Relocation Part 2: In With the New, Out With the Old

My new clothes needed for my new job are starting to arrive in the mail!  I did have to fight with USPS over one item (seriously, if all their employees are that surly and irritated it must be a terrible place to work), but last night was a bonanza of opening packages on par with Christmas. 

Less fun was all the packing.  The stuff that my parents are graciously storing for me at their house is all being moved on Saturday, so I need to make sure it is ready to go.  This means boxes, boxes, furniture, oh and more boxes.  Rigamarole decided that he would make a cozy home in one such cardboard castle.  Historically, boxes and paper bags have been his strong suit, so I’m surprised it took him this long to crawl into one.  *Side note: Even Riggy got new swag.  I bought him a new collar and shiny ID tag at the shelter that I work at*

I have bags and piles of stuff to donate heaped around the apartment.  The idea of loading it into my tiny Yaris is daunting. Luckily my friend Emily came over- to talk about life, naturally- and ended up combing through the piles and filling a bag with stuff.  I’m a pack rat by nature, so letting go of stuff is hard.  What a relief it is that these sweaters/shoes/etc are going to a friend!

Today I work my last shift that the vet clinic and it’s a short one, meaning I have all afternoon and evening to keep packing.  Cheers, and here’s to moving on.


Relocation, Relocation, Relocation Part 1: Packing

It’s been about a week since I made the decision to move across the country to Colorado.  I notified both jobs, my landlady, and the people in my life.  Now it’s all about packing and winnowing down my possessions.  *Side note: Wes Anderson movies make a great background for this sort of thing*. Thankfully my parents are willing to store my furniture and a large portion of my belongings that aren’t comin with me.  I sold off a tidy number of my books today and I have two large garbage bags full of clothes to donate.  The apartment is mess right now, all half full boxes and clothes scattered around.  The bunnies are running rampant in the maze right now and the cats look disturbed.  That’s all for now, will update more later.

Secret Travel

Secret travel. That’s what I’m doing. Almost no one knows that I am not lounging around at my parents’ house for some murky reason other than ‘family stuff’. I’m in the airspace flying over the middle of the country, bound for the foothills of the Rockies. I mean Denver, Colorado. I’m interviewing for jobs. I have three lined up, back to back, and I can’t wait for this to be over. This maybe the shortest non-regional trip I have taken. What was the phrase I just read about- ‘place-lagged’? The feeling of living your normal life in one location, spending a few hours sitting in a seat in a plane, and then suddenly finding yourself somewhere else. Your brain hasn’t quite caught up with where you are yet. It’s not that Colorado is all that foreign or exotic (I’ve been there on multiple occasions), it’s just that I wouldn’t normally expect to find myself several hundred miles West of home for 36 hours. Like I said before, this is secret travel, so when I get home I need to pretend as if I really was just at my parents’ house. No mountains, no airplanes, no interviews. This gamble I’m taking out here will be almost completely unknown and unspoken of unless it all turns out in my favor.
Secret travel means that I will not be posting this piece as it is happening. Or at all. Although I suppose if you are reading it I did post it after all. This sort of travel means no airport pictures, no “airplane window” scenery on my Facebook or Instagram. I didn’t write any travel prep blog posts like I normally do. I love writing those! They really help ramp up the enthusiasm (as if I needed any help with that).

Secret travel can yield secret results. On this particular trip I attended a whirlwind interviews over two days and came out with a job offer that I accepted. Guess I’m moving to Denver.

Show Me To The Apples

As I’ve posted before I’m back in Wisco (for the time being…).  The weather is just beginning to turn from summer to fall with milder days, cooler nights, and *voila* apples!  It’s apple picking season and I am raring to go!

My friend Amanda was visiting for the day so we packed some snacks and hit the road to find some apple orchards.  Luckily, this being the Midwest, these are not hard to find.  Ever since my study abroad adventures in Botswana during college I have kept a supply of apples hand to eat every day.  In Bots, everyone lives off a diet of meat+rice+sugary soft drinks, which is a difficult diet to swallow if you are used to being a vegetarian+none soda drinker.   I used to walk the dusty road to the local shopping mall to purchase big bags of green apples to keep in my dorm room at all times (and packets of green tea to drink at room temperature since there was no way to heat the water).  

