Life. 365-Style (9/18-10/21)

Another month has passed, friends. October has really been flying by. We’re out enjoying as much of our warm weather as possible – getting some of our final Stairway Walks wrapped up, squeezing in a hike or backpacking trip, and whatever else we can do to stay outdoors.

In addition to all of that regular stuff, life has been full of changes since August. Some horrible, some not too bad. I had an amazing time in NC with my family, and started a new job right after I got back. We continue to adjust to life without Tange. We had to put mom’s cat down while in NC, and that experience brought back all those all-too-recent memories. But we move on, as is our only choice.

All in all, putting things into perspective, life is still good. Here’s the short summary:

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261 – I had no idea I’d have to say goodbye to yet another cat in such a short time. This was mom’s cat, Boo, who was hiding a large tumor from his mommy until he just couldn’t anymore. He didn’t like me at all, and this is the closest I ever got to him.

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262 – One perk of my visit to NC was spending lots of time with family, and one extra-special perk was getting to finally go to another NCSU football game. We had some pretty awesome seats, and my Pops and I (along with his drunken friends!) had a pretty good night.

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263 – My Sis and I realized the rehab center had this rando bird cage at the entrance. wtf?

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264 – sometimes there’s nothing else to do but watch movies. Bridesmaids never disappoints.

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265 – Neither does bonding with my sissy. We had a really great time together, even if her feet did stink.

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266 – Mom will KILL me for posting this, but I like to think she’ll be ok with it, since I’m commenting on how amazing her hair looked after a good wash and curl – the old-school way!

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267 – Mom stayed in the rehab center for about 10 days, and then I brought her home. Before that though, I loaded the fridge with a whole cheesecake from this cute lil’ place in downtown Clayton. Super tasty.

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268 – Bye, Boo. This was without a doubt the worst day of my visit. It was hard to see mom so upset, after she’d made so much progress, and knowing how excited she was to come home to her cat.

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269 – BBQ one last time. I couldn’t get enough! And I’m glad I discovered Charlie’s.

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270 – Ok, one more time. With Cheerwine, too!

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271 – As much fun as I had in NC and as hard as it was to leave, it felt good to be home to my normal life. Plus, I missed Philz ;).

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272 – Mom wouldn’t have liked Pumpkin Curry, but we sure do!

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273 – Speaking of my normal life, it felt good to not be unemployed. I had three weeks off from working once I left Stanford, and my new job started on 9/30. I was none-too-excited about this pic, but whatever. I can’t ask for much for an ID, I suppose. And for anyone who’s wondering, my job is going well. It’s very similar to my old one in many ways, but I do miss my Stanford coworkers.

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274 – The best part? this dang commute. I bike by City Hall and the Civic Center every day, and lately, it’s been just gorgeous. The hills on the way IN to work? They’ll take some getting used to…

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275 – I should just call this post BBQ and be done with it. Not a week later and we met Liz and Kevin at Southpaw. I actually got the fried chicken, but Chris and I split that and his BBQ.

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276 – Sometimes Sasha really does think. Just not often. But isn’t she so pretty?!

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277 – Another Friday happy hour at Pi.

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278 – We got out of SF for a day and picked up some of our wine in Sonoma. We decided to stop at Matanzas Creek, a winery we went to on our first trip to Wine Country when we were still in Chicago. The views there are gorgeous.

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279 – We finished a Stairway Walk in the Upper Market area of town, right smack dab in the center of the city.

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280 – I love a good fall beer. This is Anchor Steam’s Big Leaf Maple.

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281 – Another benefit of my short commute? I’ve figured out how to make my running work into the trip home – a couple of days a week I take the bus to work instead of my bike, and I run home, creating random zig zags along the way to complete my full program. It takes a little planning, but it’s great to get a full run in and still be home by 6:15. This is one of the views from Dolores Park (and yeah, after barely surviving up the hill, sometimes it’s nice to stop and snap a pic!).

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282 – weeknight vegetable curry. This one was from the True Food book and just ok, but the leftovers tasted better.

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283 – I had a benefits orientation this morning, so of course I managed to squeeze in a trip to The Mill on the way.

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284 – Do you see the lil’ one in the back? I can’t tell if he’s scared or excited.

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285 – It was a little difficult to backpack what with the government shutdown and all, but we found a smaller state park in the area with a short hike in and enjoyed a leisurely afternoon of napping and reading in the sun.

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286 – there’s water back there in the distance. These are the Santa Cruz mountains.

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287 – SPRINKLES! need i say more?

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288 – It’s hard to capture these moments, but Sasha has a weird infatuation with licking plastic. Remember how I said she wasn’t so smart?!

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289 – Pigeons! As Chris would say, #missionlife.

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290 – I’m on jury duty this week, and they don’t require potential jurors in court until 9:30. So, I obviously went to Craftsman & Wolves beforehand for a thai curry scone. Duh.

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291 – Just barely escaped jury duty after being in court for 2 1/2 days. I had to grab another Friday Pi beer.

