So I turned 30 today... yoohooo! Max surprised me big and good today; first of all, she showed up at work at 3pm, just in time to join the party thrown by my team (thanks for the strawberry cheesecake, Kathleen!). We left at around 5pm, and she SURPRISE !!!! drove us to half moon bay (more specifically, moss beach), which is this beautiful coastal village near san francisco that we used to go to with Wes and Yolanda (max's aunt and her husband). There, we saw the sun set with some margheritas, and were joined by.... WES AND YOLANDA !!!! We ended up having a wonderful dinner at a restaurant overlooking the pacific ocean, called the Distillery (http://www.mossbeachdistillery.com/). What a way to turn 30!!!! One more thing... the present that i got from max: 1 month's worth of flute lessons with a private tutor... wow. who would've thunk? now, all i have to do is quit smoking...
Went over to San Francisco this weekend, to party with Debarati & Michael. We went for "dim sum" @ a great place called Ton Kiang, on Geary blvd.
Dim Sum are a selection of small dishes served for snacks and lunch in China. These dishes include a wide selection of fried and steamed dumplings, as well as, various other sweet and savory items. The term for this Chinese style of eating translates as "Heart's Delight."
Originally dim sum referred to the Cantonese practice of serving small dishes in the teahouses. The method involved food being brought to the table on a cart or tray. The customer would then select the items they desired. Often their bill would be calculated by counting the number of empty plates each person had in front of them. This was usually a daytime meal service. Sweet and savory dishes were offered. Items such as steamed or fried dumplings, spring rolls, spare ribs, pastries, and steamed buns were commonly presented. Today dim sum is also a term used to describe a Chinese style appetizer or snack served in any manner. Frequently the steamed and fried dumplings are also referred to as dim sum.
PS: In Australia, we refer to Dim Sum as Yum Cha.... (and I think they do the same in Hong Kong ??? Weiming, Chelsea... please confirm !!!)
Ok, so max & i have always wanted to ride around in a Chrysler PT Cruiser... ever since we first saw them back when we were in Australia. Well, we've rented this PT Cruiser for a month; it's purple, and it's a convertible!!!
So we've been driving all around town, hair waving in the wind (for some...), blastin' the country music on the radio, and pretty much just enjoying ourselves!
We thought you might enjoy some pictures of San Jose, old & new: the spherical thing is the spankin' new city hall... then some pictures of the old victorians near our neighborhood, and some views from the poshest neighborhoods in San Jose (huge multimillion dollar homes... sigh).
Well, we're not sleeping under the bridge anymore! We found us a beautiful place!! We ended up in what they call a 'community': a small 'village' of houses centered around a 'clubhouse' (god, the jargon you need to understand living here...) and a pool/gym etc. Two pools, in our case...
We spent the first 2 weekends here driving around and viewing those communities. Some had nice apartments, but not-so-nice gyms or grounds, or were not in a nice area or... etc. Then we saw this one: it's got huge (and I mean huge: 7 meter) windows and a loft (mezzanine) overlooking the living. We fell in love. We took it. We are now back at the hotel. No internet connection or furniture in the townhouse yet... boohooo. Townhouse, yes, because we have 2 floors! Whoohooo! And 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms! We lucky bastards. No more sharing the shower. (Any parents should disregard that last comment).
Hopefully our stuff will come on Tuesday, but we're not sure yet. At least it's already in the country, so that's a nice change from the 10 month wait from South Africa... Life is better here, indeed...
Ok... this place is beautiful!!!! Not too far from San Jose, in a place called Mt Hamilton, sits a beautiful terrace with what seems to be a a wholesome foods restaurant, with an absolutely fantastic view of the south bay. *more pics to follow* ! A must return and visit kinda place....
The morning after... We lived to see the day after that wine intake, and Wes and Yolanda suggested we walk to one of their favorite cafes for a nice brekkie to recover. They live in a beautiful neighborhood, with free-standing houses in about every color you can imagine. W & Y are walking real estate guides as to who lives where and what they did on their house; it's great to just walk up and down (feels mostly like up) the hills, sun on your face and a great view ahead... We saw a car in one of the driveways with a great bumper sticker (see photo)!
We had breakfast in a great ol' place, with funky omelettes (I had a shrimp and avocado one) that you wash down with bottomless cups of coffee (they have to work on that in the US though; I'm starting to miss Douwe Egberts!).
So, it's been 2 days since we got here... and so far we've managed to rent a car, check in, and open a bank account! Yesterday, we went up to San Francisco, which is about a 45mn drive from San Jose.
Yolanda and Wesley (Max's auntie and her husband) invited us over for dinner, along with my sister Debarati and Michael. It was so cool and weird to be altogether again, and not having the feeling that it'll be a while before we see each other again. It still doesn't feel real to us: in fact, this could be just another business trip.
Yolanda made a really killer curry, and we popped some memorable wines (that we can't remember! Wes!!!? give us the list of what we drank please! It was sooooo goood!). Didi brought 3 tubs of Ben and Jerry's ice cream, and we literally PIGGED OUT.
Don't know if any other others remember, but I think we unanimously decided to get together like this once a month: next one's at our place, folks.