Back in July of 2008, I still had a nose ring and didn't know anyone named Mike Schwartz. It's around that time that my friend Jeff and I decided to head west and take on San Francisco (for a few days). After a ridiculously delayed plane ride, we arrived in San Fran around 3 a.m. and passed out. One brief nap and giant Starbucks later, we headed out to explore the city. We walked from our hotel in Union Square through Chinatown, the Embarcadero, Ghirardelli Square, Ft. Mason, Crissy Field, Russian Hill, and of course, Lombard Street. We even had a picnic at the Palace of Fine Arts. That night we met up with some friends in the Mission and then karaoke'd in Japantown, so basically we had a pretty amazing first day. The next day our friend Chris joined u (from L.A.) and we covered a few museums and Golden Gate Park. Then we took a half-day bike ride through the city and over the Golden Gate Bridge (all while singing the "Full House" theme song, of course). If you've never walked or biked in San Francisco let me assure you, it's FUCKING HARD. The whole city is made up of giant rolling hills, so I had to walk my bike uphill a bunch of times. This was pre-"runner Jen" so my lungs were extra pissed.
We took it easy the next day and visited a few Sonoma wineries and learned all about the differences between Merlots and Cabernets. J/k, we totally just drank and ate cheese the whole day. It was glorious. A ferry ride back past Alcatraz and a night of burritos and drinks in the Mission capped off our trip. We arrived at the airport the next day to, what else, more delays. Actually, it was a flat out cancellation. It wasn't the earthquakes that day in San Fran, but the thunderstorms in NYC. Even David Blaine who was in front of us at the check-in desk couldn't use his celebrity to get his flight magically rebooked for that night, so we figured we wouldn't fare much better.
Luckily Chris was waiting with us at the airport and offered to take us back to his place in Los Angeles. We took a seriously beautiful seven-hour drive down the California Coast (in a Mustang, no less) and chilled out in Venice Beach with a few friends before heading back to New York the next day. It was actually the perfect ending to our trip out west. I get nostalgic for that trip often (like every other month when I threaten to leave NYC and what passes for weather here). I can't wait until San Fran and I meet again. Till next time...