At the orchard we were given as many bags as we wanted- we each took a conservative two- and a map showing which trees had ripe apples.  Different varieties become ripe at different times throughout the fall, so the folks who run the place helpfully let visitors know where to pick and where not to.  Apple season seems like a flash in the pan.  If you take your time about visiting an orchard you will probably miss it!  It seems that each week there is a new type of apple ripe and ready for picking!

It was sunny and breezy; basically perfect weather to be out on an Eco-tourism adventure.  This particular establishment had some chickens running around.  They appeared to be up to their eyeballs in discarded apple cores.  Visitors are allowed to brig dogs to the orchard, so there were quite a few happy pups running around.  There was also a shady tree-lined ridge separating one part of the orchard from another, so in order to get to all the trees you needed to climb the ridge.  The owners had thoughtfully hung a couple of tire swings from the trees, so of course we had to try swinging on them.  It didn’t take long to fill up our bags, sampling some (as we were instructed to do by one of the orchard owners) along the way.  Apple Berry Farms has a cute little shop selling things like apple salsa, apple butter, knit hats, honey, and other delicious things that you bring your bags to for weighing and purchasing.  They also had apple donuts and carmel apples on sticks.  We each decided it was very important to buy a donut with our bags of fruit.  Sitting outside by the pumpkin patch eating our dessert was highly enjoyable.  We left Apple Berry Farms, fruit in hand, in a thoroughly good mood.  Sometime I’ll post about the adventure which followed shortly after, which included a deceased horse, trolls, and Norway.  

That Fish Market in Maputo

I’m in between trips and trip planning right now.  I’m not sure if I want to head to Greece to see Athens and explore Crete, or if I want to get lost wandering around Venice.  Venice has been on my list of places for a long time, but Greece seems oh-so fascinating…

Anyway, I’m here at my “office” the coffee shop and I thought I would share a little story about a fish market I visited in Maputo.  Maputo is the capital city of Mozambique, a long narrow country on the southwest coast of Africa.  

While I was studying in Botswana, a group of Americans that were in my program decided we should take a road trip to Moz on our “spring break”, which was actually in the autumn, but hey- that’s the Southern Hemisphere for you.  There were about 21 US students in my program and from that there were about four groups that formed, each with specific spring break travel plans.  It took me a little while to decide where I wanted to go, but the idea of tropical beaches and the clear blue Indian Ocean won out.  We rented a combi, otherwise known as a van, and hired a driver.  The driver brought his girlfriend because who doesn’t want to go on a fantastic road trip?  Combi’s look like old VW vans and seat about 6 more or less comfortably.  We were more than six, plus luggage, so we weren’t comfortable.  It took us about 8 hours to drive through Botswana, through South Africa, and across the Moz border.  Border crossings are less than fun (especially when several members of your group take sleeping pills for the car ride, then try to fight them as they stand in line at the border.  Yikes.)  Finally in Maputo, we wanted to check out this famous fish market.  The idea is you go in, purchase some fresh fish from the market, then bring it to the outdoor restaurant-ish area next door, and hire one of the kitchens to cook it for you. There were all different kitchens around this outdoor space.  Tables were placed here and there, there was bar service, and string lights cast a somewhat dim glow over everything.  The smell of seafood was everywhere.  The fish market itself was a sight to see for someone who does not live near an ocean (i.e. Me).  Some of the fish and crustaceans were still moving!  Everyone was shouting!  There were rats underfoot, and I mean rats.  Big ones.  I am not afraid of rats normally, but suddenly that scene from Lady and the Tramp when the big evil rat is trying to eat the baby came rushing back to me.

Some of my more fish-savvy friends selected what we wanted and then we were ushered into the outdoor area.  GFew people were speaking English and I had a difficult time following what was happening next.  We were trying to select a kitchen to cook our fish and different cooks were calling out prices, trying to usher us over to their ovens, and general competing for business in a pretty aggressive way.  At one point we actually stepped into one of the kitchens, and well…I wish I hadn’t.  Let’s say this: dark, smelly, pots of fish guts, cramped.  We didn’t pick that cook.

I don’t remember how we finally picked a kitchen in the end, but we did, and then we sat around for a loooonnngg time.  Like I said, there was bar service, and we were all newly infatuated with a hard cider called Savannah Dry, so there was plenty of that going around.  Did I mention it was night time?  It was full dark outside.  Finally two large platters of fish were placed in front of us and forks were passed around.  It was, more or less, family style, so we all just dug in.  It was absolutely delicious.  As far as I could tell, the fish was fried with different spices and then drenched in savory sauces.  We were on the coast of the Indian Ocean, remember, so there were a lot of different flavor to be had in that port city.  

