The Magic Japanese Tea of San Francisco

August 5th, 2008

Day Two San Francisco dawned bright, warm and sunny.  We had spent our first day walking from one end of the city to the other and then we hit the beach where were greeted by an aggressively friendly nudist.  
How could San Francisco possibly get better than that?  
So we opted to head to Berkeley on our second day.  After strolling around the beautiful campus for a while we moved on to Oakland for a friendly ball game between the Oakland Athletics and our own Kansas City Royals.

Oh Oakland…
Oh dear Oakland…
Oh my Oakland!!!

For in Oakland, my children were to receive an education in the art of cursing out a ball player unlike anything they had ever heard before.  Which is not to say that my children have never heard cursing before because well yeah – okay  - um maybe from a few movies and uh also maybe uh… maybe just a little… from their mom.  But only tiny little bits and only when it was completly necessary – like when a snake crawled out of the brick pile or when I have to deal with traffic or maybe… um maybe…  just when I am kind of TIRED AND SICK AND ACHY AND SHAKY AND AT MY WITS END AND SO DONE WITH EVERYTHING THAT I CAN ONLY COPE BY SAYING REALLY ROTTEN WORDS but that doesn’t happen very often.  

Well – it doesn’t happen every day…
Most of the time it doesn’t…
And when I do curse it is usually under my breath…
Most of the time…
So Oakland was kind of a new experience for our whole family. 

The young men sitting behind us were our professors.  
Trust me, they were not even trying to curse under their breaths.
And strangely – the more they drank, the more they cursed.
Eventually, they got so riled up, that security knocked them out of the park.
But our family had found a different place to sit by then and guess what?  We managed to sit down right in front of a new group of young male professors who continued with our colorful language lessons.  
I was so glad we didn’t fall behind
I have never been so glad to see the Kansas City Royals win a baseball game in my life.
You go Royals!
Woo Hoo!
Love Them Royals!
We drove back to San Fran….cisco – and in the last few hours of daylight, we explored Golden Gate Park.

Which would become my favorite part of the city.

I guess maybe it reminded me a little of home.  But with better pastry…

I especially loved the Japanese Tea Garden where I received this fortune.

And immediately started making big plans…




I don’t have a business!

But if I did, you better believe I would be expanding it.

One by one, my family disappeared into the small Japanese garden and I was left alone with my tea and a pigeon and this moment here… 

This little tiny respite… 
This little vacation inside a vacation…  
This was my favorite place in San Francisco.

Oh! – And the Japanese Garden itself is a masterpiece.

They have amazingly therapeutic tea there!
 It somehow gives you new strength.  
It is almost like magic tea.  
For after I drank it, I was able to smile at my kids again.  
I need to get me some more of that tea.


  • Sadie:

    yay! I got here first! Just wanted to say, I found you by way of Ree, and I am here to stay! Love your blogs… I am a mother of 2 girls! That tea garden is beautiful, and looked so serene… just relaxing looking at it! Have a great week =]

  • Pat MacK:

    What!…no pictures of the aggressively friendly nudist??? BTW I’m here because of Ree too. I’m a mother of 7, grandmother of 17. Love your blogging style.

  • A Bushel and Peck:

    beautiful gardens and bridge!. I need some of the “smile at kids” tea!

  • Anonymous:

    Man, after following the Blogher conference and now your vacation, I’ve absolutely got to go to San Fran….cisco. I wish I could have gone with you. :) Margie

  • Brian, Mason and Cortni:

    You really went to San Francisco to see the Royals play? I’m sure you could have gotten much better tickets for less money at Kauffman! Okay, okay…so let me get this straight – they won?

  • The Source:

    Beautiful photos! Can I move to the tea garden forever?

  • Anonymous:

    I think I had some of that “magic tea” back in the 60′s, and it wasn’t in San Fransisco!The garden is beautiful. – Bertie

  • Rechelle:

    The Royals “swept” them.

  • Linda Stamps:

    I’m so glad you enjoyed the tea garden! It looked like a warm day for San Francisco. You were lucky, we had to bundle up the day we did the tea thing.

