Hey, All!

Well, I’ve not blogged recently– I was under the weather for a while, and then once I was better, I spent more of my time doing housework and exercising instead of blogging.

I’m working on writing up a thing about managing depression, but that one’s going to take some work, so until I get that looking how I like, I will talk a bit about our recent trip to San Francisco.

On my mom’s birthday, we drove up to San Francisco and spent the day in the Japantown there– much quieter and less crowded then the tourist-attracting Chinatown!– to shop, eat some deliciousness, and of course, to see some cherry blossoms. (We missed the Sakurahanami festivities by, like, one day! Still, there were plenty of flowers left to see.)

So many blossoms!

I took a lot of pictures of the trees lining the Peace Plaza, as well as some other features.

This pigeon was also there to check out all the cherry blossoms.

Cherry trees around the tower

A slightly crooked view of the wall along the plaza, and the street beyond.

Peace Plaza

The tower in the Peace Plaza from below, as seen through a few stray boughs

One thing that was different in the Peace Plaza this time was this really nice tribute– a big clothesline with origami cranes and prayers for Japan hanging from it.

Cranes and prayers

I thought it was very nice. A lot of the slips hanging from it (and presumably a lot of the cranes as well) are from local youth groups, girl/boy scouts, Boys and Girls’ Club, etc. And it’s a little area where there are quite a few people who are second or even first generation Americans. Anyway, Dave had read that at least as much as donating to relief efforts, buying imports would help rebuild Japan’s economy in the long-term.

Inside the malls, I took some other photos, because there are a couple very cute areas indoors.

Cute sushiya, or cutest sushiya?

I really love that several of the restaurants in the mall had facades made up to look like they were on a street outside. This one here, and also row of little places across the plaza (which I did not get a picture of, because the conditions weren’t half so ideal). This one we didn’t eat at (I didn’t eat at any of the places in this particular mall myself, but I ate at a place in the other mall that happens to make the best croquettes!)

The Osaka Castle model

This is in the other mall, not far from a cute little food stall with dango that some of us enjoy. No idea what scale it’s in– can it possibly just be H80? That would be pretty standard, I guess. Anyway, the details were gorgeous.

Gorgeous!

New since we were last in Japantown, one of the malls now has a little gourmet cupcake place, and it being a Special Occasion and all, we got a couple cupcakes. The s’more cupcake at this place? It was the best cupcake I have ever had! And I like to think I make some pretty good cupcakes now and again, but these were just tres special. I should have taken a picture of the cupcakes, they were pretty attractive as well as being delicious. And there were some really interesting ones– like a matcha green tea one!

Mini zen garden

This is just under the stairs in the mall by the parking garage, can you believe that? The lantern lights up and everything, and it’s tucked under the stairs as you come in from the parking garage. That is a nice touch. The stairs themselves are half a moon bridge, too, so it’s a really nice area. At the top of the stairs, one can go to Ichiban Kan, which is an excellent little grocery and household goods shop, where things are inexpensive and adorable, but then at the bottom of the stairs, there was Daiso, a hundred-yen store! Technically, there was a hundred-yen store the last time we were in San Francisco, and maybe it was even the same one, but this time they had a much bigger space. Almost everything there was a buck fifty. I got pucca snacks for a dollar, which is close to a third of what I can expect to pay for that kind of thing most places, if I can find it.

We did some shopping, birthday and otherwise, had various foods we don’t always get to find, and enjoyed each others’ company.

And oh, yeah…

Seriously, I have five more pictures like this.

We saw some cherry blossoms.