After the meal there was another hurdle: the bill.  The cook wanted an exorbitant fee, much more than he original told us!  It was clear that we were very foreign and very new in town.  The price discussion degenerated into a price argument, which grew very heated.  Not being one to back down from a fight, I was definitely ready to go head to head with the shifty chef.  In the end we threw down the money were were originally quoted (plus a little extra, I think).  It was definitely a lesson in travel culture.  What is fair to pay someone for labor and skill and what is being taken advantage of?  It can be a fine line.

We left the dining area and had to head back through the now empty and dark fish market.  This mean dodging the rats.  No kidding, these suckers were enormous!  It all seemed worth it, though.  We had a delicious meal of locally caught fish prepared in a way that was new and delicious to us.  I’ve never had a dining experience quite like it since.  We did end up going to that fish market again on our way back through Maputo at the end of our trip (and had an even crazier encounter with some locals), but that’s a story for another time.

At Home at Lake Wingra

When I moved to Madison in 2008 I was pretty excited that my college was located right on Lake Wingra.  Now, Lake Wingra is much smaller lake than it’s siblings in the Yahara River basin.  “Wingra” is a Ho-Chunk name meaning duck- how thrilling.  No bones about it, this lake is small and a little dirty compared to Lake Mendota and Lake Monona, but it has a nice homey feel.   The other lakes are so big…and well…crowded.  Living on an isthmus makes one a little snobby about lakes (we’re entitled, okay?  Besides being on an isthmus we’re in a state surrounded by the two largest of the Great Lakes).

It’s been a few years and I’ve moved out and around the city a few times.  I find myself back in the same area since earlier this year though.  My little studio apartment is within walking distance of the lake, the boathouse, the boardwalk behind campus, and the surrounding arboretum.  Yesterday evening I had some time and the weather was beautiful so I picked up a Gouda sandwich from my favorite coffee shop, packed my camera, a book, and headed out.  The boardwalk behind my old campus it heavily forested and I trekked through the woods for a while before discovering a new little boat dock that had been built since my departure.  It was cute and quiet: perfect.

There was a college football game going on and the stadium is just minutes away from this spot.  Luckily the woods block out most of the noise so it wasn’t hard to forget about all the hubbub going on.

The fish were quite excited to get some tomato cast offs from my sandwhich.  I leaned over to take a photo of them and ended up with no fish (well, they are there, but you have to look reeeaalllly closely to see them) but a cool self portrait.

It wasn’t a perfect day preceding the lake adventure, but I thought hey, why not end on a good note?
*Post Scriptum: I found some chicken eggs arranged in the woods near the lake shore.  It was very Jurassic Park.

Who does this?! Are there tiny velocirapotrs running around?

On AirBnB

AirBnB is a gift to the modern traveler, especially if said traveler is on a budget. This is a system that allowed people the opportunity to stay somewhere in their chosen destination, and not only afford it, but really get a feel for the place they are staying. AirBnB’s current tag line is, don’t stay somewhere, live somewhere. I must say, they have hit the nail on the head.
How it works: When you (the guest) log on to AirBnB you can search for places to stay in your chosen destination. On my recent trip to San Francisco I just typed in the city and searched by neighborhood and by price. You can set these filters so that AirBnB knows not to suggest locales in places you don’t wan to be. It also won’t suggest a huge mansion for $$$ when you only wanted a room or a bed for $.

AirBnB is unique compared to other sites like CouchSurfing because you can chose to stay somewhere where you have the whole house (in which case the ‘hosts’ would be out of town or something) to yourself, or just a private room. I chose to stay on a futon in the common room at my SF AirBnB because it was the cheapest option. This means that the hosts had set up a bed in the living room/kitchen with some curtains strung across the room by my bed. I could close the curtains at night for privacy, but left them open during the day since it was a common space. The set up worked beautifully.
Once you have decided what kind of accommodation you want and how much to spend you can scroll through listings. Good AirBnB hosts post lots of photos and tons of great reviews. I stick to places that have about 100 or more positive reviews (make sure the reviews are written by real people with real profiles!). Honestly, there is so much to choose from you can be picky on this site. Now that you have found your place, you submit a request to stay. The host can choose whether or no to accept you. It’s helpful to send them a message telling them about yourself and your upcoming trip. They typically will respond quickly and share something about themselves too! Once they accept you your payment will go through (in most cases you can cancel your stay with minimal penalties if need be) and you will receive instruction from your host on how to get to their place, how to unlock doors, etc. They usually also provide recommendations for places to eat and drink in the neighborhood, so pay attention to those tips!  

