I’m borrowing an idea from my favorite blogger (Rebecca of A Clothes Horse) and taking some of my favorite photos from my trip to San Francisco and posting them as “postcards”. Enjoy!
It was a short trip to my favorite city, but a fabulous way to ring in my 28th birthday and catch up with old friends. Not to mention take a brake from the cold weather in Colorado and soak up some sunshine!
Yep, I’m heading back to one of my favorite places in the world, San Francisco. I leave Saturday morning from my home in Denver. Between now (Thursday night) and then I have one twelve hour shift, two cats to deliver, one rabbit to transport, and a bag to pack. If you’ve read any of my other posts you’ll know my usual last-minute scramble. If you’ve ever been to San Francisco you’ll know that while the weather is generally the same, you can fluctuate between bitter damp cold and fog and sunny sunny blue skies at any given moment- meaning it’s hard to pack for.
It’s a short trip, and as I discovered last time, the fewer articles of clothing I bring the more I can find at thrift stores and consignment shops as I explore the city! I’m keeping my plans fairly loose, but I have my usual list of favorite places tumbling along in my head.
1) City Lights and Green Apple Books
2) Ocean Beach
3) Golden Gate Park
And this time I am determined to set wheel against track in the house-of-worship-turned-roller-rink called the Church of Eight Wheels. I can’t wait!
Finally, this is a birthday present from me to me. I know I’ll be working through Christmas and New Year’s, just like I worked through Thanksgiving, so I thought I would at least treat myself for my birthday. I guess that’s one hell of a birthday party? Oh, and since I started typing this I’ve already packed 60% of my suitcase, so I’m ahead of the game!
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.
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.
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.
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!
I was trapped in Las Vegas for several hours, which is several hours too long in my opinion. I have never seen an airport so devoted to it’s “theme”, which in this case was, duh, casinos and gambling. There were brightly lit slot machines covered in neon lights all over that place.
When we did finally get in the air it was one of those flights that always surprises you as to how short it is. It almost makes you think, “Damn maybe I should have driven instead”. The struggle was not over, though, as there was some kind of airplane traffic jam and our poor plane had nowhere to go. We just waited on the runway for a while until something opened up.
Now finally FINALLY I have hot coffee and the beach in front of me. It’s breezy and cloudy of course, but not actually that chilly. The cappuccino is delicious (at Beachside on Judah) and now it needs some food on the side. It’s hard to decide whether to strike out in search of food or let it go hang and just head for the beach.
So I chose the beach. It was the right decision! Oddly for me I did not really feel all that hungry despite the fact that I had hardly eaten. The beach was windy and the sky was cloudy, and the air was quite damp. I rolled up my footless tights so that I could walk around in the surf. I brought the camera and took dozens of photos. I Facetimed with Steve & co. Ian had a very useful tip for shark safety: If a shark comes near you, hit it on the nose.
After the beach I gravitated towards the giant windmill that marks the edge of Golden Gate Park. I would have loved to have camped out there to do a little writing, but it was quite the popular spot. I moved on, only to find that everywhere in the park was quite the popular spot. Eventually I found a tree nook to wedge myself into while I did a little research on dinner options. I ended up trekking over to the fruit market that my AirBnB host recommended. I out strawberries, California green grapes, spicy pita chips, and some CA Pinot noir.
*Special Side Note* I can hear the waves crashing against the beach from inside the house, even through the closed window.
Back at the house I met the couple who are staying here tonight. Sonja is studying and working in San Antonio, and is originally from Mexico. A few months ago she spent some time in France and met her current boyfriend in Paris. They are on a whirlwind road trip around the Southwest and California while he is visiting. We left the house with the intent to grab a slice of pizza and a beer, and then I led us in totally the WRPNG direction, so we ended up eating some Thai food and grabbing a six pack to take back. Unfortunately as I write this, drinking my Anchor Brewing IPA Sonja is being violently sick.
*Hopefully* tomorrow morning everyone is well and rested and we can get up to enjoy the dawn on the beach!