A Big Bird Equals A Big Meal

Ever wondered what would happen to Big Bird if he ever me a hungry black cat? Well, wonder no more because the newest tee from Glennz Tees explains what would happen as succinctly as possible. Big Bird would be one big pile of feathers, that’s what would happen! Growing up I was a huge fan of Sesame Street (what kid wasn’t). My favorite characters would have to have been Bert and Ernie and The Cookie Monster. Who were your favorite Sesame Street characters?

Big Meal is printed on a Slate American Apparel tee and is available now from Glennz Tees for $19.95. Floss not included.

Big Meal

Big Meal

The Flash

It’s been way too long since we’ve featured a shirt from our friends over at Despair Wear. This shirt idea seems so obvious that I’m surprised that it I haven’t seen it done before (or maybe it has ben done and I just missed it). This fun shirt is a bit of a deviation from the typical Despair Wear tee, which typically focuses on designs that aid in demotivation (you know, the opposite of motivation).

The Flash is printed on an asphalt American Apparel blank and is available now from Despair Wear for $18.99. This is the perfect shirt for those of you who wish you could flash someone but don’t have the guts to do so. Or, maybe you just T-Shirts featuring comic book characters in witty situations.

The Flash

The Flash

Don’t Close Your Eyes, Take Them Off!

Wow, now this is a neat little gem of a tee from Flying Mouse 365. This is definitely one of those concept tees that look great as a mock up. Now, if I only I could see and feel the real thing. The print on this tee is huge and probably very difficult to pull off. I kind of wish that the part of the head not on the front would wrap around to the back and so would part of the hair – that would have been so awesome.

The shirt design itself probably speaks more to women than it does men, but I am sure that many of you fashion friendly men that read this blog would not mind one bit wearing this shirt. OFF by Flying Mouse 365 is available now at the Flying Mouse store for $21. It is printed on a white American Apparel tee and the print uses plastisol ink, making it soft to the touch.

I also noticed that the Flying Mouse 365 site has moved away from the limited edition weekly release model. They no longer release 7 new designs a week.

Flying Mouse 365 - OFF

Johnny Cupcakes Serves Up A Lot of Ice Cream

Very cool. A must watch for fans of Johnny Cupcakes (and Ashton Kutcher), T-Shirt enthusiasts and ice cream lovers.

“I thought it would be rad to treat all of my customers to ice cream sandwiches if they showed up with their Johnny Cupcakes t-shirt on. 300+ Johnny Cupcakers showed up & boy did we eat a lot.” – Johnny Cupcakes

Laser Pointer

Now here’s a pretty cool shirt from our the guys at Busted Tees. It’s called Laser Pointer and it kind of reminds me of something that I’d see from the like of Glennz Tees. It’s a simple illustration with lots of wit. The shirt features a hound that has Superman-like laser eyes, because really, that’s what every dog needs – Superman-like laser eyes! I bet he can hunt pretty good with those eyes, don’t you?

If you like Laser Pointer, you can pick it  up from Busted Tees for $16.99.

Laser Pointer

Philadelphia/San Francisco Day 7

Day 7 T-Shirt of Choice: No T-Shirt today, just a sweater :(

The 7th day of our 2010 spring break vacation got off to a very early start. We woke up at around 7:00 am to catch Baylink Ferry at the San Francisco Ferry Building out to Vallejo. From there, we caught a shuttle to the Napa Valley Wine Train Station for what was to be an awesome wine tasting tour onboard vintage rail cars. We purchased the Gourmet Lunch package which put us in refurbished 1915-1917 Pullman Cars.

Napa Wine Train

Napa Valley Wine Train

Before we boarded the wine train, we waited inside of the station for a pre-boarding wine tasting. While waiting, I, as I have been doing throughout the trip, “checked-in” to the wine train station via Gowalla and Foursquare, both of which are location-based social networking services. Shortly after checking in at the wine station, I was greeted by Andrea Guzman aka @dreawinetrain, the “mayor” of the Wine Train on Foursquare. To my surprise, she introduced herself and then awarded me with a voucher for free wine tasting for two, which included 8 full glasses of wine on board the wine train! The President and CEO of the Napa Valley Wine Train, Gregory McManus, also introduced himself to us after he found out that we had received the complimentary wine tasting from checking in via Foursquare and that we were visiting from Hawaii! When he is not in Napa Valley, Greg resides on the Big Island of Hawaii. How cool is that!

