Thursday evening our online friend Antonio arrived from Bologna, Italy. Steve had prepared a nice lasagna, and even though his Antonio's system was all whacked due to the time change, he had dinner with us and then watched The Amazing Race. I really like the show, but it stresses out Steve. Friday (July 4) we went down to Orphan Andy's in the Castro for brunch. I was planning to start Atkins the following Monday (which I have), so I wanted to get one last taste of carbs over the weekend. After eating, we hopped on the F-line and rode all the way to Fisherman's Wharf. Now, most San Franciscans seem to pooh-pooh the Wharf, claiming it's tacky, touristy, and a waste of time compared to all the other lovely places one can go in our lovely City. True--but so what? I like going there every so often and observe the tourists, and buy cheap t-shirts and see the sea lions and the magnet store in Pier 39 and go to the incredible music store in the Cannery and eat clam chowder in a bread bowl. It's fun to pretend we're there on vacation for the first time.
Anyway, after walking about fifty miles, we took a bus up Columbus through North Beach and to Market St, where we caught Muni back to the Castro (where we had left our car). The home for naps before Victor, Mel, Gregg, and Steve from Orlando (who was staying with Gregg) came over for the traditional cookout. The grill worked great, and I didn't even burn myself this time. Everybody went up to Twin Peaks after we ate except me; I stayed home and cleaned up. Then we all ate lots of pie and watched various clips from videos we find amusing or weird.
Saturday Antonio took off by himself to sight see and take photos, so Steve and I lounged around, ate leftovers, and Steve went to the DVD sale at Tower Video with Gregg. Seeing as we had gone on Thursday night and bought many, many DVDs, this didn't seem necessary, but Tower had on a 25% off sale, so he had to go. He got The Monkees first season boxed set. It's real cute, like a little record player, but it was
Sunday we went out for dim sum for brunch. Antonio had never had it, and it was fun watching his two-handed chopsticks technique. Then we went to Baker Beach so Antonio could take more pictures (he's quite the photographer). While there we ended up participating in a reenactment of the loading and firing of the disappearing cannon at Battery Chamberlain, under the friendly insistence of two National Parks rangers (all the beaches in San Francisco are part of the National Parks system). To Tower next, where I got the complete series of The Thunderbirds. Home after that to cook dinner and prepare for the party.
There were six of us--Steve and I, Antonio, Gregg and Orlando Steve (who were quite enamored with each other by this point) and our longtime friend Douglas, the soundman on Wicked. The menu:
Chicken Breast stuffed with Sausage and Pine Nuts
Wild Rice Pilaf
Sauteed Baby Squash in Brown Butter
Bombe aux Trois Chocolats
Monday morning I started Atkins, and we took Antonio on Muni with us on our way to work to drop him off at his hotel. He planned to stay the last few days in a hotel so as not to put us out, as well as to have some private time.
As soon as I finish posting this, Steve and I are going to CostCo to buy meats and nuts. And jerky. And maybe a DVD or two.