez.
After the show we headed home with a stop at Heidi’s Pies in San Mateo for some late dinner.
Monday afternoon Bill and I picked up his parents at SFO. They’ve been in China all month. Instead of going straight home, we stopped at Bill’s cousins’ house in San Ramon. Apparently Laikwan had some dresses shipped to their house from China. It got to try on the two dresses the she had made for me. Both are beautiful and fit extremely well. They’re just too short. But I can fix that easily. The red one will definately be worn during the wedding reception. I’m not sure when I’ll change, but I’ll figure it out. Laikwan’s dress is a beautiful navy blue with a floral pattern on one side. She looks great in it. We snacked on some lunch and played with their golden retriever Ringo for a while then headed home. I hung around while Laikwan unpacked. She had picked up a lot of stuff for us. She got a silk comforter and an embroidered silk bed spread. She had two jackets made for Mom that turned out wonderful. I’ll post pictures of them soon. She got me a pair of shoes that are really pretty. (who knew they made shoes that big in China!) We joked about how heavy her suitcases were. Apparently this was because of the chopsticks I had asked her to pick up. I needed around 200 pairs and she got them. Beautiful dark hardwood chopsticks that, when multiplied by 200 pairs, are really heavy. She got me a gorgeous jade necklace that I’ll probably wear at the reception too. She brought back a lot of stuff and it sounds like she had a good time.
I’ll post some pictures of the stuff she got later.