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292 – This weekend was amazingly beautiful. Chris and I completed 2 Stairway Walks, both on the north side of the city. We even tiptoed around Fisherman’s Wharf for one of them. Tourist count was off the charts, and I think I don’t need to go back there for at least a few more years ;).

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293 – After a sad Bears loss, we hit up a nice semi-outdoor late lunch at Namu Gaji, tossed in some soft serve from Bi-Rite, and laid in Dolores Park for a little bit. Cannot complain about that day, despite the loss.

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294 – Post-run Bernal fog rolling in.

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Life. 365-Style (7/30-9/17).

Hi friends. Thanks for all the kind words through your comments, calls, and all sorts of other ways. It means a whole heck of a lot. Things are slowly becoming normal again, a new normal, but still – it’s progress.

Meanwhile, I’m in North Carolina for this week and next – mom got herself a new right hip last week and I flew in to help out. She’s keeping me busy and her recovery is going really well, but on occasion there’s a little downtime. When I’m not eating BBQ in said downtime, I’ve tried to get these pics organized so we could get up to date for a change. So here goes:

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211 – Tange had no idea what was in store the next day, and neither did I. This is her all nice and happy, the day before we found the tumor.

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212 – Maverick has fried chicken night on Monday and Wednesday, so we finally decided it was time to give it a try. We’re hooked!

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213 – Chris says Sasha isn’t chubby, but this picture says otherwise. She’s still a cutie though.

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214 – Words to think about….

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215 – Craftsman & Wolves has one of my favorite treats – toasted chocolate bread with ricotta cheese, vanilla, honey, and Marcona almonds. This is a version I made at home which is mighty tasty. Holy moly.

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216 – Judy’s new doggy, Orson T Cumberbatch III, came to “Off the Grid” to celebrate Jared’s birthday, and he dressed up!

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217 – Dinner for three: Tange loved her bacon!

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218 – A coworker gave me some green beans, so they got tossed onto a mushroom-gruyere tart. Not bad for no real recipe!

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219 – finally got to Kronnerburger. Sorta pricey for a burger and fries, but still good in my book.

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220 – I follow the rules.

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221 – STAY. As seen from the Tenderloin. No thanks, Tenderloin.

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222 – Fiats in the water! This was an ad campaign over in Sausalito. Chris and I did a big bike ride from home to Sausalito (his first time biking over the Golden Gate Bridge!) and we took the ferry back. Way fun.

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223 – Mission neighborhood mural art.

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224 – We’ve had a gift certificate to Chez Panisse for a while now, so we finally went for their Monday night dinner, which is a little less expensive than other nights. My opinion this time around? Still overpriced and just blah. The coolest part of the day was going to Berkeley Bowl for groceries.

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225 – we decided to watch Breaking Bad since we have HBO for a bit. This is going to be a problem. So good!

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226 – Pi Bar is a spot near our house that opens at 3:14 each day and has specials until 6:28 each day. Genius! They have a great beer selection.

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227 – the day before Tange’s surgery, she got plenty of love.

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228 – ironically, Chris took a picture of Tange prior to going to the vet. We had no clue this would be her last photo-op.

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229 – big tangerine flowers for Tangerine

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230 – a stairway walk to get us out of the house. This was at Lands End.

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231 – a cleansing salad, of sorts. Lots of cabbage and chicken. Good stuff.

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232 – a good campus run

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233 – card from the vet

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234 – shadows!

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235 – BART is always interesting. And, we’re headed to Chicago!

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236 – it isn’t a visit to Chicago without a trip to Handlebar. This Bloody Mary was excellent!

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237 – I miss the CTA.

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238 – Chicago Millenium Park view

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239 – hopping on the train to head back to SF. At the California stop – crazy!

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241 (yes, there’s not a 240 – whoopsie!) – ready to bake some pumpkin rolls!

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242 – kale and cabbage salad

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243 – writing notes to the coworkers

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244 – I fried a rabbit.

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245 – Chris was really feelin’ The Beatles

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246 – time for alfajores again!

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247 – Happy Hour with my buddy, Sunny!

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248 – look what Joanne made for me – a board of cupcakes in an “H”. We had a great farewell day with treats at work and a nice dinner. I’ll miss these guys a ton.

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249 – last ride on Caltrain after a lovely happy hour with my Gwennie.

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250 – my coworker Cynthia always called me feathers, so this seemed appropriate to send to her.

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251 – as you know, I made maple bacon donuts the other day, so this weekend I did the same, but with pancakes.

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252 – I’m now jobless for three weeks, and my flight to NC isn’t until Wednesday night. So for dinner, I finally got around to making a salmon dish I’d had in queue for quite some and it was worth the wait!

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253 – a mid- afternoon beverage at Coqueta following a really really hard bike ride up through the Marin Headlands. It was well-deserved!

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254 – our friend, Brad, was in town for the day and he and I tested our US map knowledge. We did just ok… (Note – we stopped when we got east because we have the east on lockdown. Duh.)

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255 – flying the friendly skies. Waking up to a turbulent red eye flight into DC and then RDU.

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256 – sunset at the hospital. Mom’s getting ready for rehab!