I’ve been a regular user of Gowalla for about 3 months now and have only started using Foursquare since this trip started a week ago. After this wonderful experience using Foursquare, I think that I might make Foursquare my default location service of choice.

Napa Valley Wine Train

The ambience inside the rail cars was classy, the staff was friendly, and the food was surprisingly good! I had the salmon topped with caviar and Michelle chose the fresh sea bass with a shrimp sauce and risotto. I also experienced some great wines, including a riesling that I very much enjoyed, as well as a dessert Port that was the perfect complement to my chocolate encrusted tiramisu.

Napa Valley Wine Train

Napa Valley Wine Train

Napa Valley Wine Train

For us, the Wine Train was the perfect way to experience Napa Valley with the least amount of effort on our part. We were able to sit back, enjoy the scenery while dining on a great meal and all the while experienceing some unique vino. If driving from vineyard to vineyard isn’t your thing, but you still want to experience Napa Valley, then I highly recommend that you check out the Napa Valley Wine Train.

After the Baylink Ferry dropped us off at Fisherman’s Wharf, we made sure to stop by Ghiradelli Square to pick up some chocolate squares. We had visited Fisherman’s Wharf the last time we visited San Francisco in 2008, so we didn’t spend too much time snapping photos or sightseeing. We knew what we wanted to do there and we did it! After Ghiradelli, we stopped by Trader Joe’s to pick up some snacks to take back home. Interestingly enough, our cashier briefly lived in Hawaii. What’s with all of the Hawaii connections today? He also informed us that a Trader Joe’s will be opening in Hawaii soon. That excited Michelle very much.

For dinner, we headed back toward the Wharf and ate at Boudin at the Wharf. No clam chowder for us. Instead, we had the steamed mussels with garlic frites to start and for entrees, I had the dungenuss crab mac and cheese, and Michelle had the margharita pizza. After a long day of wining and dining, we proceeded to head back to Union Square satisfied and excited for the following day.

And here’s the day in photos:

Philadelphia/San Francisco Day 5 + 6

Day 5 T-Shirt of Choice: Robocopper by Olly Moss

Wednesday coast-to-coast travel. From the east coast to the west coast, we made our way from the City of Brotherly Love to the City by the Bay. But before spending 6 hours in the sky and about 3 in airports, we were sure to get a good and hearty breakfast. We decided on the Morning Glory Diner, suggested by fellow tee blogger and traveler extraordinaire, Andy Bowness of Hide Your Arms. Michelle went with the Glory Cakes: three pancakes served with real maple syrup and I had the Foccacia Breakfast Sandwich with a fried egg and cheese served with potatoes. I thoroughly enjoyed my breakfast, but Michelle was a bit more reserved when it came to her pancakes – she thought Sabrina’s was a better breakfast spot!

After breakfast, we walked about two blocks down to Isgro’s Patries. Yes, we were there a few days earlier, but, we were both amazed by the baked goodies that we took home prior that we needed to go and grab some more delicious delectables for the long flight to San Francisco. We bought a bag full of assorted cookies – so soft and delicious and perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth.

Once we found our way back to the Loews Hotel, we quickly grabbed our things and caught a taxi to Philadelphia International Airport. Security was quick and in no time we were waiting to board our plane to Las Vegas en route to San Francisco. We had about a 2 hour stop at Las Vegas’ McCarren Airport and then we boarded our flight to San Francisco – yes, finally!

