driving along

“We're doing work today. We're doing work today." That was our mantra. And we thought that saying it over and over again will actually make it happen. Meanwhile, it seemed that all of San Francisco was out and about that bright Saturday. Runners, walkers, and bikers flocked The Embarcadero all the way up to Crissy Fields. Cars with bikes on their rooftops were everywhere and as we drove across the famous red-orange bridge, it soon became clear to both of us that nothing about the day will turn out as planned.

First of all, we couldn't decide where to “work". My cousin wanted to do it in his office but I was adamant that we should find a coffee shop. When we finally decided to go to a coffee shop, we couldn't think of one that was parking-friendly, had free internet access AND not in my neighborhood. Again, all these requirements were my idea. I’m usually not that picky but I guess I just needed an excuse to postpone doing paperwork again. I was all for driving up north towards Marin County.

Before we knew it, we were already driving along the coast on Highway 1, up and down the curvy road towards Stinson Beach. All my good intentions were gone at the first sight of the water. We made our last half-hearted attempt to find an internet cafĂ© but of course we couldn’t find one. I was already rolling up my jeans, ready to get my feet wet, but my cousin wanted to drive further down the road where he said that there’s a quaint town with tons of little shops and art galleries. Anyone who knows me well should know that this is enough of a bribe to take me away from the beach.

After about 30 or so minutes of driving, we still couldn’t find the little town. It could very well be imaginary but I didn’t care because the day was so beautiful it somehow seemed right to drive along aimlessly. We saw signs that said Point Reyes National Seashore along the way and I tried to rack my brain to remember anything that I’ve read about this place before.

“I think there’s a look-out point somewhere here where the views are supposed to be amazing,” I told my cousin. But the big question was where, and if there really was one, how do we get there. “I guess we could just follow the signs,” my cousin said, although he was already getting tired so we switched places and I drove some 20-something more miles.

Along the way, we finally saw a coffee shop. And not just your regular cafe, but a rare gem of a shop with delicious organic pastries and desserts called Busy Bee Bakery. Their sticky pecan roll was soooo good! With all that dessert and caffeine, I happily drove onwards, up more winding roads and past historical ranches. I kept following the signs to Point Reyes Lighthouse and just when it felt like the drive was never getting us anywhere, we came upon this view:

It was one of those moments where the earth's beauty simply took my breath away. Literally and figuratively. All around me were miles and miles of land and sea. It was very rugged and peaceful at the same time. You can hear the surf crashing against the shore and the wind was blowing so hard that I had to walk very slowly to keep myself steady. I wanted to stay up there for a long time or at least before sunset but it was too cold. And besides, we had to drive back to the city before nightfall.

So did we get any work done that day? Nada. But we found a treasure spot instead. And isn't that way more exciting than working on a weekend?

whoa, so much fun!

I was at the Maker Faire in San Mateo last Saturday and boy was it fun. So many things to see, touch, hear, taste, smell. It was definitely a form of sensory overload, but in a good way. I was amazed at the amount of creativity and talent that I saw. Everyone was walking around with that little extra spring to their step like they are just so happy to be there. Of course, the arts and crafts section brought out the hoarder in me and I had to really remind myself not to buy anything on impulse and think about it at least a couple of times if I do really need it. I ended up buying these art prints from Jaime Zollars, an L.A. based magazine and children's book illustrator. Aren't they beautiful? The colors and the texture is absolutely dreamlike and I can't wait to put them up on my wall.

My cousin and I decided that we wanted to do some craft-making of our own and decorated wine jugs at the Carlo Rossi booth. I had so much fun getting my hands dirty and playing with the paints. We even got a free shirt and some wine tasting!

Someone from the booth asked us to pose for a picture with our wine jugs. Notice the green wristbands that we had to wear to show that we are "of legal drinking age". Hehe. Even then, I was still asked what my age was. Twice. Argh. Their Sangria was really good though plus we got to keep the wine jug AND download this pic for free at their website. Can't get any better than that right?

Read an entire feature about Maker Faire at Apartment Therapy SF

on a mission

Yesterday, I was on a mission to find the best burrito in town. And what better place to find it than the Mission District, a predominantly Latino neighborhood about 8 blocks away from my apartment. The restaurant, called Taqueria Cancun, was suggested by a friend of a friend who lives in this neighborhood. He said that it was voted the best burrito in SF over at Citysearch and Yelp! and I took his word for it. The funny thing was, exactly a week ago, I actually passed by this restaurant but I didn't even give it a second glance. Maybe because the restaurant was rather small and their decorations were a little too colorful for my taste.

