Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Travels: I Left My Appetite In San Francisco

My birthday fell on a Saturday this year.  It also turns out that my family was heading to San Francisco since my sister was going to be part of a show on the day of my birthday.  Seeing that I haven't seen them since July 2010, and being that I'm still unemployed, I figured it was high time that I made it back to the West Coast.
View of the Pacific Ocean from the Sunset/Parkside area.
The last time I was in San Francisco was for a quick stop-over on our way to Napa Valley.  Before that, it was a quick trip for my sister's graduation from culinary school, which was back in 2008.

Truth be told, I hesitated on whether I should have gone on the trip.  I just don't feel comfortable making plans too far ahead, especially not knowing whether I would need to rearrange my entire schedule based on a new job or not.  But at some point, I realized that I had to make this trip regardless.

Wednesday, April 20th
This day snuck up on me!  While I was extremely excited, I found myself really anxious about traveling.  I think a lot about what I might have forgotten or about all the things I still needed to do.

In the morning, I had 2 interviews (which I'm pretty sure I ROCKED!), then I had to finish up packing and spend some quality time with the boyfriend and the kittehs before heading out.

At this point, I had already reintroduced meat into my diet, and I knew that my body was a lot less angry at me than I anticipated.  So, naturally, as soon as I was picked up by my sister, I had one destination in mind.
Cheeseburger and Fries - both Animal Style
 with a Vanilla Shake
It was truly heavenly.  I have yet to find something that is similar to In N Out, though I'm sure they exist.

I laughed a bit at the idea that there are always In N Out's near the airports in California.  Obviously, they were strategic and thought about all the folks who have been deprived of a delicious and simple burger joint.  Pure genius is what it is.

Thursday, April 21st
My sister let me stay at her apartment during this trip.  I'd have to say that it was extremely convenient to be near public transportation, and I found it quite easy to travel throughout the city by Muni and Bart.
San Francisco's Muni Map
I can see why so many people have compared Boston and San Francisco, considering that it can be so easy to live in the city without a car.  Though, I'd have to say that San Francisco's system is much nicer compared to Boston's.  Many of the stops, for both the trolley and the buses, have notifications for when the next one will be on its way.  They even have the Owl service for some of the Muni lines, which runs between 1am and 5am!

But, I digress.

I had brunch with my sister at the Squat & Gobble on West Portal.  Aside from dim sum, this was my first official brunch after my pescatarian/vegan diet.  I had a really hard time choosing what to feast on.
My sister and I at the Squat & Gobble
I then made my way to meet up with a classmate from grad school who I haven't seen since graduation.  I, for one, am quite glad that Facebook allows us to keep in "contact," even if it means just knowing what a person has been up to in the past month.

We had lunch at Sushi Kinta in the Embarcadero Center, caught up on what the other had been doing in the past 4 and a half years.  We talked about the weird trap that being labeled a "social worker" has us in, especially when it comes to employment.

Though it was a brief lunch with her, it was awesome to hang with her.  Truth be told, it's folks like her that make me feel happy about going into social work.  Not because we're necessarily where we want to be in our professional life, but because I had the pleasure of making some amazing friends.

As she went back to work, she encouraged me to walk around a bit and explore the Ferry Plaza.  As I started walking, I suddenly realized that I had been in that area before - years and years ago at a war protest rally!  A flood of memories came rushing through my head, and it made me more excited to see more of my friends.
The Ferry Plaza on The Embarcadero
It was really a gorgeous day.  I soaked in that California sun and remembered why I still call that state home.
San Francisco Bay with the Bay Bridge, Treasure Island, and a Ferry
Later that night, I had signed up to drop in on a belly dance class, and that took me to the Noe Valley area where the hills and view were both steep and breath-taking.
 At the top of 24th St.
Though the class I attended ended way later than I anticipated, I was still able to see a friend from undergrad who I hadn't seen in about 4 years.  It was great to see that she was loving her job and doing so much after having just finished grad school.  We reminisced on all the crazy times we had together, and talked about all the changes that have gone on in our lives.

She and I met up at the Beretta Restaurant, where I really had no choice but to get the pizza with clams.

I don't know what your particular tastes are...but clam and garlic pizza is the frakkin' bomb, yo.  It's so bomb, I was compelled to say that it was bomb...yo.

I first had this amazing slice of pizza in my young days as a Banana Slug at UC Santa Cruz.  Specifically, this was a treat at Pizza My Heart.  I kid you not, people.  It's worth a trip to find clam and garlic pizza. I'm starving.

To Be Continued...
Next Up:  San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers In Your Green Hair)

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