I recently spent five days visiting my good friend Tim and his husband Alex in San Francisco. Had an absolute blast. Now I need another week to recover.

Day 1 – Saturday, April 25, 2015

Arrived around mid-afternoon feeling gross and drugged from Dramamine and still motion-sick. Took the BART train to the Civic Center downtown, then took a cab from there to Tim’s neighborhood, the famous Haight-Ashbury area. They live in a 100-year-old Edwardian. Here’s the view from inside the entryway of their home:

entryway

My gracious hosts, Tim and Alex.

My gracious hosts,  Alex and Tim.

I'd forgotten my sunglasses, so I bought these cheapies for $2 at the tackle shop on the way to the airport.

I’d forgotten my sunglasses, so I bought these cheapies for $2 at the tackle shop on the way to the airport.

They put me up in their living room with a nice air mattress. Their dog Moby is a Kelpie mix.

w-moby

In the evening we went to Japantown for dinner. Here’s the Japanese Peace Pagoda:

japanese peace pagoda

me @ peace pagoda

We ate at Tanpopo, their favorite ramen place. The bowls were ginormous. I could only eat about half of mine.

After dinner, we wandered through Japan Center, an indoor mall whose shops are devoted to all things Nippon. I got some postcards at a stationary shop, Tim pulled me into an incense shop, and I spotted a bonsai shop, which was thankfully closed or I may have had something shipped home. I had to take pictures of this insane Sanrio shop:

amiko store

amiko store1

amiko store2

There was also a high-end kimono shop:

kimono shop

kimono shop1

kimono shop2

Random storefronts with interesting displays:

japantown toys

These Kewpie dolls will come to strangle you in your sleep.

These Kewpie dolls will follow you home and strangle you in your sleep.

Back at home, we watched a brilliant animated movie by acclaimed artist Hayao Miyazaki on their big projection screen. Inspired storytelling, otherworldly creatures, and gorgeous watercolor-like visuals. Here’s a couple of stills from the movie, “Spirited Away“:

 

Slept like the dead that night.

 

Next: First full day — Crabcakes Benedict — Exploring Haight St. — Exploring Golden Gate Park — Sushi @ Domo

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