Loree graciously picked me up, and we went to sushi with Bastian and Pooh. This place was very little short of paradise to a hardcore neophile. Seaweed salad, edamame cooked with soy sauce. Their inari was subtly sweet; they had yam rolls and some very creative uses of tachuan in sushi. I tasted at least one vegetable completely new to me: I thought it was zuchinni when I got it, but the flesh was fainty orange and tasted a little like pumpkin. Tempura. Cucumber salad made with rice vinegar and miri, I think. The gari was the best I've had; it tasted very, very fresh. There were eight kinds of vegetarian rolls of various sorts, and a guy wandering around with a cart who made me a hand roll. Gai lan stewed in garlic. Also, there was a fascinating vegetable sushi containing six ingredients (besides rice and wrapper), each a different color. (The blue was some sort of spicy tachuan). The wrapper was pink, and was not nori of any sort. I have no idea what it was. Cold grated daikon, with a variety of sauces. Lots of wasabi, of course. Fresh fruit for desert.
It was wonderful. Some of the stuff was great, some was lousy, but it was all new to me, and thus, inherently fun. Thinking about so many new things to taste and learn and know.... Mmmmmm.
Then we had 1.5 hours on I-5 with snow falling. Pooh and Bastian heckled incompetent drivers outside the window. I watched the snow recreate the city, cover the sky, inkwash over the filth of humanity. Breathtakingly beautiful. I still, little-kidlike, miss the snows of Bethlehem (the year we got so much that some of the piles pushed up by snowplows had not melted by my (summer) birthday...), the snow I grew up in in New York. So this was nice. Now, mind you, given that it took us several hours, chains, three different drivers, and a lot of swearing and sheer force of will (Pooh can sort of radiate it like a lighthouse; even the weather and the laws of physics are bent by it. Neat trick, that.)
So now, I'm ensconced in a warm house, with friend, with a fireplace, comfortable chair, soup. What more do I need?
Oh, right. My photos!