Year of the Ox

California needs rain.

The state wants to avoid another drought and our lawn needs plenty of the wet stuff. We want our grass to look green and pretty. We don’t want to embarrass our very cool landlord in front of the neighbors with a brown and ugly yard.

Mark said this weekend finally felt like Winter with all the rainfall – from the Bay Area up to the Sierra Foothills.

Still, I’m greedy when it comes to sunny weather in February. I have no problem with running in 70-degree weather in February and watching flowers bloom in the dead of winter.

Waves Crashing

Earlier this month, we spent a lovely, sunny Saturday in San Francisco. I wanted to see the Chinese New Year Parade. We ended up eating a dim sum feast in the Richmond, watching the waves crash on Ocean Beach, took a driving tour of the fancy houses by the Presidio and bar hopping thru Chinatown and North Beach.

That was before the parade.

Sauteed Escargot

On that Saturday, Susan and Tom introduced us to a tasty spot for dim sum in the Richmond: The Golden River Restaurant on Geary. I had a blast sucking out the snails from the shells. I was impressed by the big menu of small plates. The Golden River had the classic dim sum dishes covered – from BBQ pork buns to dumplings. The menu also takes a nasty bits tour of tripe, intestines and more. I fell in love with the crispy pork intestines. It reminded me of chicharon with a blast of spicy peppers and fatty goodness. Thank heavens I squeezed in a yoga class before our San Francisco trip.

Now if only they’d deliver this tasty dim sum to Vacaville!

After dim sum, we walked by the Pacific and beach fans at Ocean Beach. It’s one of the few times I remember the shores being free from gray skies and fog. My cure for a busy work week: salty ocean air, warm sand and no responsibilities.

We made our way back to Chinatown. We did drinks at the Lipo Bar and left after the server tossed my hubby’s half-full beer bottle. We ordered more cocktails at Vesuvio. The boys ditched us at the beatniks’ waterhole for the best Gyros ever. I couldn’t tell you where or how they tasted. The gals didn’t get any leftovers.

Finale, we caught the tail end of the Dragon Dance for the parade.

Chinese New Year’s Parade 2009 from Kris Vera-Phillips on Vimeo.

Good times.