Some hosts even go so far as to offer transportation to or from the airport or train station. None of the places I have stayed at have actually had my host their at the time, whether because they were out of town or because they didn’t actual live there (think an AirBnB version of a hostel). I was surprised and delighted to meet fellow travelers at my SF stay. I’m introverted, so normally I would expect other strangers in a strange house to equal Awkward City for me, but in fact, it was just an easy way to make friends. A couple I met on the first night (if you read my earlier SF blog posts you will read about them!) actually became good friends and I was sorry to see them continue on to their next destination. The other travelers who came and went were friendly and somewhat more reserved. One person obviously had a late night because there was puke in the sink in the morning. Thank goodness for two bathrooms! At the end of my stay I left behind half a bottle of red wine and an uneaten sandwich for anyone who wanted it. That is part of the glorious nature of this system: if you are here you are part of a community of travelers. Everyone is looking for a comfortable place to put up their feet at the end of the day. If you’re lucky you will get to share stories and count them as friends. Who knows, maybe you will bump into them again somewhere down the line in some far off place?
Here is their snazzy ad!

Last Day in SF

I’m on the plane home and there is lovely warm beam of sun shining in from the window next to me. We’re flying over mountains, but which ones I am not sure of. I’m fairly exhausted at this point, having gone to bed around 2 am and then woken up at 6. The combination of a late night and an open bar made it difficult to get out of bed today, especially so early, but I was quite determined to see the beautiful beach at dawn one last time. I had also heard about the *somewhat* secret trampoline my AirBnB host had installed at the top of one of the sand dunes. There’s nothing like jumping up and down on a trampoline at dawn on the beach, watching the Pacific tide creep away from shore.

Beach trampoline!
Ocean Beach: A Love Story

Yesterday began with another later morning, and coffee at Java Beach cafe. I toyed with the idea of getting a tattoo and even went as far as calling a shop I found (called Black + Blue, founded and run by lady tattoo artists) to see if they had time for a walk in. They didn’t call me back, so that was that, and truth be told, I’m not too heartbroken. I caught a bus and train into the Castro, a neighborhood I love wandering through. After see the movie ‘Milk’ when it came out a few years back I have been fascinated with the history of the neighborhood. I stopped for a cappuccino at a cafe called Spike’s. Their logo is an English bulldog, whom I presume to be Spike himself.

Leaving the Castro I headed over to Irving St for some thrifting at an upscale resale shop that looked interesting online. I was not disappointed. It was fabulous and surprisingly cheap! San Francisco really knows what it’s doing when it comes to the thrift shop scene. I ended up going home with a pair of grey suede ankle boots.
I headed back to the beach to get ready for my friend’s wedding, which was happening over in the Presidio that evening. I had my ducks in a row and everything was relaxing and going according to plan…until I took the wrong bus, and then, on the correct bus, was severely delayed in the Haight by all the crowds. I was running late and feeling fairly stressed. I did make it to the Presidio in the end, of course, and the wedding was adorable. The reception was fun + fancy + full of shenanigans. The Golden Gate Bridge was visible out the windows. The wine flowed freely. 

The view from the reception

A group of friends and I were wondering about heading out at the wedding wound down and I successfully convinced them to head to my AirBnB for some nighttime beach adventures. We split two Ubers and made our way back into the Outer Sunset. It was cooooold, but we had consumed just enough alcohol to not feel it as much as we should. Navigating sand dunes in the dark can be tricky, I’ll say that. I managed to snap a few photos, but my night-time camera game is weak. Gotta work on that for next time I guess.

Night time ocean

Back at the AirBnB we were all tired, so after a short round of cards (I only observed, being too tired to participate) we said out goodbyes. Collapsing onto my bed was bliss.
After my last early morning at Ocean Beach and some coffee it was time to go. I packed up and headed out. Two buses and a BART train later I was at my gate and who should I see but the majority of the Wisco guests from the wedding. My friend Casey and his girlfriend Joz were waiting sleepily at the gate and it was nice to see some friendly faces after the stress of getting to the airport and then getting through it to the gate.  
Each time I visit San Francisco I learn more about the City and each time I think, “This has been the best visit yet!” It just says keeps getting better and better. Every street is encrusted with interesting architecture, or graffiti, or cafes/shops. Each neighborhood has a wonderful and distinctive flavor-
You know what? I could go on for hours about how much I love San Francisco, blah blah blah, but maybe you should just go see it for yourself, you know? Get going!