We arrived at our hotel, the Parc 55, at about 6:30 pm but had to quickly get ready for 8 pm reservations at the very swank Masa’s on Bush Street in San Francisco’s Nob Hill. Masa’s offers a set menu of French cuisine. They offer 3 course, 5 course and 9 course options. I went with the 5 course and Michelle settled on the 3 course. My 5 course menu consisted of a potato confit to start, Japanese sea bass topped with caviar, Sautéed Breast of Paine Farms Squab (with peppercorn glazed d’anjou pears, melted brussels sprouts, “confit” leg, and squab sauce), Herb Roasted Double Chop of Australian Lamb (with melted japanese eggplant, chickpea cake, baby artichokes, and lamb jus), and a platter of in-house chocolates.

Overall, I enjoyed Masa’s. It is fine dining, so expect to spend around $250 for a party of two (if both get the 5 course menu) or up to $500+ of you decide on the 9 course menu. The ambiance was classy, the waiters were very nice, friendly and not high-browed at all. Masa’s is definitely an “event” type restaurant. Go there for an anniversary or birthday with that special someone and it will definitely be an experience to remember.

[Sorry for the lack of Day 5 photos.]

Day 6 T-Shirt of Choice: Phenom Polo by Electric Zombie (not a T-Shirt, I know, but it is made by a popular indie designer who we’ve featured on this site many times before).

This being our second visit to San Francisco (see 2008 recaps), we searched for breakfast spots that we had missed out on the first time around. This search led us to Mama’s on Washington Square. When we got to the popular breakfast spot at 10:30 am, the line had already wrapped around the building. We didn’t get inside until about 11:30 am. That’s a one hour wait in line! But let me tell you, it was well worth it. I ordered the Mama’s French Toast Sampler plate and I was not disappointed. It was a nice, refreshing change from my usual eggs, meat and potato choice. The sampler plate consisted of Swedish Cinnamon, Banana Nut, and Kugelhopf (House Baked Brioche Bread with Golden Raisins, Cinnamon, Dates, and Sliced Almonds). Mama’s french toast was a fruity mouthgasm – so good!

Mama's on Washington Square

After breakfast we caught the MUNI to Coit Tower, which was was built in Pioneer Park atop Telegraph Hill in 1933 at the bequest of Lillie Hitchcock Coit to beautify the City of San Francisco. It cost 5 bucks to get to the top, but once you do get to the top of the tower, you get a nice view of the city. You can even see the famed “crookedest street in the world” Lombard Street from afar.

Coit Tower

We then caught the MUNI yet again to The Haight, which includes the famous intersection, Haight and Ashbury. The area features a bohemian ambiance and has a thriving center of independent local businesses. Being a T-Shirt fan, I had to stop by Kid Robot and Ashbury T-Shirts. I did more window shopping then I did actual shopping, though, we did stop by a little crepe shop and picked up two nutella and banana crepes.

Haight and Ashbury

Haight and Ashbury

Nutella and Banana Crepe

Once we finished checking out the eclectic scene at The Haight, we walked down towards Alamo Square. If you grew up in the 80’s, then you’re familiar with Alamo Square and probably don’t even know it. Alamo Square is the park that is heavily featured in the opening sequence of the hit ABC show, Full House. It also faces the Full House “House,” which is actually part of a well known row of homes known as the Painted Ladies.

Alamo Square / Painted Ladies / Full House

After a long day of walking and jumping on and off the MUNI, we headed back to our hotel to freshen up before dinner. I should note that if you do visit San Francisco, it is totally worth it to purchase a MUNI Passport. We bought the 3-day pass for $20 and got our money’s worth within our first day of using the pass. Pick up your MUNI pass in the MUNI kiosk in Union Square.

Since we were entirely pooped after a long day of journeying the streets of San Francisco, we opted for an easy dinner. Easy meaning that we walked just a few blocks up Powell Street to Lori’s Diner for some burgers and fries (me) and steak (Michelle). The last time we visited San Francisco, we had a late night meal at a Lori’s Diner that is located on the opposite end of Powell near our old hotel, The Orchard. The burger wasn’t as good as I had remembered it being, though. I think my memory of the previous burger might have been clouded due to the hunger I had been experiencing at the time of consumption.

