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SF Day 2

This morning we slept in… well, we tried to sleep in, but we are kinda spoiled by our bed at home and this one didn’t feel comfortable. Albert was having back pain due to driving so much lately.

We had breakfast delivered to our room.

It was a nice breakfast but way too many carbs for me. Afterwards I fell back into bed and dozed off for more than an hour while Albert went walking and exploring the area.

But finally I dragged myself up and we went walking 2 miles to the Orpheum Theater. We debated taking our car but decided we needed the exercise, it was too stressful driving in the city, and we would have to pay big bucks for parking. We walked instead — I’m glad we did! There were a ton of people around.

We went through Chinatown.

While we were there, we heard what sounded like a marching band.

Turns out it was a Chinese funeral. The marching band went first, then the car with an open top and a photo of the deceased. After that, one of the cars was throwing fake paper money out the window. Then there was a long line of limousines. I’m not too familiar with all the Chinese funeral customs … none of the funerals I have gone to have had a marching band or paper money flying in the air.

Finally we made it to the theater.

The picture didn’t allow any photographs, and I didn’t think to draw til a little into the intermission, so I did a quick 10-minute sketch of the set on the left side of the curtain.

Doesn’t really do the set justice though… the curtain was amazing, as well as a large dragon overhead, which was mostly obscured by the overhang, which is why I didn’t draw it.

The show was totally amazing. As an artist and musician, I totally loved it and thought it was probably the best live musical I have ever seen. Everything about the show was executed flawlessly — the singing, the acting, the blocking, the sets, the lighting, the costumes, the colors, the singing, the dancing, the seamless transitions between scenes and how things were constantly moving. It was so interesting how they used lighting and moving set pieces to move your eye from one focal point to another.

The story was great, I really enjoyed the music, and the characters were wonderful. It really touched me and inspired me and filled my soul all at the same time! It is funny how these secular types of experiences speak to me so deeply and actually help me connect with God more. Probably because I am an artistic type… art and music help me on a deep level that intellect does not.

Time flew by. It was a totally enjoyable experience and well worth the expense.

After that, we walked to dinner at a very expensive and fancy restaurant. The dinner was amazing.

Complimentary chef’s appetizer of fish tartare (can’t remember what kind, but it was chopped sashimi), tempura fish with some kind of yummy sauce, and a salty flan… once again, can’t remember the exact flavor but it was all seafood. All three were totally delicious. I ate them, thinking, I wonder what in the world they put in here? Couldn’t figure it out… but it was awfully good!

Then the real appetizer plate — all 3 are trout. Left almost tasted like smoked salmon and had a yummy green onion mixture, middle a confit trout with smoked onion cream, and last one a smoke trout with a potato “ruff” (or so the waiter said). One of these had a grilled garlic vinaigrette.

Entree was the creamiest, garliciest, butteriest pureed potatoes I have ever had (almost the texture of soup!). I’m a total beef lover, so these were all delicious: filet mignon, grilled ribeye with crushed fava bean and a yummy soft sweet onion, and braised oxtail with morel mushrooms and herb salad. But I’m sure I’m leaving out half the ingredients.

Dessert was wonderful. Plum crisp with olive oil ice cream (!), a very light creamy cheesecake with blueberries and lemon thyme foam, and chocolate mousse cake with salted caramel ice cream.

Then there was a little surprise at the end… raspberry jelly something (Albert said, “Knox blox!”) and lime macaroon.

What was amazing was that it seemed like hardly any food at all when it first came out but we went away both full! Then a walk home… 11,867 steps today.

I am so amazed the pictures turned out at all. It was practically semi dark in there! Love shooting in RAW and using Topaz DeNoise! Here’s the before picture.

And this one shows what a difference playing with color balance makes. The before picture of the sketch above:

It’s been a wonderful weekend away celebrating our anniversary and Albert’s birthday. We’ve also had great discussions about our marriage and family and how to balance this fall, which is going to be crazy schedule-wise for our whole family. I’m so thankful to have the opportunity to get away!

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