Al's Extended Birthday Celebration
So today we decided to celebrate Al and my friend Anne's birthday. I sent out an evite to family and friends so they can join us for the mini get-together. I drove quickly to San Francisco to buy Anne a stuffed toy of Astroboy, her favorite manga character of all time. It's very timely because there is an ongoig exhibit of Tezuka Osamu at the Asian Art Museum (the tip of the exhibit came from Anne). I was worried that they ran out of the stuffed toys, but when I got there, they had lots in stock. So I bought one for myself (hehe), and I also got a dvd collection set and a Astroboy chain/hook.
Then Al and I got ready for the double birthday dinner at Sonoma Chicken Coop at 7:30 pm. Al reserved for 25 people, but I guess they thought he said 35 people. Anyway, there were more than enough seats for everyone, but not too many lamps (the weather was getting breezy for a SJ summer weather. A lot of people came, more than I expected, but I wish some others would have made it (although I understand their situations). It was fun to see everyone gathered in one place, and meet new folks. The best part was that the San Jose Jazz Festival is also going on, and one of the stages is right next to the restaurant (the main stage was by the park). Angie Stone was there, but she had her gig yesterday so we missed it!
After eating and chatting, we both check out the jazz fest stage next to us. The entrance was only $5 bucks. As soon as we got our wristbands, the first thing I saw was the Pacific Art Collective (I think that's what they're called) doing their paint magic. The collaboration between artists was just awesome to watch! And to see their creation come to life was very inspiring as well. Anyway, we walked around, checked out some late night jazz bands, and called it a day.
At night, we checked in at the Dolce Hayes Mansion for a little quiet getaway, just the two of us. It was our first time checking in overnight at that place, although we have been at the mansion before for a valentine dinner earlier this year (we also inquired last year about wedding accomodations and a potential reception venue). Anyway, we loved the room, and our bathroom was huge! In the morning, we had a champagne brunch at Silver Creek Dining Room with prime rib, waffles, eggs benedict, pasta, seafood, ham and sausage, desserts, cheeses, your choice of drinks, cocktail shrimp, crabs, oysters, and they will cook an omelet for you with your choice of meat and veggies. We explored the area a bit, used their business center for internet (where I blogged the first part of this post), took some pictures, and checked out of our room (while meeting some new people along the way).
We then drove to San Francisco because it was such a nice day, and because we wanted to check out the Tezuka Osamu exhibit at Asian Art Museum (I've seen it but Al hasn't). When we got there, we went to the gift shop first to buy some Astroboy notecards and a cool black Astroboy shirt. Then we checked out the exhibit itself, the manga lounge and the film room. We also explored the second and third floors, where I saw an original Amorsolo painting and old Asian artifacts. We took more pictures (we tried to be subtle about taking pictures with the Astroboy stuff because you can't really do that).
At night, we had dinner at Patio Filipino with a friend who didn't make it at the Sonoma dinner. The place was packed but the food was good! My cousin, Mickey, also called and said that he was already back in the Bay from his vacation in LA so we invited him as well. As usual, the paella was not available anymore, but we ordered our favorite crispy binagoongan and sisig. At night, my younger sister, who is vacationing, called saying she's in the Bay already.