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257 – a nice day for a run around the high school track near mom’s house

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258 – rando Instagram shot of some good lookin grilling

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259 – cheapo gas

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260 – BBQ time! Charlie’s was pretty legit, even though their sauce isn’t as vinegary as I like. I let that slide every now and then!

Life. 365-Style. (7/2-7/29)

Man, ya’ll. We had a *heat wave* this month! And in SF, that means it hits 80 a few times. It was magnificent, and so odd for summertime.

Oh, and since it’s well into the second half of 2013, I thought I’d take this chance to update my progress in my “goals” from the first post of 2013:

  1. Run 500 miles this year. That’s roughly 10/week, so as of today I should be at 300 miles. Here’s reality: 309.33. BOOM.
  2. Finish the Stairway Walks: we’ve walked 20/29. I’m betting it won’t be a problem to get those last 9 finished this year. BOOM again.
  3. Take a picture every day: this is the hardest of them all, honestly. I won’t be doing this in 2014, but so far, I’ve managed to pull something out every day. BOOM BOOM BOOM.
  4. Go somewhere awesome: this was the easiest. Peru was awesome. Other small trips were awesome. And in late August, we’re heading to Chicago, which is awesome again. Quadruple BOOM.

And now, the pictures:

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183 – one of our commuter systems, BART, went on strike recently. the gates were shut to get through to the BART side and a whole bunch of folk were p-o’d.

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184 – gotta love an impromptu happy hour with coworkers! it was much more fun than running ;).

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185 – we found a perfect spot to watch SF’s fireworks from Bernal Heights. it was so clear that night it was insane. the fog has usually taken over that part of town by then!

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186 – Chris made me watch Sinister. it was uber creepy. and Ethan Hawke looked funny in a man-sweater.

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187 – Chris, Judy, Jared and I headed out really early to Swanton Berry Farm in Davenport. we rummaged through the strawberry fields. well, some of us stared off into the open air…

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188 – my loot! i ended up making jam (strawberry-lime and strawberry-balsamic), strawberry-buttermilk sherbet, and then we ate a lot of them too.

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189 – I hope he wore these kicks last week! he was in the front car of the Caltrain watching the track. super cute.

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190 – afternoon sun.

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191 – i want to make this dish. it’s called a “veggie ceviche”.

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192 – Frannie’s delicious cocktail stories made me wanna try a recipe i found. this is st. germain, tequila, lemon, and thyme simple syrup. it wasn’t bad. not at all.

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193 – I had a Friday off (crazy!) and went back for my favorite breakfast at Craftman & Wolves (the toasted chocolate bread). then i went and sweated it off at yoga.

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194 – this cat gets herself into the damndest places. she keeps thinking she’s gonna jump on top of the hutch. i don’t think she knows my wrath yet.

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195 – we did a stairway walk out in St Francis Wood, a ritsy neighborhood. that house is for 1 family! in our neighborhood, that would be 12 units. ha!

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196 – i looked outside this morning and this bird was staring in. totes eerie.

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197 – Chris was in Austin for a few days, so I wandered down to Philz after work for some qualitee people-watching. never disappointed.

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198 – pineapple close-up!

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199 –¬†blue house, blue sky. but much chillier than it looks!

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200 – grilled chicken on a Friday night indoors. i think i fell asleep at 10 PM. i know how to live!

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201 – we actually went out to Speakeasy Brewery this afternoon, but happened upon a wine tasting when we decided to stop by Mr & Mrs Miscellaneous for ice cream. talk about a perfect day!

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202 – We spent the day being So. Classy. by first going to a free concert from the SF Symphony in Dolores Park, then dinner at my chef crush, Michael Chiarello’s, new restuarant, Coqueta. We ate a bunch of small plates and, while we didn’t plan to on a “school night”, we ended up with a couple of cocktails apiece. This is the “Revolution”, my favorite drink of the night. Food-wise, I could eat a whole plate of the “tattas bravas”, and the duck meatballs weren’t bad at all. Chris could have easily filled up on the cheese plates, his favorite food group.

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203 – Steven’s Creek Trail in Mountain View. a nice break from my typical Mission or Stanford campus runs.

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204 – I had leftover frozen “mornay” (cheese sauce) from a mac n’ cheese dish I made a while back. I wasn’t sure how the frozen cheese sauce would be once thawed, but as it turns out, it’s just dandy. I also mixed in a couple of frozen cubes of pesto sauce. Not bad for a last-minute dinner ;).

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205 – another day of construction in the building of a new hospital.

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206 – An impromptu dinner/beer night at Pi Bar just *had* to end with a stop across the street for a cookie. Right?

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207 – Where’s Sasha? And how did she get there?

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208 – A night out in Berkeley at the Greek Theatre to see The Postal Service. The show itself wasn’t that great, really, but we still had a great time!

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209 – The weather was a little foggy this weekend (a true “summer” in SF, not this heat wave stuff!) and it was the perfect setting for a nice big bowl o’ ramen. One of our favorites, Halu, is closed on Sunday, so we went to an easy standby, Tanpopo, in Japantown. it hit the spot.

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210 – Even though I’ve lived in CA for 2 1/2 years now, the palm trees still make me smile :).