It's coming. The Year of the Rat.

To find out more about The Year of the Rat, click here. (Some of you might be interested to know that Gwyneth Paltrow was born under the sign of the Rat!)

Chinese New Year falls on February 7th this year, so I hope you are all getting ready. Here are some images of a recent day spent in China Town, San Francisco to inspire you to celebrate:

We got to see a Chinese Lion dance on Grant Street, the street where China Town is at it's most scenic and charming.

A view down Grant Street.

Another beautiful Lion.

I had heard tell of a Fortune Cookie Factory in a small alley in China Town, so we were on a mission to find it. I am not sure what I was expecting, but what we found was a very cozy space inside what seemed to be a back door down a very small walking alley. With just a miniscule sign to identify it, we would have missed it entirely, if not for the heavenly scent of freshly baked cookies wafting by us. We poked our heads in the door to find a tiny hallway and a couple beckoning us in . We ventured in to see two women at two fortune cookie assembly machines. It was a fascinating lesson in the art of just how they get those fortunes inside. We were given freshly baked warm samples right off the presses. MMMMmmmm.

I had to snap a picture of this luscious fruit stand.

And my favorite citrus tree, the Kumquat proudly displayed outside a beautiful florist's shop.

May your Chinese New Year be a peaceful and prosperous one!