Today we had an easy morning in the hotel. Yesterday was a long day and we were a bit tired. We decided to take it a bit easier today.
After bumming around for the morning, we decided to check out the tea spot in the Yerba Buena Gardens, Samovar. We found it after some walking around the gardens.
It was absolutely lovely. We were able to sit outside in the shade on a outdoor couch. It was one of the best meals that we had! I had an English tea service, which consisted of a mushroom quiche, a scone with jam and clotted cream, and some fruit.
Seth got an Asian dish with eggs, rice, and duck.
I had a rice oolong tea from Thailand, which was amazing.
We had a dessert of matcha brownies with a green tea mousse. The mousse was light and tasted just like green tea in fluffy form.
It was such a relaxing environment. After lunch, Seth got me some of the oolong for bringing home.
We explored the gardens a bit after lunch and got to view the waterfall that the restaurant was located at the top of.
We then decided to go over to Chinatown for a walking tour that I read in the Fodor's book we had gotten for the trip. We walked up the main street, Grant, where there were a lot of tourist shops. Most were very kitsch, but one had some swords that were of interest to Seth. There were a few items to consider so Seth decided to ruminate while we continued the tour.
We walked through some side streets including Waverly Place, where many immigrants lived in the early 20th century when laws were enacted to limit where Chinese could live in San Francisco.
We then turned down a side street, more of an alley, to see the Golden Fortune Cookie Factory. The fortune cookies start as a disk and are brought on a conveyor to the employee who puts a fortune in and folds the cookie into the shape we recognize. They cookies are then placed in a special rack to cool.
After finishing our walk, we returned to the store with the swords where Seth picked out a modern looking set of three that are getting shipped to our house. We then continued down the street until we came to Vital Tea Leaf, a shop offering free tea tastings. Obviously, we had to go in. The tea tasting was done in the style of a wine tasting. We were given many different teas to taste in small cups. They tea was quickly prepared right as we watched. The man was very knowledgeable. I ended up getting a small amount of red tea, a tea that is slightly more oxidized than an oolong but less so than a black tea.
We then exited Chinatown the way that we came in, through the Gate, and got some sandwiches to eat back at the hotel. We returned back a bit after four, on the early side, so that we could relax for our flight tomorrow and the quarter of five wake up call.