Well, I’m currently typing mid-air over who-knows-where on my way back from Foodbuzz Festival 2011. We have about 2 1/2 hours left in our flight, and I’m really looking forward to seeing hubby and Bailey. I’m hoping to draft a couple posts before getting home, and I’m having a blast editing all the photos! It’s so fun to relive the trip through the images.

On to day #1 of my trip to San Francisco, CA…

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Have I ever mentioned that I’m afraid of flying? Not sure where it came from but I’m blaming the fact that my family always did our family vacations as road trip warriors. I’ve never flown anywhere with my immediate family…seriously, not once.

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I don’t know why I do it to myself, but I always try to score window seats on planes. Someone afraid of flying should probably not be staring out of a window – especially for take-offs or landings.

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I thought I’d snap some photos of some scenic views from the plane on the way out to California, though.

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The captain didn’t announce anything, but I believe these are the Rockies (can anyone tell?).

Soon enough, we were flying over the Bay towards the airport, and I was desperately hoping to see a runway under our plane soon. Have you ever landed over water?! It’s fine at first, but once you start being able to recognize individual waves, you start to wonder when you’re going to see land. I was so happy when I finally did. I swear there was only about 10 feet of clearance, but we were moving so fast, it must have been hundreds. At least, that’s what I’m going to tell myself. 🙂

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I was the first to check in at the hotel. Our hotel was very close to last year’s and right between Union Square and Chinatown, which I thought was a pretty ideal location. The rooms were small-ish, but very nice. I spoke with the man checking in who mentioned they’d all been renovated within the last year. I only wish they would have added in a couple extra outlets (us bloggers need to use lots of cellphone and laptop chargers). And, I’m also waiting for the day when all hotels have free wi-fi for all guests. One fine day, right?

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Within just a couple short hours of arriving, I met up with roomie Mara and my roommate from last year, Julie. We joked that we were having a reunion from our Cafe Gratitude trip from last year’s conference. Good thing we didn’t have to find a taxi again! 😆

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We knew we’d hit Chinatown when we noticed this gorgeous street lamps.

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As we got further in, the store signs kind of gave it away, too.

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You likey my travel-outfit? I know…stylin’! Seriously, I’m kind of like the honey badger when I travel – I really don’t give a **** (about my outfit). Comfort wins!

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I loved seeing all the interesting things for sale in Chinatown – especially the food ingredients. It made you want to pick up something you didn’t recognize and go home and figure out something interesting to make with it.

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We walked all around Chinatown trying to find a dim sum place that was open. Our original plan was to return to the dim sum restaurant I visited nearly 3 years ago on my first trip to SF – Hang Ah. Unfortunately, they were closed. I think they’ve started serving only on Fridays-Sundays since my visit there.

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We then walked by a few other places that had good reviews on Yelp. Unfortunately, they had no where to sit down to eat (kind of like the place we visited last year), and us weary travelers were looking for a sit-down spot. We were about 5 minutes shy of making it to Hong Kong Clay Pot before they closed, but just missed cut-off. And after having traveled from pretty far and walking around in the rain, we ended up stopping at a buffet style restaurant that a kind lady on the street recommended.

It was pretty good, but I actually thought the fresh batch of stir-fried noodles with chicken was better than the dim sum.

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We meandered back to Union Square in search of desserts.

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Julie told us about a cupcake shop she’d read about online, as well as a delicious pumpkin cupcake with cream cheese frosting.

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The place – Cako.

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They didn’t have the pumpkin cupcake, so I decided to go for the Banana Tella – a banana cake with nutella buttercream frosting.

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The cupcake was really interesting and almost tasted like a banana muffin. The frosting was a nice buttercream with a light nutella flavor.

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And do you see this sign?! I think I need this on a shirt.

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Next up – a trip to a very famous restaurant – any guesses (no cheating if you already know the answer!)