Last Saturday, John and I took flight to San Francisco for a quick long weekend with no children.
We crossed the country and still managed to be there by about 11 am thanks to the magic of time travel and an early departure. First stop: Chinatown.
Wandering through these streets did actually feel like we were back in Asia, and we both second guessed whether or not we should buy Dragonfruit (not pictured) to bring home to the girls for fear it would not make it through customs. Then we remembered we had not actually left the US of A. We got lunch at Delicious Dim Sum which had a menu only in Chinese, so we ordered one of everything and enjoyed it all, even the bits that didn't look particularly appetizing were tasty. They all seemed to be made with love.
We parked our little selves in this beautifully lit alley near this man reading his paper. A few minutes later, a little boy came up and asked him something. Before we knew it, he had pulled out an instrument I didn't recognize and began playing a song that I did: "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." Tears immediately filled my eyes, because it felt like a gift. The food, the trip, the music, and the overwhelming goodness of that moment felt like a wink from the Lord, which I very much appreciated.
Next up on the agenda: Bike the Golden Gate Bridge and into Sausalito. The weather was gorgeous, and though there were people everywhere, it was still quite pleasant. Though - it should be known that there were a fair few hills in this little jaunt and I was very sore the next day. It was all worth it. The bridge really is larger than life, and it is undeniably fun to see and experience something in real life that I have seen pictures of for all of time.
P.S. I know my biking ensemble is a bit absurd. I like to look cute on vacation, and I really was quite comfortable. So, I decided screw it - I am going to where what I want. I only wish those pants had had a little more padding.
We got ice cream in Sausalito and enjoyed the adorableness of the town before catching the ferry back to the Pier with the millions of other bikers.
(another quick P.S. - I did not mean to order bright blue ice cream, because I am not actually six years old. I ordered quickly from the menu before realizing that "Cookie Monster" did mean lots of cookies plus the intense color. Fortunately, it tasted good.)
Next activity: Head to hotel (Villa Florence in Union Square), and change clothes for a date night in North Beach where all the awesome Italian restaurants are.
It should be noted that at this point, we had been up since 4 am our time (2 am Cali time), and it was about 8 pm as we headed out to dinner. We had a rental car just for the day and experienced quite the headache with parking and valet, and then our first restaurant choice was no longer accepting people, because it was so busy. So, we were both a bit cranky and trying to pretend otherwise, because we were supposed to be having fun.
Faking fun is not a lot of fun. However, the night turned around, and we dined at Rose Pistola, which was delicious and headed straight for a good night's sleep. John happily returned our rental the next morning and took in a morning jog around the relatively quiet city while I snoozed.
We spent our second day seeing our dear friends Mary and Kristin and getting schooled in all things Oakland. We came away understanding that Oakland sometimes has had a bad rap - but it is awesome! Really and truly.
We walked the beautiful Lake Merritt which is a few minutes walk from their condo.
We hit up a space museum and observatory where I fell asleep in a movie, because I was still so not caught up on sleep.
They took us to Oaklandish and had us pick out cool t-shirts for us and the kiddos.
Then we had the wine tasting portion of our afternoon at Urban Legend where they are members.
Lastly, we walked the pier, hitting up two separate restaurants for drinks and dinner and fun with their wonderful friends. All in all, it was an amazing day and so good to spend time with people that we love on their home turf.
Obviously, we sort of pack things in. But - it was a great first two days to a great trip.