Monday, April 13, 2015

The Perfect Break: Part One

Hello hello, my faithful followers! If you have been following me on any forms of social media, you’re probably sick of all things San Francisco. But it was a most perfect weekend in one of my favorite cities with some of the best girls that I know. And if you’re ready to brave this lengthy post, I’ll tell you all about it.

Our flight took off on Friday morning at 6am from Bush Intercontinental Airport, which meant arriving to the airport at about 4:30am. I woke up around 3:15am, giving myself about five hours of sleep, but I soon realized that my three travel companions really never went to sleep. Whoops, I guess I’m the lame one. But I managed to sleep most of what was a fairly uneventful flight, besides the turbulence at the beginning, and the UH student who had never been on an airplane before and was traveling to San Francisco for an interview. He was rather comical. But we made it to San Francisco right on time, claimed our baggage, ordered an Uber, picked up the key to Mary Ellen’s apartment, dropped Lindsay off at work – trooper – and made our way to Mary Ellen’s precious apartment in the trendy Marina district. Taylor, Amira, and I had a couple of hours to kill before we were scheduled to meet Mary Ellen at the Ferry Building for our Urban Hiking Tour, so we ate brunch at Squat andGobble, which reminded me very much of my breakfast at Honey Honey a couple of years back, before walking, yes, walking, to the Ferry Building from where we were. It was a solid three miles. And then we had a five-mile hike through the city. We actually ended up walking 14.3 miles on Friday, but let’s start from the beginning, shall we?

Squat and Gobble. Y’all. This place was just wonderful. It was precious, it was delicious, it was reasonably priced, and it absolutely hit the spot. We all went back and forth on what to order before finally deciding on something, but my NorCal omelet – egg whites with xxx was just wonderful. Paired with a side salad and whole wheat toast and jam, my stomach was more than satisfied. We all commented on just how good our food was, and maybe that was because we were out of our minds hungry, but Squat and Gobble is just one of those places that has it all. No matter how picky someone is, what dietary restrictions someone has, or if you’re in the mood for breakfast for dinner, you’ll find something that will please your pallet. A great start to what would be a most perfect trip.

We then decided to walk to the Ferry Building, and though it was a very lengthy walk (sorry, guys), we saw so much along the way. Shops and mini parks, and one-of-a-kind food establishments, and we were nearly late to meet Mary Ellen! We finally made our way to the Ferry Building, and man oh man, that place is a dream. Taylor and Amira stopped for coffee at the famous BlueBottle, while I pulled myself away from the roasted nuts and the plethora of ice cream shops.

Mary Ellen took a half day at work and met us for our UrbanHiking Tour that would take us to the top of Twin Peaks and everywhere in between. We took the Muni to Castro, and met two others at the Castro Theater. Quick side note – one of our fellow hikers, Emily – was also a high school freshmen reading and English teacher who loves to bake and has a dream of opening a bakery one day. Talk about a small world. Anyway, our hike took us through the Castro neighborhood, up and up and up to the top of Twin Peaks and Tank Hill, and we even got the opportunity to be kids again and slide down the Seward Street Slides. Another fun fact for you guys – San Francisco has 220 parks and mini parks, and I think that’s one of the things that I love about the city. So much green! We learned about the Eucalyptus trees planted by Adolph Sutro, and most of all, the views we were awarded were just incredible. Pictures don’t do it justice. And even though my calves were screaming at me as a result of those uphill climbs, I would absolutely recommend this hike to anyone visiting San Francisco, or to anyone who calls San Francisco home. It takes you places you probably wouldn’t discover on your own, and you will learn quite a bit of interesting history along the way. Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and fun and made everything really come alive. For someone who disliked history classes most of all, I thoroughly enjoyed all of the history I got this weekend. Maybe it would have appealed to me more had I been in the place about which I was learning? So, yeah, Stratford, get on that one!

Tank Hill

Our feet were aching, and our backs were tired, so we felt as though we more than deserved two scoops of the famous Bi-Rite Ice Cream. We braved the outside-the-door line for some unique-flavored ice cream that reminded me of Austin’s Lick, and my friends humored me by saving at least one scoop for a GoPro photo in Dolores Park. More on the GoPro to come, but I’ll just go ahead and call that one of my best investments. Bold statement, but it made getting group photos so easy. Anyway, we devoured our ice cream – mine Vegan Coconut Chocolate and Orange Raspberry Sorbet topped with sprinkles – while enjoying the sunshine and people watching at Dolores Park.

Our legs were pretty much shot by this point, and we were miles away from where we needed to be, so we Ubered back to Mary Ellen’s apartment where we showered, lounged, and met Lindsay and her work friend Kerry for dinner at The Chubby Noodle. Lindsay was a trooper and ended up having to work last-minute all of Friday (and even Saturday morning!) at the Bank of America San Francisco office. At least she didn’t have to use any vacation days? Positive thinking! Anyway, we had 7:45pm dinner reservations and I’m sure glad that we did because this place was hoppin’! This restaurant is family-style, so we split the Spicy Garlic Noodles, the Tuna Poke (my first time trying raw fish!), and the Korean Pork Tacos (my favorite!). We entertained the idea of going out afterward, but our tired bodies convinced us otherwise. We trekked back to Mary Ellen’s apartment, set up the air mattress, talked for a little bit, and then fell asleep fairly quickly, and we didn’t wake up for quite some time the following morning. Except for our worker-bee, Lindsay, who left the apartment just after 5:00am so that she could get some work in before our bike adventure. She is a rock star, and now I’ve written enough already. Saturday and Sunday’s wrap up to come!

Have a great one!

No comments:

Post a Comment