But first impressions aside, their burrito was very good. I don't know if I will call it 'the best in the city' yet, but for its price (less than 5 bucks) nothing beats it so far. I should know because I'm quiet addicted to Mexican and Thai food. Their tortilla tasted like it was homemade and the burrito had tons of avocado and cilantro in it. And the best part was, they also had bottled Coke! I was so excited, I never had bottled Coke since I left the Philippines.

The restaurant's festive decor even grew on me, as did the music blaring from a jukebox, although I couldn't understand any of the songs' lyrics. And yeah, I took pictures because it was still early and only a few people were there.

Now my next mission is to find the best Thai food. Suggestions anyone? =)

muir woods

What a lovely weekend this turned out to be. Perfect weather, met up with some friends from L.A., did a lot of outdoor activities. Sunday afternoon was spent hiking at Muir Woods. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Once again, I was struck at how blessed I am that I live here.

oh what a night!

Thanks to my theater-savvy cousin, I had the chance to watch the Broadway hit Jersey Boys at the Curran Theater last Thursday night.

The musical is based on the real story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and although I hadn't known of them before, I do know most of their songs.
Big Girls Don't Cry, Sherry, Walk Like a Man, Rag Doll - to name just a few.

It was like a trip down memory lane for me, growing up with my parents singing to most of these songs. I remember how my mom used to teach us how to dance the swing to the jazz version of Can't Take My Eyes Off of You and my sister and I would shout to the top of our lungs along with the chorus of "I love you baby...!" And unlike me who can only sing in the shower, my parents and my two sisters do have a very good singing voice. In fact, my parents even played lead roles on a local Christmas musical back in the day.

Anyways, if you haven't seen it, hurry and buy your tickets now. Its absolutely beautiful and it more than lived up to its stellar reviews and awards. I would even watch it again just to hear Frankie Valli's character sing My Eyes Adored You. *sigh*


Everyone knows how much I love my indie and foreign-language films. So you could just picture my excitement over the SF International Film Festival. Like a kid in a candy store, I was at the Sundance Kabuki Theater last Saturday (yes, Sundance as in the festival and Robert Redford's group of cinemas) trying to figure out which movies I will watch for the next couple of days. I, of course, wanted to see everything and had to control myself and stick to my budget. It turned out that most of the tickets were already sold out even before the festival started, so I had to wait in the rush line for the centerpiece movie that night, which I didn't really mind because I had so much fun people-watching.

Midway through the rush line, I wasn't as enthusiastic anymore. The line was really long and it didn't look like any of us were getting a ticket. A part of me just wanted to let it go and eat sushi at the nearby Japantown. But I figured I already went that far, why back out then. There's always those last-minute chances and you'll never really know unless you try.

True enough, while I was standing there, shifting my weight and scanning the festival's program, this guy tapped me on the shoulder. He asked if I wanted to buy one of his tickets because his friend just called and said that she couldn't make it. At first, I just looked at him and nodded, like I couldn't believe he was real. I eventually found my voice and paid him 12 bucks and off I went to the theaters.

So Delirious. God, I couldn't even find the words to say how much I loved it. Its a satirical movie filled with classic one-liners and Steve Buscemi who played the role of a New York paparazzo was precious. I've always thought that he is a great character actor but in this movie he really outdid himself. He made it all look so easy and natural and even if his character was strange and somewhat creepy, you couldn't help but love him.

The film's director, Tom DiCillo and one of its main actors Alison Lohman, were both present at the screening and they answered some of the audience's questions at the end. When asked why he called the movie Delirious, Tom said that he wanted the name to bring him good luck. I thought about my entire night, from getting the ticket and sitting in the VIP section because some of the sponsors didn't show up, to seeing a great movie and listening to its director and actor talk about it, and I couldn't help but thank whatever good fortune that prompted that guy to sell me a ticket out of all the people who were standing in the rush line. It was, indeed, "delirious".

Photo of Tom DiCillo and Alison Lohman courtesy of http://www.sfist.com/


Here is a glimpse of a completely random conversation which made my otherwise boring day quiet interesting:

"Alex, why do you have a book under your shirt?" Gina, our speech therapist, asked as soon as Alex and his friend Jose came to the Resource room for their speech therapy session.

"Oh, I just want my writings close to me," Alex answered.

"But don't you think it looks a little strange?" Gina asked, pointing at Alex's bulging chest.

"Nah", was all he said.

I looked at Alex to see if he was joking or not. He is an adorable 8-year old, super smart but is rather quirky and somewhat clueless when it comes to reading social cues. I could tell that he wasn't joking. Along with the journal under his shirt, he was also wearing this high-waisted pants with the shirt tucked inside.

"I think Alex wants to be a superhero," Jose said.

Alex, bless his heart, smiled. Beaming from ear to ear.

"I guess so", I added.

And so it was that Alex spent the rest of the school day with his journal underneath his shirt. =)

Photo taken from