“It’s the first day of our vacation. Let’s forget about the problems with the airlines, and enjoy our day,” Charlie suggested, setting the tone for our day. We hired a taxi to deliver us to the gates of Chinatown, where we began our window shopping and a little bit of real shopping – looking at jade and silk and chatting with friendly shopkeepers from China and Vietnam. I pointed out the memorable coffee shop where Courtney and I had breakfast about 6 years ago (on a visit to University of San Francisco). We saw the famous Ten Ren tea shop, and had lunch in the same place where we took Courtney and Erin in July 2004. We walked up this little side street and picked a place on the right, attracted by the Peking ducks in the window. Once we were sitting down, we looked around and realized it had to be the same place. We can remember it because we took a bunch of photos there in 2004. Of course, we had some Peking duck and were surrounded by Chinese families enjoying their Sunday meal. “Need a fork?” the waitress asked me. “Oh no, of course not,” I replied, proud of my experience in China. Caitlin, Dad ordered a Tsingdao beer, and we thought of your stories in Tsingdao.
We continued our walking tour to Union Square, where SF’ers were enjoying their green space just like the Parisians enjoy Les Jardins de Luxembourg on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Then, we walked downhill on Market Street to the Ferry Building. No Farmers’ Market on Sunday, but the specialty shops inside were a feast for the eye (and nose) – selling bread in one shop, cheese in the next, wine, chocolate… Across the bay we could see Cal Berkeley and lots of sailboats and tourist boats in the bay. We picked our spot for 3 pm champagne at Pier 15 – J Cuvee from Sonoma. We walked past the cruise ship terminal and recalled the excitement of boarding the Silversea for Alaska there in 2004.