At my aunt and uncle's house, Munch attempted to capture her favorite cat, Annie, and have a mini fashion show. My aunt had made Munch the most darling crocheted hats-
Other than a lot of roadwork, Munch and I had a fairly easy drive to Chinatown. I realized that other than driving past the dragon gates, I had never been for a visit either.
We walked uphill several blocks to find our first stop-a bakery to pick up some dumplings- Munch's favorite har gow, of course- and what I had read on yelp were really delicious gai bao- buns filled with chicken, boiled egg, a bit of chinese sausage, and a whole shiitake mushroom-
Just up the street I saw the sign for Golden Gate Bakery. Chowhound discussion boards have been buzzing about this place for years- are they open or closed, their frequent vacations, the passing of their pastry maker, the long lines, and their AMAZING dan tat. Walking closer, I saw that the bakery was open (hooray!) and the line was just a couple of people out the door (even better!). Munch and I quickly joined the queue for our custard tarts, making sure to get a few extra for Grandpa-
Their moon cakes looked beautiful too, but I had no idea what the differences were, so Munch and I quickly chose one filled with lotus seed paste and an egg yolk-
By now Munch and I were carrying two pink bakery boxes and were hungry, so I asked a young couple behind me where their favorite bubble tea place was. They directed me to the Sweetheart Cafe a couple of blocks away, where Munch ordered a soy mango smoothie and I had a fresh taro smoothie with coconut milk. Service was strangely slow, but the drinks eventually came out and Munch and I enjoyed them with a variety of the treats we had gathered.
Bellies full, Munch and I were ready to shop. She picked out a bright pink parasol from one store, we wandered a few alleyways before stumbling upon the fortune cookie factory, then we stopped in a market to pick up some snacks to take home where Munch found the most adorable panda cookies-
On our way back to the car, we came to the shop behind St. Mary's Cathedral where I found a children's prayer book for Munch. We ducked into the church for a few minutes to rest and admire the stained glass windows while Munch read her new book and practiced the "Our Father". I was surprised that Munch mentioned not seeing the holy water as we came in, but she found a bubbling fountain in the foyer and made the sign of the cross as we exited the church.