Thursday, June 02, 2011

California Adventure: Day 2

This day started off with the Alcatraz Challenge, which I think I have pretty much exhausted. After the race I collected my finishers touque (a funny giveaway for a race in a city that so rarely sees temperatures below 50 degrees, but hey, I'll use it!) and noshed on some post-race snacks. We strolled back to our hotel and I had a long hot shower to wash the salt and Fukushima Daiichi radioactivity off.

After that, we set out again on foot, this time heading away from the water. We meandered past some famous city sights, such as Lombard Street...

And we knew we were in Giants territory... And again, the occasional San Fran oddity passed us by...But our destination for the afternoon was the world's largest Chinatown. We were determined to try dim sum for lunch. I am not a very adventurous eater, but it seemed the appropriate thing to do in the world's largest Chinatown. And I very much enjoyed mimicking Bill Paxton in Sleepless in Seattle singing the dim sum song.We chose a place called "New Asia Dim Sum" because it was supposed to be dim sum-newcomer-friendly. It was also early Sunday afternoon which seems to be a popular time for dim sum. So we grabbed a ticket to hold a place in line, and wandered the neighbourhood some more, hitting the City Lights bookshop - here Chad is pretending to be interested in all things literary......and then made our way back to the restaurant.

You order dim sum by pointing to things on carts passing you by that look like they could be tasty. But you really don't know what they are. We were able to figure out that these had shrimp in them, which sounded good in theory. But when you bit into them it became apparent that the shrimp had been pulverized in a blender and mixed with something spongey. I did not like. I didn't even try the white stuff they came with, no idea what that might have been!The veggies were OK though, and we got some spring roll type things and BBQ pork and other stuff that were all OK, though I wouldn't call it a fantastic meal. The people at the table next to us were eating chicken feet and that was enough to make me call it a day on adventure and long to get back to some more familiar food.The other thing was, we had no idea how much any of this cost. They stamp your bill every time you order off the cart but you have no idea what those stamps mean. Something cost us $8 from the looks of things. I think the total came to something in the low 30s...Anyway, enough about dim sum. Back out onto the street to stroll around Chinatown.This is what it looks like inside the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory. Very un-factory like! Tasty cookies, though.Finally, after all that walking, and the early morning start, we were exhausted and several miles from our hotel. So rather than turning around and walking back down to the water, we ventured further inland, past Union Square, to the end of the cable car line, and waited for a cable car to take us home. I have to say, the cable car ride was a lot of fun. You don't get any choice about where you sit/stand on the car and we were put on the running boards. It wouldn't have been my first choice but it was pretty cool, careening up and down hills and holding on for dear life. The gripman was also very entertaining. We had a few belligerent passengers on board (one lunatic raving,"I am 66 years old, was born and raised in this city, and I will not wait in line behind any tourists!!") and he did a good job of straightening them out. We had a great view coming down the hill (Russian Hill, I think?) - the waterfront, Bay and Alcatraz all at once.
Chad and I agree, the cable cars can't last that much longer. They are an accident waiting to happen.

We finally made it back to our hotel, crashed for a bit, then headed out for a very fancy dinner at In-n-Out Burger. Hey, it's a west coast favourite... we had to give it a try!! After that, it was a very early night. The jet lag was starting to sink in.