  • Carla:

    I am really enjoying your trip! Its…a…TRIP! Keep us posted!

  • Ivory Spring:

    Beautiful Japanese garden pictures!

  • Michelle:

    tea that makes you SMILE at your children?!! you’ve got to get me the name of that! haha! love your style.

  • Optimist:

    Hey there – found you through Pioneer Woman. Love your blog and it’s perfect for me today since I am about to string up the kids! Glad I’m not the only one who feels this way sometimes!OK – you (and others) have convinced me to remember my blockbuster online password and put Grey Gardens in my queue. I can’t wait – though I have the entire Horatio Hornblower set to watch first…How Little Edie would have loved those handsome naval officers – especially the sagittarians…xo Bonnie in Houston

  • The Thorley Family:

    Oh I was so hoping I wouldn’t have those “under my breath” moments of coping once my kids got a little older and didn’t feel the need to dump my pantry items on the kitchen floor or smear bathroom items on the mirror or unwrap all my tampons. But it seems that phase lasts a little longer than I thought judging from the age of your kids… Darn it!

  • farmlady:

    I’m so glad you found something “good” about San Francisco. The Japanese Tea Garden is one of the cities best places to visit.Have some more of that TEA and pray there isn’t a big earthquake while yourvisiting. Also, please don’t call it Frisco. You haven’t yet, but please don’t. That will provoke the wrath of the Trolley Gods.

  • Lucy:

    Thank goodness you finally posted that your family was having a good time. I was worried you were thinking “those Cali people” are nuts, the food is bad, blah blah blah!! I lived south of there in Santa Cruz but used to love to “visit” SF.Great pics. Thanks.

  • jill:

    I’m glad you enjoyed your trip to Fornicalia, errrruuhhh, California! But it’s always nice to come home. It was so much fun to tag along with your family and see the sights. Thanks!

  • Anonymous:

    I'm sure the Professors of (*^%)($*(&#$@($^ learned their vocabulary at the knee of Billy Martin when he managed Oakland in 1981. Or maybe their parents did. Either way, why did the TV cameras stayed focused on Bill when it was obvious he was dropping the F Bomb left, right and center, even if he wasn't wearing a microphone!

  • kbbryant:

    Oh Oakland, beautiful Oakland. The shinning jewel of the bay area. I have to say that I am gobsmacked!You appear to live in the same tiny country town where we have family! I can’t believe it! They have cattle feed lots and live on Peddicord and School View Rd. It’s smelly there. In fact it stinks there! They pronounce the name of the town as if it ended with an “a”. Do all the citizens pronounce it that way?Any who I am now a faithful reader. I have to keep my mother in law in touch with all the town gossip there in Kansas.Kathy b in California

  • Rhea:

    Awesome bridges and amazing photos! I was laughing at your young male professors at the ballgame. Sounds like quite a trip!

  • Kristin:

    What was really in that tea?Your pictures are amazing and the your trip sounds fantastic. I found you through Ree and am so glad I did. I love your writing style.

  • Heidi Ashworth:

    I was in San Francisco on Friday for a publishers party at the Romance Writers of America contest–spent the early part of the day at Fisherman’s Wharf and kept hoping I would run into you and your men–but it was not to be. It was such a gorgeous day, tho, I really hoped you were getting to enjoy it somewhere!

  • Leslie:

    You don’t’ have business? Family is business! Expanding is serious business in a family business. Love our photos!

  • Monica:

    I live near Oakland and let me tell you… A’s games are TAME compared to Raiders games. Just be lucky you guys didn’t check out a football game… YIKES! I have seen some crazy happenings at the Raider games!I am glad you enjoyed your stay!

  • Cindy and Co.:

    Wandered in by way of Ree and wanted to stop lurking to say…I LOVE THE JAPANESE TEA GARDEN. It is the only reason I survived in the city and the only thing I miss…other than the food.

  • 4funboys:

    love the pix!!and by the way… between my 4 boys, we live at baseball fields most of the year. Although we’re only about 80 miles away from the park you visited…next week we’ll go all the way to LA to watch another Dodger game because the fans are MUCH better… ha,