Lori's Diner

[Check Back for Day 5 Video]

Philadelphia/San Francisco Day 4

Day 4 T-Shirt of Choice: Love Your Fellow As Yourself by schmoo

Unlike yesterday, Day 4 started off with a nice chunk of sunshine. That was a relief. We were able to do a few of the things that we missed out on yesterday when it was pouring cats and dogs. The day started by walking to City Hall, which is located just a few blocks from the Loews Hotel. We signed up for the tower tour and went to the top of the City Hall clock tower, just below the large William Penn statue that overlooks the City of Philadelphia.

LOVE Sculpture Philadelphi

After taking a few pics from the top of City Hall, we walked over to Love Park, where Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE sculpture stands. We took a gazillion photos and then moved on to the Comcast Center. The Comcast Center has a neat (and very huge) HD video wall, with short videos playing throughout the day. Below the lobby you’ll find a small market. We made a pit stop there, where I picked up a drink and a small croissant. The croissant served as a warmup to our Pat’s and Geno’s pilgrimage.

Geno's Steaks


(Top: Genos is all glitz and glamour but lacking in the taste department. Bottom: Pat’s, good but not as good as Jim’s Steaks)

My frist experience with a Philly Cheesesteak came to me at Jim’s Steaks. After that first cheesesteak, my mind was blown and I was ready to experience the much hyped Pat’s and Geno’s variety. We caught a taxi from the Loews Hotel to the Cheesesteak mecca of the world. For the uninitiated, Pat’s and Geno’s are located right across of each other and are considered rival cheesesteak stands. So of course, we had to experience both Pat’s and Geno’s. Pat’s was alright, and Geno’s felt a bit too generic (though, their fries were good). My conclusion, Jim’s Steaks dominates both Pat’s and Geno’s. If you want a Philly Cheesesteak, then know this: Jim’s Steaks is the center of the universe.

Despite the disappointing Pat’s and Geno’s experience, dinner more than made up for it! In our attempt to hit up the restaurants of all of the Iron Chefs, we just had to experience the newest Iron Chef Jose Garcia’s restaurant, Amada. Garcia’s Amada specializes in authentic Spanish Tapas. We settled on three different dishes, the LECHÓN CON QUESO (Braised Pork Shoulder, La Peral, Pine Nut, Apple & Fennel), ENTRECÔTE A LA CATALAN (Prime Sirloin with Catalán Spinach, Membrillo & Goat Cheese), and the ARROZ DE LANGOSTA (Lobster Bomba Rice with Clams, Lemon Zest & Golden Pea Shoots). The dishes were nicely proportioned, and, more importantly, tasted oh so good.


We decided to pass on dessert at Amada and opted instead to get some ice cream at the famed Franklin Fountain. This old school ice cream fountain is like a time warp, as evidenced by the decor and the staff who were dressed as if it was the 1920’s. You might recall that Adam Richman of Man Vs. Food had the Mt. Visuvious here. I decided on the Franklin Mint and Michelle had the Banana Split For My Baby. Both were very indulgent choices. We honestly should have shared one, but, I was intent on mint ice cream. Needless to say, we tried as hard as we could, but in the end, neither of us ate more than half of our ice cream dishes.

Franklin Fountain

And as I’ve been doing, here’s a video slideshow of some of the photos that we took during this lovely day in Philly!

Philadelphia/San Francisco Day 3

Day 3 T-Shirt of Choice: Bird Brain by Erin Jessica King and Robocopper by Olly Moss

Yesterday, I boasted about the unbelievable sun and weather in Philly. Maybe I spoke a bit too soon. Day 2 was filled with clouds and rain drops, a lot of rain drops. That didn’t stop us from exploring the city. We were determined to see Rocky Balboa in all of its glory. We started off the day with breakfast at Sabrina’s Cafe, a strategically chosen spot based on its proximity to the Avenue of Arts and its Yelp rating. We weren’t disappointed. The breakfast was hearty, to say the least, and provided a nice respite from the rain. Michelle had Sabrina’s caramelized challah french toast and I had the blue cheese frittata with sautéed spinach, mushrooms and bacon. The frittata was so good that I’ll surely attempt to make my own version when I get back home.