Day Three in San Francisco

So much has happened that I am struggling to remember it all!  If I don’t get it written down it could be lost forever!  So here’s what happened:

The day started off with me forcing myself to sleep in.  As much as getting up at dawn to go down to the beach is appealing, I knew I needed to take care of myself and catch up on some sleep.  So at amuch more reasonable hour of 9:00 I got up and headed out for coffee and an almond croissant from Java Beach cafe.  I took my goodies to the beach and made temporary camp in the sand dune.  I attracted the attention of several ravens who tried to play it cool, pretending to dig up rocks and such, but who were obviously failing.

After the beach I hopped on the N train and headed into the City.  I got off at Green Apple Books, my favorite (yes, more than City Lights) bookshop in SF.  I wandered around those packed shelves for quite a while, trying to make my selections.  That is the TRUE test of budgeting, in my opinion.  I ended up with a book about the lost tales of the Odyssey- you know, the ones that didn’t make it into the modern written translation.

Then it was time to meet up with a friend in town the for the wedding.  Casey wanted to hit up Amoeba records in the Haight, so one bus ride later I got off there.  Casey either struggled with time or with public transport, because I found myself with time to kill.  I walked up Haight St a little ways and found a nice quiet cafe called Stanza Coffee and got myself an herbal tea.  I had time to read until Casey arrived, so I was quite happy.  Casey hadn’t ever explored the Haight, so when he got to the cafe I finished up the tea and we headed out to see what we could see.  The Haight is not my favorite neighborhood, but neither is it my least favorite.  It’s an interesting place to people watch, to be sure, and after reading Alysia Abbott’s memoir, Fairyland, I have even more respect for the people and movements that have called it home.

Amoeba records is huge and Casey had way more interest in browsing than I did, so not unlike a parent entertaining a 3 year old, Casey devised a game to keep me busy.  He picked a random word, like wood, and told me to go to the electronics section and find a record that explemplified that word.  Let me tell you, this is QUITE the engaging game and I highly recommend it.  After Amoeba we had still had time before Casey had to collect his girlfriend from the BART station, so we got a portable lunch from Whole Foods and headed into next-door Golden Gate Park.  Shenanigans ensued, including finding secret paths, “decorating” an abandoned racket ball court, and find weird tunnels.  Then it was time to part ways.

Some other friends wanted to meet in Mission Delores Park, so made my way there…or thought I did.  I got on the wrong train.  When I realized this and disembarked, the correct train was delayed and went out of service.  I got on a different train and got off at my best approximation of the right stop.  Then I was lost and my phone was just about dead, so GPS was no help.  I called Chris, the Resident San Franciscan, and he helpfully pointed me in the right direction.  After a short walk I found the park and some friends.  We spent several rather chilly hours people watching there.  Chris found us eventually, and we decided to get some drinks and some dinner (yay!)

Busy day at Mission Delores

Drinks were at a pinball bar (with a sticker from a bar in Milwaukee, no less).  I allowed Chris to chose my beer, another fun game, and he ended up unknowingly picking my favorite; a kolsch.  Dinner was across the street at a Pakastani restaurant where I enjoyed a fantastic veggie korma.  The leftovers are in the fridge at my AirBnB and I am already daydreaming about them…

After dinner we went to a friend of a friend’s place and hung out until I was basically asleep on the couch.  We watched some crazy music videos and discussed each other’s lives.  Around 1:00 am it was decided that we should go.  Public transport seemed waaaayyy to ambitious at that point, so therein followed the struggled of Getting An Uber For TheFirst Time.  It was absolutely freezing at that point, but the nightlife in the Mission was booming.  We waited for a noisy ten minutes or so while I struggled to download the app and call a car.  I’m not going to lie, I was pretty cranky at that point.  My friends kindly waited for me to make sure I got in the car.  They were all sharing an Uber back to the hotel, while I was heading way out back into the Outer Sunset.  Luckily my Uber drive was smooth and I got back without incident.  Even though it was pretty late and I was pretty tired I couldn’t settle down to sleep for a while.m. It was another late night and another enforced sleep-in this morning.  Currently I am sitting at Java Beach with my cappuccino plotting my day ahead.  I’ll let you know what happens!

