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Driving the fox

Wednesday morning was all to-do lists – finding the UPS store, setting up a UPS box with a street address, looking for a bank, collecting an Archos charge cable – I felt like a spy arranging  handover in the parking lot closest to Bucks, I’m the blonde with a full head of braids in a Pontiac G6 looking for the blonde in the BMW – and meeting Nick and his brother for lunch in San Francisco, which started as clam chowder and somehow ended up back at Mistral, the fantastic rotisserie at the back of the Ferry Building, eating Neiman Ranch pork rib and cassoulet and yams and roasted tomato and polenta and lamb and watching the ferries and the planes.

When we saw the Virgin plane go overhead we headed off to SFO to pick up tanais and take him to church... owing to the arcane queuing system we went into the Apple store, then out to a shoe shop then back to the Apple store and then across to Citizen Cupcake for wonderful coffee and ginger spice sandwich cookies and rocky road cupcakes – more topping than cake. Wandered up to Union Square to find a post box and saw the Westin-sponsored Zen garden, then drove Tanais over to Dan’s place, did the hokey coky on waiting and leaving messages and heading off to eat and doubling back and finding they were in and all ending up at a delicious Thai restaurant on Haight – the deep fried pumpkin and mango shrimp and red duck curry were standouts.

Next day we drove tanais down highway one to Nepenthe, on a sunny day overlaid with fog that cleared in tendrils over Cafe Kevah to let us see a condor as well as the blue jays then back to San Francisco for the ever fascinating Strategic News Service dinner where we closed out the dining room talking to Tye from Microsoft. The Mark Hopkins hotel has a very impressive mural of gold leaf and paintings illustrating the founding of California, with Calipha proffering a huge gold nugget and turkeys welcoming settlers from around the world in native costumes; you know it’s a good conversation when you don’t look up.

Next day again we picked up tanais with coffee in hand and headed over Golden Gate to the wineries; first to Ravenswood and then Imagery. Very different styles – Ravenswood looks small and down home and friendly and is maybe five times the size of sleek, high-end Imagery, and the wines run a different gamut too. We did another tasting of sorts over dinner and decided we like the Fog Dog merlot to go with the prime rib, sausages and rotisserie lamb with jalapeno corn bread. Yum! A lovely sunny day doing fun things that we’ve been wanting to do with tanais for ages.

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Mary Branscombe
Simon & Mary

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