Sabrina's Cafe Philadelphia

As we left Sabrina’s and marched on toward the Art Museum, we made a quick pit stop at the Rodin Museum. Although it was closed, we snapped a few photos with the Thinker. No, no, not the real Thinker, but until we get to visit the Musée Rodin in Paris, this will have to do. With the Philly showers quickly dampening our clothes, we moved quickly as we began to see the very large Art Museum within our line of sight. It seems closer than it really was, but we finally made it to the famed steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum and the ever popular Rocky Statue (as seen in the movie, Rocky). I grew up a big fan of Rocky and, in fact, I own every Rocky movie on DVD! Whenever there’s a Rocky marathon on TNT, I’m like a stone on my couch. I don’t move. Needless to say, I was excited to see “statue built by the citizens of Philadelphia to honor Rocky Balboa.” The 72 front steps that line the front of the Art Museum had me channelling the inner Rocky Balboa in me.

Rocky Statue Philadelphia

Philadelphia Rain

With the Philly skies becoming increasingly angry, we hopped on a taxi to the Mutter Museum on 22nd Street. The Mutter Museum is something that I’ve been looking forward to since a friend of mine told me about it. The Mutter Museum is a medical museum located in the Center City area of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It contains a collection of medical oddities, anatomical and pathological specimens, wax models, and antique medical equipment. Some might say that it’s a museum of medical freaks. I was so there. Some of the oddities featured included Chang and Eng, the world-famous Siamese twins; the skeleton of a 7-foot, 6-inch giant from Kentucky; a collection of Civil War photographs showing injury and recovery, the effects of diseases not yet conquered in the 19th century,and oodles of pathological anomalies.

Mutter Museum

Once we got the Mutter Museum out of our system, we decided to do a little shopping at Trader Joe’s as well as some of the shops that lined Walnut Street. And since our breakfast was a hearty one, we decided to skip on lunch. The lunch skipping led to a first, but I’ll get to that a little later.

Our night time plans included catching a 76ers game at the Wachovia Center. We jumped on the subway and got on the Broad Street Line to the Wachovia Center, the home of both the Philadelphia 76ers and the Flyers. The 76ers dominated for maybe a quarter and then the Magic took it from there, as expected. Dwight Howard had some nasty dunks, which was also expected. Still, it was a fun game and I got to see some big name players play, including Vince Carter, Elton Brand, and Andre Igoudala. The one thing that sucks about Hawaii is the lack of professional sport teams. I love watching sports live in the arena, with all of the noise, cheering and jeering.

76ers vs. Magic

Wachovia Center

Monday night was dollar hot dog night at the Sixers game. I had two and Michelle had one. The original plan was to head to Geno’s and Pat’s for some late night cheesesteaks after the game, but the weather sucked, so we decided against that.We thought that the hot dogs would hold us off till the next day. We were both wrong. Remember when I said that skipped lunch led to a first? Well, that first was having room service at 1 am in our hotel room. Room service was an experience., an expensive experience, but an experience no less – Quarter pound burgers with bacon and fries at 1 am delivered to our door. What could be better?

Burgers Loews Hotel Room Service

And finally, here’s a video of a few of the photos we took on Day 3.

Philadelphia/San Francisco Day 1 + 2

This is the first of a couple day-by-day updates that I’ll be doing during my trip to Philadelphia and San Francisco. I thought it would be cool to keep you guys up to date  on what I’m up to and what tees I’m wearing! If you want to check out the tee that I wore, just click on the orange links.

Arrival/Day 1 T-Shirt of Choice: Dance Party Massacre by Dance Party Massacre

The thing about flying from Hawaii to the east coast of the United States is that it takes a very, very  long time. It took us 5 hours to fly to from Honolulu to San Francisco and then 5 more hours to fly from San Francisco to Philadelphia. We left Honolulu at 6:45 am Saturday morning and arrived at our final destination at 1:00 am the next day. After an eventful “taxi ride” from the airport to the Loews Philadelphia Hotel and despite our hunger, we quickly … fell … asleep.

