Friday night, Shannon and I went to dinner at Millennium, a fancy vegan restaurant in SF, to celebrate our birthdays. Shannon noted that Millennium's prices have gone up dramatically and their menus have become "incomprehensible," full of words no normal (even well-educated normal) person knows. I speculated that people may be expecting greater and greater amounts of fanciness as they watch shows like "Top Chef."
At any rate, our meals were very tasty, and my meal included "stinging nettle polenta," which looked kind of like guacamole and tasted kind of like green mashed potatoes with no butter. Shannon's meal included some of the most delicious brussels sprouts I've ever tasted ... all of which he foisted off on me because he has a prejudice against that particular vegetable. I'm a big brussels sprouts fan.
Then, yesterday, Lisa and I went to afternoon tea at The Palace Hotel, where we had the following elegantly crustless little sandwiches:
- smoked salmon w/caper mouse, chopped dill, and caviar
- sliced turkey w/cranberry butter and asparagus
- smoked duck breast w/foie gras cream and raspberry
- cucumber w/sundried tomato mousse
- sliced bosc pears w/pointe reyes blue cheese cream and honey
My favorites were the turkey and the pears, but after only one bite of the salmon I opted to give the rest of that one to Lisa. I guess I'm not a big fan of foie gras and/or caviar and/or smoked salmon and/or dill. Actually, I love salmon, but I'm not sure I'd ever had smoked salmon before. I think that's what I didn't like.
Anyway, we also had a great variety of tiny pastries and sweets:
- a sort of cream puff sort of thing, filled with coffee-flavored cream
- dark-chocolate-covered strawberries
- a raspberry tart (filled with raspberry cream and topped with a delicious raspberry)
- a rectangular piece of shortbread, half dipped in dark chocolate
- a chocolate tart kind of thing, filled with a fudgy substance
- delicious fresh-baked scones (served w/lemon curd, clotted cream, and rose jelly)
- um ... other tasty things I can't remember
We each got to choose one kind of tea, and Lisa chose their "100 Year Anniversary Tea" (a green tea made with safflower blossoms), and I chose the Morroccan Mint (also a green tea, but with peppermint and a tiny bit of honey). But I must admit that the point of afternoon tea, for me, has never been the tea itself. It's those little sandwiches and elegant pastries.
I was so amazed and awed by the experience of once again eating lemon curd that I ended up buying a jar of the stuff at Andronico's on my way home and then spent some time researching ways to partake of it. With scones or crumpets is obvious ... with gingerbread sounds good ... on ice cream or frozen yogurt ... with berries ... with muffins (esp. blueberry) ... I do believe that my life needs more lemon curd.
I felt that I should dress up for afternoon tea at The Palace Hotel, but I didn't feel like wearing anything uncomfortable, so I wore an ankle-length, full skirt, a sort of fitted long-sleeved t-shirt, and my leather moccasins (which look a bit like these, but with no fringe and with some subtle beading on the top of the foot). I joked to Lisa that while we were in San Francisco I thought we could go hunt some buffalo at Golden Gate Park, so I wore my moccasins for the occasion. My mom wore moccasins almost every day while I was growing up, so they once were very common for me, but I haven't worn them in ages, and I was shocked at how much it felt like going barefoot. I could feel everything on the ground as I walked, and miles of walking resulted in some blisters on the bottom of my feet. I guess I have to get used to wearing them again!
Then today Shannon and I biked down to the dog park at Point Isabel, but along the way I had a bit of a misadventure. Shannon was riding ahead of me when we passed through this kinda complicated little area of parking lot/road/path, and he sorta popped a wheelie to go over the high-but-rounded curb onto the bike path without getting off his bike. So convenient! I usually get off my bike here, drag it up the curb, and then remount to continue on my way. But I saw Shannon do this neat trick, and I thought, "Hey, I can do that, too!" Um ... except it ends up that I can't. I fell pretty hard, and nearby strangers were distressed and ran to my aid, and my left elbow acquired some impressive road rash (despite my long-sleeved sweater), and my legs both got quite dramatically bruised. The first thing I did when I fell was start laughing, and I told the lady who ran to my rescue, "That's what I get for trying to copy his bike tricks!" Then I realized that I was kind of hurting, but I told everyone I was okay and dragged my bike onto the sidewalk. Then I realized that I was feeling rather ... woozy. Like I might faint. I figure this was because we had just ridden up a very steep hill at Golden Gate Fields, and then I had had a bit of a shock with my sudden and unexpected close encounter with the asphalt. At any rate, I didn't feel up to getting back on my bike, so I sat down on the sidewalk (in clear view of this sculpture, which I think is made only more beautiful by the graffiti) ... only to find that I was feeling really swoony, and so I lay down right there on the sidewalk and waited until my head and stomach stopped rebelling. Shannon basically just sat and kept me company, not freaking out, not fussing over me, and it was perfect. Some of the passersby expressed concern at the middle-aged woman lying on the ground in public, but Shannon and I both assured them everything was okey-dokey, that these were not the droids they were looking for and they should just move along.
Eventually, my "Victorian lady with the vapors" impression came to an end, and I got back on my bike, and we rode onward to the dog park, only to discover that someone had stolen our bench! The bench where we always sit at the dog park had vanished, and in its place were only two large holes in the ground where (presumably) the legs of the bench had been anchored. This bench had been situated between the two watering areas (drinking fountain, hose, buckets of fresh water for the dogs, etc.), so it allowed for maximum dog-watchage, since every-furry-body comes to get rinsed off (after going in the Bay and getting muddy/sandy), hydrate after some energetic tennis-ball-chasing, etc. But one of the two water stations was gone, too! All all all the poor dogs had to cluster around the one area where they could get water, get washed off, etc. Total canine traffic jam. Shannon and I went to sit on the ground under a nearby tree (today was apparently my day for getting intimate with the surface of the Earth), and Shannon kept exclaiming, "They stole our bench!" over and over and over, whereas I kept worrying about whether the dogs would be able to get enough access to fresh water with only one watering place.
After a while, we hopped back on our bikes (a bit gingerly in my case, as my left hip was sore after the whole "hurtling onto the asphalt" experience) and rode off to Target, where we bought plenty of cheap groceries, then biked home ... a few miles ... uphill ... *pant* *pant* *pant*. I was very tired when we got home. After that, it's been a lazy day. Cobweb seems to be increasingly annoyed with the subq fluids routine and now makes a much more vocal fuss when I put the needle in. Poor baby.
Now I just want to sleep for a few days, non-stop. Sadly, there are things I need to do, so this will not be possible, but I think I'll manage.