san francisco [day 3]

We started our third, last full day in San Francisco by going to Mr. Holmes Bakehouse. I hate to admit it, but it was the second time on this trip we were standing in a line that we didn't know what it was for. So, here we stood, outside in a line as it started to rain. 

Thanks to some girls next to us who also wondered after about 5 minutes what they were in line for, they investigated. Turns out everyone was a line to get a cruffin [a croissant / muffin hybrid], which wouldn't be available for another 20 minutes. Sure a cruffin sounded delicious, but it wasn't worth waiting for in a long line, in the rain. 

We decided to bypass the long line and get a boring 'ol donut and bread pudding.

The show we had planned to see this particular afternoon was Superego. We had first seen them the last time we were in town for Sketchfest

Not only did we see the Superego regulars, but some amazing guests where there as well including John Hodgman, Amanda Lund and Janet Varney.

The show we saw has not been released, however, you can check out TONS of Superego on Howl.fm. I highly recommend this.

After the show, we found out there were still some tickets left for the Workjuice Players [basically, The Thrilling Adventure Hour]. However, it was for the late show. Meaning 10:30 pm. MEANING 12:30 am our normal, back home time. You know, two hours past our normal bedtime. 

But, we decided to live it up and got tickets. Knowing we had a late night ahead of us, we decided to not do too much and just walk around / explore. Maybe grab a beer and a snack. 

The beer and snack idea did not go as planned. We found a cute coffee shop, but they had JUST stopped serving food. 

Then we found a brewery Eric wanted to check out. Both their bar areas were full, but since we would be sharing an appetizer they would not let us sit in the dining area [even though it was before the dinner-time rush and only 2 tables were currently occupied].

[Thanks for nothing 21st Amendment Brewery.]

We were about to give up and head back to the hotel when we came across a little sports bar on the water. At this point we were exhausted from walking and just needed to sit for a bit.

For dinner that night we stopped at Gott's at the Ferry Building before heading over to the Brava Theater

It's probably worth mentioning that we spent most of our time in SF at Brava. All three shows we saw took place there. Needless to say we knew our way around that area pretty well by the end of the trip. 

The Workjuice Players started out with a solo by Rhett Miller, singing Life on Mars. [Unfortunately it was the next day that David Bowie passed away.] You can hear Rhett's great performance here. You can also hear Sparks Nevada, the story it proceeded, here

I'm glad we stayed up way past our bedtime for this show. There was so much talent on the stage and it was such a fun way to end our trip. 

santa cruz, part 3

On our second full day in Santa Cruz, we left the hotel early in the morning. The last two nights of our trip we stayed at Hotel Paradox. It was not on the beach, but it was a nice hotel none-the-less. The check-in desk was part of a huge redwood and there were nature-esque decor all around, which I'm a big fan of. 

The morning was cloudy and rainy but we were hoping it would clear up by the time we got to our destination to do some sight-seeing. 

Our first stop was at the Baylands Nature Preserve in Palo Alto. It was not raining, so we got to walk around for a bit. The goose below did not like me taking pictures and tried to attack me. 

Because we were still craving tacos, we drove to downtown Palo Alto to go to Tacolicious for lunch. It was still a little early, so we browsed the farmer's market and did some window shopping before making our taco stop. 

The drive to Big Basin Redwoods was beautiful. VERY curvy roads and almost every other vehicle we passed had a Christmas tree they were hauling home. We didn't get to hike that far into the woods since we didn't have much time before we needed to head back. Also - surprise! It started to rain again. 

The only thing I'm bummed I did not see was a banana slug. Maybe next time. 

Before heading to supper, we went to watch the sunset at Steamer Lane. Many others had the same idea and the beach was filled with couples and families trying to soak up the last of the sun before it set. 

Finally it was the night I had been waiting for - the Aimee Mann Christmas show. It was held at the Rio Theater [iPhone pictures below] which was a bit smaller than we had expected. There were a bunch of seats in the middle-front which were reserved but all others were general admission. We decided to sit on the right side, second row. Yes, we were right by the speaker but knew it wasn't going to be deafening. However, we overheard countless people complain before the show about how it was going to be too loud, or they weren't even going to chance it. Wimps! 

Also pre-show, I enjoyed other overheards like:

"I think it's a small band, her husband is here.", referring to Ted [not her husband].

"Who's the opener?" "I don't know but it will be good since she's a music snob."

The show was filled with both comedy and music. The main story was that Santa was murdered backstage and it was Aimee and Ted's job to find the murderer. The opening for the show was an amazing video of "Murder, She Sang". [I just tried to search for the video since I keep hoping it finds its way online. It hasn't but I found the skit from Wits which must have started this idea?]

Along with being excited to see The Both [Aimee and Ted] I was also excited to see comedian Tim Heidecker. I'm pretty sure no one at this theater understood his humor. We, along with maybe one other guy, were the only ones laughing. Santa Cruz - stop being scared of loud music and comedians! 

Anyway, I just want Aimee, Ted and Tim to know - we enjoyed the show! We laughed with you and also at you [well, mainly just Ted in his baby New Year outfit]. 

new york, day 3 + 4

Day 3 in New York was a busy one and we started the day off with a bike ride. The hotel we stayed at, the NU Hotel, had a bunch of bikes which made it easy [and free!] to get around. We rode all the way to Bed - Stuy for a donut and then to Louis Valentino Jr. Park park in Red Hook to try and get a nice view of the Statue of Liberty.   

During our ride, we came across Cacao Prieto. They were closed but a worker noticed us looking curiously inside so he allowed us in to take a peek. While paying for a bar of chocolate, out of the corner of my eyes, I thought I saw an animal. The employee must have saw my look of confusion and told us we could go in the back courtyard where they kept chickens!

Eric got to hold one while the rest scattered around. One little chicken was sad looking as she had lots of missing feathers. She was new and had been rescued since at the last place she lived, she had been picked on [or should I said picked AT]. 

After our busy morning, we took it a bit easier and just strolled around in the afternoon. We had no where to be until later on that evening, so we just strolled around, inching ourselves closer to Times Square.

We had tickets to see Phil Hanley + Phriends at Carolines on Broadway and it was recommended that we arrive around an hour before the show. Upon arriving and noticing no one else there, we realized we were actually TWO hours early. Instead of venturing out into the craziness that is Times Square we just decided to stay in the club and hang out. 

The show was fun, however, it was unfortunate to only see a little over a dozen people there. 

On day 4 we had very few hours to do anything before we needed to be at the airport. The only things I really remember from that morning was walking around our hotel's neighborhood and DOGS. I quickly have to back up to our first day when we were walking around and saw a handmade sign outside of someone's brownstone house. There was a cute hand-drawn picture of a dog and the words read "My Dinner With Tigey". Below there were some more specifics about having dinner at the house with the dog (the most Brooklyn thing ever?). As we saw this sign, we also saw Tigey sleeping on the ground. Honestly I was really intrigued by this but at the same time, it sounded a bit scary. 

Anyway, back to our last day there, we are walking around and as we walk by a coffee shop I see a dog outside and exclaim "I think it's Tigey!". As we got closer, the owner was on her way out of the shop. We asked if we could pet her dog and she allowed us and told us "Tigey just loves people!". IT WAS TIGEY! I admit I was a bit more excited than I probably should have been, but it felt like I had just met a celebrity. 

After meeting the owner and Tigey, I really do wish we would have done the Dinner With Tigey. 

As we arrived back to the hotel to grab our luggage, this was my final image of our trip.