My current perch at Java Beach Cafe

Day Two in The City By the Bay

Despite my severe lack of sleep the day/night before, I still got up before dawn today.  It happened naturally and I was quite pleased because I was able to pull myself together and get to the beach for sunrise. So yes, the beach faces west, so actually the sun rose over The City, but it was magnificent nonetheless.  The water was light blue and grey and the sun was pink tinged.  The sand all around me was the softest tan/gray hue.  There were a few intrepid surfers and dog walkers out, but mostly I had Ocean Beach to myself.  I snapped photos, got my feet wet in the chilly Pacific water, and did some exploring.  I Facetimed with Pappy and Emily.  It seemed too good a moment not to share!

The structure! What is it?

*Non-Breaking Breaking News: I can still hear the waves on the beach from here*

I came across a cement structure absolutely encrusted with graffiti art. It looked beautiful with the rising sun behind it.  I just couldn’t get enough of this work of art and probably took too many photos.  I only posted the best ones in order to spare everyone.

After returning to Home Base I met back up with Sonia and Thibaut and we got some much needed coffee and breakfast at one of the beachside coffee shops.  They had to book it to Los Angeles for the next leg of their trip, so we made only a brief excursion to see the ocean before they were off.  Now tonight I had completely new housemates at the AirBnB.  I will miss Sonia and Thibaut!

AirBnB friends!

After out goodbyes I hopped on the bus/train and headed downtown.  A brief stop in the Mission at a thrift shop was disappointing,and in any case, a friend from back home was waiting for me in North Beach.  It took over an hour but finally we found each other in City Lights Books!  I will never tire of that wonderful shop.  I wanted to spend all day there, but it was crowded and most of the good places to sit were filled with bored-looking people waiting for their friends to finish shopping.  City Lights is a landmark here and has a long history in San Francisco.  Check out more about it Here.  I purchased a book called The Final Solution by an author I had read before and revered, Michael Chabon.  His earlier book, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay was one of those books that hits you like a ton a bricks and stays with you.  It reminds me of Jonathan Safran Foer, whose book Everything Is Illuminated is not only one of my favorites, but it also and excellent movie.

My friend Tai and I then went in search of a cafe.  We found one that I had actually visited (and loved) last summer, and I had a stunning glass of wine in front of me before long.  Tai went for a crisply refreshing beer.  We talked long and loudly, and left in search a sandwiches, which we found nearby.  Then it was time to leave North Beach (sadly!) and meet up with more of our Wisco group so that they could go to the wedding rehearsal and dinner.  This left me as a free agent at last and I wasted no time in catching a bus back into the Mission to look for Mission Thrift.  This shop had been highly rated so I figured I had a good shot at finding some treasures and I was not wrong.  The shop girl was bored and disgruntled, but he store itself was wonderful.  Clothes of all vintages and brand were crammed cheek by jowl and only vaguely labeled.  I wanted skinny jeans and I wanted an extra shirt/sweater/layer for warmth.  I found these after some very harried searching, since the shopgirl kept announcing how soon they were closing.  There were lots and lots of vintage treasures, but I didn’t have time to admire them all, let alone try them on!  I simply must go back when they are not closing imminently.

Leaving Mission Thrift the sun was beginning to set and the race was on to make it all the way back to the Out Sunset where Home Base is before it got too late [dark].  I got to South Van Ness and Market okay, but the 7 bus never showed, so I hoofed it down underground to catch the N Judah train.  This turned out to be the right choice because not only is it faster and smoother than the bus, but the route it more scenic and the people watching opportunities the train afforded were great.  My stop, 48th and Judah, is the very last stop, and I disembarked just after the sun set.  So much for catching that show at the beach.  Anyway, it’s only a two block walk back to Home Base from there, so I made it in good time.  Home Base is packed to capacity tonight with all new faces.  It seems that everyone only stays the one night around here except for me.  I’m busy chatting up the latest batch of travelers while I write this and drink my Anchor Brewing IPA (a gift from Thibaut).  It may be a Friday night in San Francisco, a city with admittedly fantastic nightlife, but after so little sleep and so much exploration, I’m beat.  It’s time to curl up in bed with my new book.