Sunday, July 14, 2013

Summer 2013 in SFO (Yosemite) & LA & NY

Every summer, my darling and I just go to New York. So, this year, we decided to be a bit adventurous and went to the west coast as well :) It was a very busy 10 nights (12 days) trip but we had a lot of fun!!!

Well… basically, we enjoyed eating out! So half of my diary will be about food. I know it is the same for everyone ;) hehe

Day 1 (6/28):

Unlike last year, we left home in the evening and used Narita airport. It was way better in this way! We left NRT at 5PM and arrived in SFO at 11AM.

As soon as we arrived in the city, we walked around the Ferry Building. We had an early dinner at The Plant Cafe. Their organic foods (photo here) were amazing! Plant burger patties are made in house from lentils, mushrooms, beets, cashews and bulgur wheat. Something we can never try in Japan.

Day 2 (6/29):

We had a breakfast at Starbucks. I always get granola yogurt (photo here) in the states because we don't have it in Japan! We left for Yosemite early in the morning at 8AM. We arrived in Yosemite at noon. What a nice tour, we had BENTO in nature XD My darling and I decided to rent a bike after lunch. It was a fun way to tour around the park. Then we had a dinner at Mountain Room Restaurant located at Yosemite Lodge at the Falls. I tried their Gluten-Free Vegan Quinoa and Lentil Burger (photo here). It was amazingly delicious and filling! After the dinner, we had a nice walk to see Yosemite fall which is about a mile from the lodge we stayed.

Day 3 (6/30):

We had a breakfast at Yosemite Lodge Food Court. It was so-so and expensive (photo here). We joined the Glacier Point Tour which departs at 8:30am. Our ticket was a round-trip but we decided to hike down the Panorama Trail (8.5 miles = 13.5 km) on our own. Well… hiking down was not that easy. The path was pretty steep. (I'm glad I bought trekking shoes!!!) It was scary when we met a deer on our way! LOL On this day, even though we were really tired, we went to have a dinner at Ahwahnee Dining Room. It was such a gorgeous restaurant. Their food was amazing and of course expensive (photo here). I thank to my darling for booking there :P

Day 4 (7/1):

We had a breakfast again at Yosemite Lodge Food Court because we had no choice! Then we enjoyed the Yosemite rafting for 2 hours. The personal flotation device smelled really bad, but the rafting was fun! LOL At 2:30PM we had to leave Yosemite. We arrived back in SFO at night. We had a quick dinner at King of Thai at Union Square where my viewer recommended. We had Chicken Satay (photo here), Pad Kee Maow (photo here), and Combination Beef Noodle Soup (photo here)! The restaurant was crowded but fast and really good :)

Day 5 (7/2):

On this day, we had to depart to LA at 3PM, so we decided to walk and shop around Mission district. However, the stores weren't open till noon… so we just had a breakfast at Dolores Park Cafe. Actually, BART was on strike, so we had to take SuperShuttle to the airport (pricey).

I didn't know anything about LA, so I booked Millennium Biltmore Hotel. However, the city was not like in Manhattan. Everything was too far away, like in Westchester County in New York where I used to live. Maybe next time, we will stay at a hotel near Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour Bus station. Then maybe we can at least do a sightseeing in a limited amount of time. For dinner, we went to Nickel Diner. They serve authentic diner foods (photo here)! My darling's stuffed chicken was pretty good!!!

Day 6 (7/3):

In the morning we had a breakfast at The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. We found it popular than Starbucks in LA because we saw it everywhere!!! I liked their granola yogurt (photo here), too XD

We visited Tastemade (cooking network) and YouTube Space in LA, along with cookingwithdog, kazumeshi, and MarimoMarshmallow. We didn't have enough time, but we had a chance to make a small collaboration video together :)

At night, we walked around Santa Monica. Actually, I didn't shop that much because I knew everything was available in New York XD We had a dinner at Real Food Daily. Their organic vegan foods were amazing! Worth to try them!!! (photo here)

Day 7 (7/4):

We took a Rapid bus 720 from downtown to Beverly Hills, that runs along Wilshire Boulevard. I think it took over an hour including the waiting time O_O We had brunch at Coupa Café. Actually, I wanted to try the crepe dish at Jack N' Jill's but it was CLOSED… but Coupa Café was pretty good, too! Then we walked around Robertson… but we found nothing special and said it is better to walk in NY. LOL Our flight to NY was at 11PM, but we decided to go to the airport earlier to have a dinner there. We had a dinner at Wolfgang Puck Express. Their Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf was pretty good!!! We could view the Independence day fireworks from the airport :)

Day 8 (7/5):

We slept on the plane for 6 hours and arrived in NY in the morning. However, it was pretty tiring! We headed to the hotel, hoping our room is ready, but it wasn't… so, we walked around the city. It was over 100F (38C) on this day which made us even tired. But at least we knew the city very well, we felt at ease. hehe For brunch, we went to The Todd English Food Hall in The Plaza Food Hall. They have a collection of amazing foods in NYC (including Luke's Lobster!). What we decided to have is the Prime Rib Sliders. It was pretty big enough to share! Yummy :) We went back to the hotel and the room was ready. So, we had a nap for 4 hours. LOL Then we walked 20 blocks to have a dinner at a Korean restaurant called Cho Dang Gol. They are pretty popular among Japanese people in the city!

Day 9 (7/6):

Every year, we had a breakfast at Central Park (on the day of the proposal. hehe) but this year was so hot that we decided not to have a breakfast there. We had brunch at Norma's. Their waffle was amazing :) Nothing special but we shopped and walked around the city as usual. My favorite place to shop for the past few years is Juicy Couture!!! And of course DSW!!! In the evening, we walked around Bedford Avenue and found a nice shop called whisk! Their kitchen gadgets are fun and cute! We had a dinner at Peter Luger Steakhouse. OMG! Amazing indeed!!! Tasty, lean, worth the price!!!

Day 10 (7/7):

The amount of food in the states is satisfying, so our breakfast always becomes brunch. We had brunch at The Smith Restaurant at Lincoln Center. We just ordered what people next to us ordered and they were delicious! In addition, I ordered my favorite granola yogurt. Then the people next to us said that was a great choice. Yeah, it was pretty good!!! We walked the Upper West Side as usual. However many of the shops were closed and it wasn't that fun like before… It is interesting, that shops in NYC change every year. At least we can find new shops to enjoy, we never get bored, though! For snack, we tried Jamba Juice for the first time. Many people were walking around the city (rehydrating) with Jamba Juice, so we decided to drink it. Berry UpBEET was pretty good! But the original size was too big. LOL For dinner, we headed to downtown and found a restaurant called Rouge et Blanc. They serve fine French / Vietnamese dishes. Simply amazing!!! This restaurant is really off the beaten path. No tourists!

Day 11 (7/8):

Time to go home. We had a quick brunch at Europa cafe and I did a last-minute shopping at Crate and Barrel in Midtown and Sur La Table in Soho. They both are my favorite shops. Cute, clean, and affordable!

Our return flight was suppose to be UA but it changed to ANA! Lucky us! The meals and movies are better ;)

Thanks for reading! Next year, I am thinking of going to the Prince Edward Island and of course NYC. I heard the place is beautiful. What do you think!? XD

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