we had spent the past 3 days with josh's old college friends (the duke contingent!), but yesterday we headed into SF to reunite with two of my gorgeous and brilliant williams friends, azusa and nicole. azusa was my freshman roommate and despite the fact that we are opposites in some ways (i was immersed in nerdy science while she was doing amazing artwork on the floor, often overnight!) we got along beautifully and have remained friends ever since, even though we don't get to hang out nearly enough!
sophomore year, i quickly became close to nicole (along with vickie and aimee, and blogless emily). the 6 of us lived together in "co-op" housing senior year, which basically meant we had a beautiful house (sewall for any alumni reading!) all to ourselves (or, almost).
anyway, i hadn't seen either of them in years (nicole since my WEDDING!) so it was wonderful to get a chance to visit! i was showered with the most amazing hand-crafted birthday presents:
by azusa:an eye-catching, colorful tote bag (she knows what i love) + murakami!! and a stationery sample. she actually has her own etsy shop: look for unique and stylish hand-stamped stationery and artwork here plurabelle press. the stamps are hand-designed as well. i LOVE the little lipstick notebooks as well as the tooth stationery. check it out!
nicole was sad that she could not find any orla kiely goodness in oakland so she made me orla-inspired plates herself! so impressive. she also sewed the zippered pouch shown and threw in a scarf and TRUFFLE SALT for good measure.
yes, my friends are awesome.
we found azusa's studio pretty easily -- here is her door, decorated appropriately:
we headed immediately to lunch at burma superstar which may be my favorite culinary experience of this trip yet! from the 22-ingredient salad to luscious coconutty noodles with chicken, everything was so tasty.
from there, we ventured to the new california academy of science, where we were lucky enough to happen upon an african penguin feeding, among other cool exhibits. their aquarium was really cool, too, with some aquatic life that looked truly otherworldly. here is a shot of azusa and me, 'on safari':
after the museum, we met up with nicole (yay!!) and the four of us went to the mission district for a very SF dinner: mission street food. this is a dining experience where various chefs design an innovative menu (changes completely each time) and serve small plates to the waiting masses in an old chinese restaurant twice weekly. proceeds all go to charity. there was a line already formed at the door when we got there at 5:30!
we sipped yummy blueberry acai cocktails, ate soft-shell crab sliders, and shared some 'secret breakfast ice cream' -- which tasted like the milk left behind in a cereal bowl, with some bourbon added. there were a few cereal pieces in the ice cream as well!
finally, we found a bar to sip drinks and reminisce. luckily there will be more contact with these wonderful ladies in the following year as weddings are coming soon! i wish i could hang out with them more often, but it makes me happy to know that it is always so much fun when we do get to see each other.
off to palo alto! here is the b&b we are leaving behind: