Friday, April 29, 2011

Travels: San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers In Your Green Hair)

Friday, April 22nd
There's something true about the idea that real friends can go a while without talking and just pick things up where they left off the next time they see each other.

My Friday was filled with these get-together's.  I was lucky enough to make several of those types of friends in my early 20's.  We'd gone through so many changes in life; moving across the country, getting married, coming to terms with our losses, growing into our identities.  But we still laughed as though were were still in the Porter College dorms.

I first went to visit my sister in the Union Square where she was working at the new Disney Store.  This was definitely an area where you could "accidentally" spend way too much money.
Monument for Admiral George Dewey's victory
 at the Battle of Manila Bay during
 the Spanish American War
The Disney Store is pretty awesome, really.  Tons of fun activities for kids, like a Magic Mirror and looking for Hidden Mickey's.  Since it was Earth Day, my sister had the lovely role of dealing with people hungry for free stuff:  She was charged with giving out Disney reusable bags for anyone who brought 5 or more plastic bags to the store.  People are crazy, and even more so when there's free things involved.  They would try to get more free reusable bags by bringing 10 or more (though it's 1 bag per person), or would come back later, or would make up something about their friend not being able to come.  It's a free bag, people...calm down.

After spending way too much time at the Disney Store, probably freaking out the staff over my excitement of completing a scavenger hunt/word search about Earth-friendly ideas, I met up with one of my undergrad roommates.

We went around the corner to the Burger Bar, where you're able to personalize your burger with some amazing ingredients.  The burgers were a bit decadent, some costing over $60 when black truffles were added, but delicious.  The milkshakes were also quite tasty.

Since we had a bit more time together, she then walked me over to the Sir Frances Drake Hotel for a special birthday champagne cheer.  It's a gorgeous hotel, and it was a wonderful place to kick off my birthday celebrations.
Ceiling detail
After a glass of champagne, my friend helped me find my way back to the Muni and I rushed to get home to shower and prepare for dinner and a show I was invited to dance in.

I met up with two people who I considered my best friends in undergrad.  We had some amazing adventures together and a bit of a falling out.  But it was mainly my own doing, and I'm glad that we're still friends to this day.

We laughed all the way to the restaurant where I would be dancing. Peña Pachamama, in the North Beach area, has organic South American cuisine and live entertainment.  The food was all delicious.  When we first arrived, there was a flamenco dancer.  The belly dancers would finish off the night.  Most of my friends from undergrad have never seen me dance, though they've seen me do other things like dye my hair green.

Saturday, April 23rd (The Day)
Because it had been so long since I'd seen these friends, I met up with them and another undergrad friend again for brunch.  We did some catching up before brunch, learning about all the happenings since we'd last seen each other maybe 3 years ago.

At Nopa, we celebrated not only my birthday but another friend's completion of his dissertation.  We joked about how this year would be the last year that I could do stupid things and blame it on my 20's.  Haha!  Genius!

Sidebar:  Nopa does not have soy or any other alternative milks available.  Quite unfortunate, really, considering that we were in flippin' San Francisco.  But the food and drinks were delicious.
The Blur cocktail and Custard French Toast with a side of Bacon
Obviously, with it being my birthday and a beautiful warm California day, I had to put on some sparkles and my favorite green dress.
As I looked around the table at my friends, there was definitely a moment when I though, "Hmm...I could live here, especially if it meant I would get to see these people more than every couple of years."

Nerds, when are you going to release that teleportation machine, huh???? C'mon!!!

When late morning turned into early afternoon, I knew it was time to part.  I wasn't sure when my parents and brother would arrive and we'd have to head to my sister's show.  So, we hugged each other ta-ta-for-now.  But it was really hard for me to watch them walk away as I crossed the street to catch a bus.

Bonus Birthday Toesies
I realized I had a bit more time before the rest of my family arrived, so I stopped off at the Castro to get my nails did.

I ended up right on Market St and Castro at Queenbee Nail Salon.  They had a small staff that day, so I got to spend an extra amount of time in the massage chair, which was so amazing that it discovered some serious knots in my shoulders.
Designed by Tee at Queenbee Nail Salon, San Francisco, CA
Color: Zoya - Gemma
Occasion: Birthday Sparkliness
April 2011
By the time the pedicure was over, my parents and brother had already arrived and settled down in their hotel.  Family time would be starting soon, and I had to shift gears a bit.

To Be Continued...
Next Up:  (Flying Away From) The Dock of The Bay

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