Bay Area | January, 2024


Behold! The start of a whole new year! I set a goal for the entire year, which is a minimum of 15 minutes of movement every day. So we started it off with a January 1st run! Followed up by tacos in the Mission, as inspired by our return from Mexico City just the day before.

We brought back this very fun tortilla basket from Mexico City, and I proceeded to put our injera in it and our moo shu pancakes in it… Love an excuse to use these cute tortilleros.

Crafting my party invitations from real 45s (7″ records). See the party here.

Feels like fall! In January.

Another lovely run, this time at McClellan Ranch in Cupertino, where I get to say hi to the four very fun alpaca residents.

Alex got us a wine tasting at members-only Scribe Winery in Sonoma, so we were able to visit with some friends in January during the slow season.

Beautiful space, including the homey hacienda as well as the gardens and vineyards outside.

We didn’t realize the wine tasting also came with a full feast! Fried chicken, garden salads, so delicious.

Thanks for the company and the photos Amy & Mike!

And a quick visit to this gas station-turned-cute-shop in Sonoma, Jack’s Filling Station. 

They sell records and all sorts of random things. We found this baseball bat pen, made in Taiwan! Sold, hahaha.

East Bay day! First, tea time with John and Steph.

Then a visit to Stonemountain and Daughter to pick out some fabrics to make napkins to go with my tortilla baskets. I was quite indecisive but walked away with these four below. Still haven’t actually sewed the napkins, so hopefully I’ll report back on that someday!

Climbing at Benchmark with Cindy, followed by a new izakaya spot.

Massage at Thy Spa! And watching the NCAA Football national championship game at the official SF Michigan Bar, Underdogs Cantina!

Go Blue! National Champions! This was only one of two packed floors in this bar.

Birthday dinner with family: Korean BBQ at Baekjeong.

Back to my old neighborhood in Oakland for Champa Garden!

Breakfast is Alex’s rendition of the Quesadilla Taiwanesa that we had at Bao Bao in Mexico City. A green onion pancake wrapped around mozarella cheese (instead of Oaxacan cheese) and pork floss, plus an egg. Somewhere between these two photos was my birthday party. And then, for my birthday dinner, Alex booked a special meal.

An impeccable Japanese kaiseki meal in Saratoga: Hashiri Bettei Kaiseki Aoki. It is a tiny restaurant, just one chef’s counter with only one seating per night. The entire operation is run by a husband-wife team, and they truly do it all. Highly, highly recommend, even though I’m afraid of it getting too popular and never being able to get a reservation there ever again.

Craft day with Cassie, as she worked on her very elaborate bookshelf miniature dollhouse kit and I worked on my mahjong tiles.

Checking out another restaurant we’ve been meaning to visit, Hand Roll Project by Ju-Ni over in the Mission, SF.

Also very tasty. Many little bites of deliciousness.


Mahjong session before hotpot!

Giant group hotpot at Seapot Daly City, with 9 adults and 3 kids.

More mahjong & dinner! My friend Rachel asked me to teach her and some friends how to play mahjong, and I happily obliged! Will gladly teach anyone to play.

Third mahjong session in one week, meeting back up with Amy and Mike for mahjong at their house. Fun to see how their rules differ, since they already knew how to play too. We basically play Taiwanese-style which is 16 tiles, but ignoring the wind directions. And we only recently learned how to score. Amy and Mike also own two decks of mahjong cards, which are the same as the tiles, but I’d say less fun.

Then we went to Truckee, and on the way back we watched the 49ers game with James and Steph in Davis. James made some very delicious chili, and it became the comeback chili as the niners beat the Lions to advance to the Super Bowl.

Continuing the running, we were also supposed to train for our 5k race at the beginning of February, so we ran one of the most popular routes in SF, all along the Embarcadero from Oracle Park to Pier 39. A 5k!

We’ve instituted quarterly review dinners with the Valentes at House of Prime Rib, Cassie’s favorite restaurant, haha. It’s a classic steakhouse, a San Francisco institution.


And back to craft day with Jeri thsi time! She worked on her cute little granny squares, while I continued with my mahjong set.

The new Chicha San Chen location in Cupertino has been bombarded with long lines since their tea is award-winning in Taiwan. It is very good! I just wait to order it online at off-peak times and then go pick it up when ready instead of waiting forever.

And finally, a check-in with Tiffany in Sydney.

A lovely start to the new year!

Anna Wu is a wedding and portrait photographer based in San Francisco. She compulsively documents and blogs all of her daily adventures. Follow her on instagram and view more of her professional work at