Day 2 T-Shirt of Choice: I’ve Just Developed A Theory That Proves I’m Not A Nerd by Made With Awesome

Despite an uneventful first day spent flying the friendly skies, our first full day in Philadelphia was action packed. We started the day at 9:00 am by walking from the Loews hotel to the Independence Visitor Center to pick up our tickets to tour Independence Hall. With a 10:20 am tour time, we had some time to spare, so we headed to Mrs. K’s Koffee Shop for a classic diner breakfast. I had one of their specials, which consisted of pancakes, sausage and two eggs. Michelle had the same, minus the eggs. The pancakes were so good, fluffy and oh so tasty.

Independence Hall

After breakfast, we rushed off to Independence Hall to make our 10:20 am tour time. We just made it. Actually, we were a minute late and the tour had already started. One of the park rangers (yes, it’s a National History Park), had to usher us in to meet up with our tour. The tour was an interesting one with a lot of historical facts intertwined. The State House is where the dream of a free country of independent citizens materialized. Here, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were scribed. I was totally channeling the inner Benjamin Franklin in me.

Liberty Bell

From the Liberty Bell, we headed to the final resting spot of Benjamin Franklin at the Christ Church Burial Ground. We both tossed a penny onto his grave, as it was akin to tossing a coin in the Trevi Fountain. After we tossed our pennies, a worker came to collect the coins and we overheard him mention that they annually receive $4000 worth of pennies. Neat! When someone asked him why people tossed pennies versus other coins, another visitor recounted one of Benjamin Franklin’s thoughts: A penny saved is a penny earned.

By this time, our hunger had been growing, so we set out for Jim’s Steaks which is considered to be better than the famed Geno’s and Pat’s by many locals that I’ve spoken with. So to South Philly we went, in search for my first taste of a real Philly Cheesteak. I was excited. The line at Jim’s was, as expected, very long. It took us about 20 minutes before we were able to place our order. Michelle and I shared a Philly Cheesesteak with Wiz and Mushrooms. I’m not the greatest onion fan, so we left that out. The restaurant was packed so we ended up standing and eating at one of the counters upstairs. The cheesesteak was amazingly good. The bread was soft and the cheese wiz was the perfect complement to the very tasty steak. I now know why Philly Cheesesteaks are world renown. They’re so good!

Jim's Steaks Philly Cheesesteak

And as if we needed more food, we then headed to Isgro’s Pastries where they’ve been making cannolis for over 100 years. The bakery was filled with so many baked goodies that I almost went into a sugar shock before taking a bite into my cannoli! We ordered some cookies (Cherry Garcia, Rocky Road and Chocolate Chip Ricotta) and of course, two chocolate chip cannolis!

Isgro's Cannoli's

With no place to sit and enjoy our cannolis we decided that we’d make Reading Terminal our unofficial Isgro eating spot, as we had also gone to Chinatown. We’ll be visiting Reading Terminal on another day for a more thorough visit. Today, we just needed a place to eat our cannolis! Once we devoured the cannolis we went straight to our hotel for some rest before dinner at Iron Chef Morimoto’s restaurant. On a side note, while we were totally enjoying our delicious cannolis, an inquisitive wanderer stopped by, wondering where in Reading Terminal she could purchase the same cannoli. Unfortunately we had to tell her that we picked them up at Isgro’s. She left sad. And without a cannoli.

Alright, you might think that with all the food we had up to this point, we would be quite stuffed. Rubbish! We were both so excited to dine at Morimoto, Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s sleek namesake restaurant on 7th and Chesnut. The food did not disappoint. Michelle decided on the Morimoto tempura to start and the seafood toban yaki. I decided on the 7 course Morimoto omakase, the chef’s choice multi-course tasting menu designed to allow you to experience the essence of Morimoto’s menu. It was worth the 80 bucks because at the end of the day, I’m not a raw fish fan but somehow, Morimoto made me fall in love with raw fish. I left full and satisfied.




And finally, Michelle and I put together a little photo slideshow of our first full day in sunny Philadelphia! Enjoy. You can also check out these photos on my Flickr.