Saturday, June 5, 2010

Half Moon Bay back to Ghirardelli

On a beautiful Saturday (last weekend), we (Rita, my mother, and I) drive around the East to South Bay then across the San Francisco peninsula from Menlo Park to Half Moon Bay, part way along Skyline Drive. Quite a few people were out, enjoying the balmy weather (after some cooler and rainier days earlier in the week). There were the familiar bikers in spandex and helmets, numerous motorcyclists in helmets and leather (quite a difference from Colorado where helmets are optional), and, eventually, bumper-to-bumper cars. As we came closer to Half Moon, we passed several garden shops specializing in "organic" products. (aside: I can't help but question the organic craze. If organic-only fertilizers were imposed on the rest of the world, far larger areas of currently idle, "natural," earth would need to come under cultivation and the soil would quickly be exhausted, to the detriment of millions who are now being fed because of the green revolution.)
As we approach the coast we begin to see the waves and surfers. Alas for the latter, the former appear to be fairly small, providing little of the surf action the boarders would prefer. As we come closer to "the city" (how locals designate San Francisco), we begin watching for a supermarket which would fit with my mother's shopping list. We come to a small shopping center anchored by something called "The Ranch." I turn off the coast highway for us to see what we might find. To our surprise, 99 Ranch Market is an oriental food market, dominated by Chinese offerings, but with plenty of Japanese and Vietnamese imports as well.I was amazed to see the variety of Chinese beers and Japanese Sake and Plum Wine along with some aisles devoted to more typically "American" items, such as breakfast cereal.
We continue north, entering San Francisco. Rita has expressed a desire to revisit Ghirardelli Square's chocolate shop. Our journey to GS is delayed as the map I'm following doesn't indicate that some streets go underground in tunnels for several blocks. As a consequence, we drive through Chinatown, but that's okay, as we hadn't driven that part of the city the last time we were here.
As we finally reach GS, just across the street and a couple of blocks down from Fisherman's Wharf, we find the very same parking place we occupied while dining a couple of nights earlier is still available. We enter G's candy shop and receive the very same flavor, peanut butter, of chocolate square we were offered during our last visit. Rita looks over the various offerings and selects some varieties we don't find in Walgreen's or Safeway in Colorado. And, she chooses a large bag of a mixed selection from which she plans to prepare gift bags for friends and family back home.

With the busyness of the area on a Saturday evening, we head for Jack London Square in Oakland for dinner.

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