A few months ago, Starr told me she was going to visit San Francisco with Ben and a few of their friends. I was stoked! All of the times I made comments about them visiting or even moving here finally worked!? Just kidding.🙂 But really, besides the expensive standard of living, the bay area is definitely one of the best places to live in the world. (Right?) I honestly think the weather makes a huge difference in terms of living conditions – we never have to worry about it being hot and humid or getting too much rain/snow. I know, I know, we need the rain… but I’m really not about that life.
Since Starr has exquisite taste buds, I didn’t want to disappoint her when we went out to eat in San Francisco. And what’s a trip to San Francisco without waiting in ridiculous lines for brunch? Mama’s on Washington Square is my favorite brunch place in the city, but I remember waiting 1.5 – 2 hours in the rain last time I dined here with Gary, and that was not fun. Although Starr was probably still jetlagged, I suggested we get in line an hour before the restaurant opened. (I’m a terrible friend, I know.) I figured waiting in line for an hour at 6am and getting in first was better than waiting in line watching people inside eat delicious food for two hours. Surprisingly, we weren’t the first ones in line!
I caught up with Mitty last night, and he asked me what I liked to do for fun lately. I had a hard time coming up with anything because I feel like I’m just drowning in work and school… but then I scroll through my blog posts and remember that I actually have a ~fun~ life. (I think?) After my family’s trip to Seattle, all four of the Shieh kids went back to school – my brothers headed back to Berkeley, my sister started her masters program at San Francisco State, and I started taking accounting and Japanese for fun. Not really sure why I thought taking accounting would be fun. Poor Evonne had to listen to me complain every time I work on homework.
Although I really enjoy filling my time with classes because they enrich my life, when October rolled around, I started to question my decision to take classes. Between going to class, studying, and doing homework, I had a hard time squeezing in all my sports-watching. The couch potato life was put on hold!
I got to be twins with Neil (who volunteered at our pharmacy during the summer)!
For our last day and a half in Seattle, we wanted to squeeze in a few more must do’s (mostly places I haven’t been to, but Steph has). We woke up and walked next door to Top Pot Doughnuts to get some coffee and donuts for breakfast.
The first time I visited Seattle, Tina and I brought these donuts home to share with friends. I feel like it’s gotten even more popular because there was always a line! (Those Seattle Seahawk themed donuts though… boo!)
At the beginning of the month, I was determined to get on that scheduled-blog-life like Starr, but who was I kidding? Way too ambitious! How I used to keep my blog updated before is beyond me…
Continuing on my family’s first vacation in many, many years: after we took a break from all of the touristy Seattle things, we headed over to Umi Sake House for happy hour and dinner. Now, I love Japanese food and happy hour deals, but my favorite thing about this restaurant was definitely their air conditioning.
In August, my family took our first family vacation in 16 years! I can’t believe it’s been that long since we all traveled together… I guess it’s tough when your tiger mom doesn’t want to travel anywhere when the kids were all in school. My mom’s been talking about visiting Seattle for a while, so decided to visit the city the weekend before my brothers had to go back to school.
After all of us got off work on Thursday, we headed out of the bay area and flew into Sea-Tac. What a gorgeous airport!
When I read Starr’s review on Rob Schmitz’s Street of Eternal Happiness, I knew I had to get my hands on it. Not only did she have a glowing review, I was also kind of curious about China (in general). Back in July when my siblings and I were talking about our Asia trip, I found out that China has strict rules when it comes to practicing religion. Worship must take place within registered places of worship with organizations that the government recognizes. Underground churches are not permitted to conduct any type of religious services, and they may face persecution by the state.
Maybe it’s because I’m too used to all the ~freedom~ we have here in America, but this really surprised me! So when Rob mentions the religious issue in one of the many stories he’s collected from his time spent in Shanghai, I was glad I got to learn even more.
Rob, an American journalist, lived on the Street of Eternal Happiness with his family for years. During this time, he was able to eat at snack carts, visit local businesses, and chat with all of his neighbors. All of these people had their own unique story – an aspiring entrepreneur selling accordions and selling sandwiches, an owner of a flower shop that’s obsessed with marrying her sons off to girls in her hometown, and an elderly woman who falls victim to many ponzi schemes.
Although I’ve worked in San Francisco for two years, I’m a little embarrassed to say, I still haven’t seen a lot of the must sees or done a lot of the must do’s. I’ve been wanting to go to Academy of Sciences or the Exploratorium for ever, and it finally happened all thanks to my sister’s planning. Since one of her friends from SoCal was visiting, she gathered her sorority sisters, coworkers, and others, and we all went for a night of fun!
I had the honor of teaching Shannon and Yas how to ride the BART! I must’ve scared them a little with stories of some shady business that I’ve witness when the BART used to own my soul. They didn’t think it was too bad on our way up. But on our way back, some guy was puking and dry heaving close to us, hah.