Corin Anderson (magellanic) wrote,
Corin Anderson

Happy birthday

For owens888's birthday today I took the day off and we had a casual day around San Francisco. We started the day with a favorite activity: sleeping in. Getting out the door at the crack of noon-thirty we MUNI'd across town for a piglet and a mushroom gruyère at The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen. Awesomeness. Way better than panini sandwiches because the bread is toasted, the butter is flavored (rosemary butter on the piglet, for instance), and the sandwich is hot all the way through. Today's Game 1 of the World Series so we enjoyed the spectacle of Giants fans streaming toward the ball park while we ate. We were happy our plan had us heading away from the ballpark in the afternoon, not toward it.

Mom and Dad gave Melinda a Starbucks gift card so we hit a Starbucks on the way back from lunch. Not only do I like the taste, but I enjoy just asking for a "small hot pumpkin" as a drink.

Back on MUNI and took the L all the way to the SF Zoo. We've been to the zoo probably a half dozen times before but always as part of some event: puzzle hunt, puzzle hunt GC summit, or for Valentine's day. Never before have we walked through to just look at the animals. So we did. We got there just in time for the penguin feeding. And that's what it was: one staffer hand-fed each penguin little fishes while a second staffer took notes, and while a few seagulls stood a few feet away waiting for their chance at some tasties. They got a chance or two, too. It was funny to watch the staffer feed each penguin: the penguins all knew the routine and at any time maybe a quarter of the 44 penguins were standing around the staffer begging for food. One penguin also thought it was time for walkies: it walked across the access bridge that the staffers use to walk to the penguin island, and was waiting at the gate for something to happen. Nothing ever did. Poor Howard (the staffer also referred to each penguin by a name as well as its number).

Overall the zoo is a little depressing. The enclosures are small, smaller than I'd expect the animals would want for their usual range, and look very artificial. The zoo doesn't have the variety I would expect: no small mammal exhibit, no nocturnal exhibit, no elephants. Growing up I visited the Woodland Park Zoo often, I never knew that it was an above-average zoo, I guess. Today was also perhaps an anomalous day at the zoo due to Game 1 drawing everyone away from other things in SF. We saw other people at the zoo but not more than 20 other people in total, I expect (and at that, most of them were parent + optional other parent + child in stroller).

Took the L back to the Inner Sunset and found dinner at Chou Chou, located just around the corner from the Forest Hill station on the L. Soup, salad, salmon, pork chop, chocolate crepe, and chocolate tart. All good (well, the tart was a little unexciting, but the other things were excellent). Service was slow but we weren't really in a hurry. I guess they'd just changed the menu, we were pretty happy with what we had. And, sort of nice to watch the traffic drive by; they'd seated us at the table in the front window.

We wrapped up the evening with the 20 minute walk home from the restaurant. We stopped at Clancy's pumpkin patch which we've driven past often but never actually stopped. Yep, it's a pumpkin patch. It also has some rabbits, some turkeys, and hay rides. Fun for the whole families. We carved pumpkins last weekend so we left content but without pumpkins.

And, that was the day. Seemed like a good one for Melinda. We could get used to taking days off like this.
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