Wednesday, June 29, 2011

san francisco, day three.

Do you like my outfit? I call it The Look Of Many Layers. {See also: I Will Be Wearing This Sweater Every Single Day While I'm Here.}

DAY THREE. Monday, June 27. 
You guys. It is COLD and WINDY in San Francisco. Some of you probably already know that. But I'm new, so indulge me.  Thank goodness I packed my trusty green sweater. And my scarf. I am now thinking that I should have also brought my parka. And my snow boots. And long underwear.

On Monday, Mom and I took a bus tour of San Francisco. It was incredibly foggy for most of the tour {from morning until mid-afternoon}, so there wasn't any sun to keep us warm, and the wind was Out Of Control, People. I'm telling you. Seriously. Out. Of. Control. Thank goodness I don't really give a crap about my hair.

Our tour guide for the day was Jon, a rather hilarious and goofy fellow originally from Mississippi. He also had the most interesting accent. And he made a lot of jokes about Diana Ross.

Our tour guide, Jon. He was a character.

We spent most of the day in the bus, with the exception of about twenty minutes at the Golden Gate Bridge. All photos except the Golden Gate Bridge ones were taken from inside our bus, so it made it hard to capture good images. Still, it was an interesting tour and I learned a lot.

Statue of the architect of the Golden Gate Bridge, Joseph Strauss. I like his hair.

Gorgeous flowers near the Golden Gate Bridge. They really brightened up the foggy and cold day!


Did you know that the Golden Gate Bridge was designed to be able to sway from side to side more than 20 feet? AMAZING, RIGHT?!

The architecture in San Francisco is gorgeous.

City Hall

Dear Santa: Bring me this house. Kthxbai.

Dear Santa: Scratch that. Bring me this house ALSO. Kthxbai.

Dear Santa: What I ACTUALLY meant was, bring me this house because it's one of the Painted Ladies. And it's for sale. Only a cool $2M. Kthxbai.
That's actually me.
The feminist and scholar of African-American literature in me couldn't resist capturing this photo. You go, girl. You go.

Oh, hi there, Haight-Ashbury.
Mel's Drive-In, where George Lucas filmed the movie American Graffiti.
It was a nice day. Then, when I got back to my hotel around 2:30 p.m., I got an excruciating migraine.  Awesome! I took my medication, but it didn't do anything, so I hobbled down the hall from my hotel room, got ice from the ice machine, and went back to my room and put it on my head. I stayed that way until almost 6 p.m. when my parents and I had to leave to meet a colleague of my dad's for dinner. Luckily, after a second dose of my medication, the migraine subsided and I was able to enjoy the evening.  We went to an incredible Italian restaurant, where the food was holy-shit-good, the staff was so incredibly warm and friendly and accommodating {Ma'am, would you like us to store your camera for you while you dine?}, and the atmosphere most relaxing and beautiful. 

Oh, and all the men who worked there ARE SO GORGEOUS HOLY BANANAS. The chef came to our table, and I told him that I wanted to kiss him. I think he thought I was joking at first, but when I pulled out my lip balm to prepare, he knew I meant business.

It was a good day.

Day Four consisted of a tour to Sonoma wine country, a wine tasting {during which Mom and I squealed with delight over the dessert wines because they were soooo good}, lunch at the most adorable french country restaurant, and some shopping. Photos to come tomorrow! Stay tuned!


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

san francisco, day two.

Starting the day out with Mass was definitely the right thing to do. We walked about 7 blocks from our hotel to Old St. Mary's, California's first cathedral. It also happens to be right in Chinatown.

DAY TWO. Sunday, June 26.

After Mass, we walked about 15 minutes to Union Square to meet up with Bonnie Brayden, an Affiliated Agent of the Secret Agent L Project. Bonnie lives outside out Seattle and has been participating in the SAL Project for about a year. She is amazing--her missions are so thoughtful, creative, and kind. And she does them all the time! My inbox is always filled with missions from her. She's even recruited her granddaughter, husband, and friends to participate. And they love it!

Bonnie and I have never met, but when she heard that I was coming to San Francisco, she grabbed her friend Amy, booked two tickets, and flew down to meet me. We had brunch at a lovely cafe called Honey Honey. My parents joined us, and it was definitely a brunch to remember.

Bonnie, me, and friend Amy. As soon as I hugged Bonnie, I felt like I'd known her my whole life. We are definitely soul sisters.
After a delicious brunch, my parents and I made our way back to our hotel and got ourselves ready for a trip to Muir Woods. 


Why, yes. I did take this photo. Postcard worthy? Indeed.

The smell of Muir Woods is absolutely divine. So fresh, so clean, and so unique. I wanted to bottle it up and bring it with me.
These trees are huge. Some are nearly 300 feet tall and up to 2,000 years old.
After Muir Woods, we received a surprise trip to the coastal town of Sausalito as part of the tour. Mom and I are scheduled to go there on Wednesday, which we might still do, even though we already got to be there on Sunday for a couple of hours. It's so quaint and lovely.

We were told to stop at this teeny, tiny, hole-in-the-wall hamburger joint, which is supposed to make one of the best hamburgers in the country. I opted out, since I'm a vegetarian, but Mom and Dad were in high  heaven. Nom nom nom.

They'd kill me if they knew I was posting this picture of them chowing down. By the way, my mom managed to stay 100% tidy while eating that huge, messy thing. My dad? Not so lucky.
We took this ferry back to San Francisco. Note Alcatraz in the background.
We sat on the very top of the ferry. The view was incredible, and we braved the strong, cold wind! My mom is SO CUTE I CAN HARDLY STAND IT.
My dad was like a little kid. He was having The Best Time Ever.

All in all, it was a fantastic day. And boy did we sleep well afterward!

Day three consisted of a four-hour bus trip around San Francisco, including a stop at the amazing Golden Gate Bridge! Pictures tomorrow, so stay tuned!

Monday, June 27, 2011

oh HELLO san francisco!

View from my hotel. I know, right?!

You guys. Seriously. Can I just tell you how much I needed this?

 A lot.

DAY ONE. Saturday, June 25.

My parents? THE CUTEST.

I am SO not a good flyer.

{Except for the turbulence. I did not need the turbulence.}

Lobby of the Hyatt Regency, where I'm staying.
Super comfy bed, yo.
I love the sliding doors.

We went to the Bay Aquarium. It was a close call, as you can tell.
Jellyfish. Guh-ross.

Don, who has played the clarinet since 1945, serenaded me with the song "Laura." Of course.

I'm a sucker for an adorable old man.
We had a lovely, lovely day.

Day two? Mass at Old St. Mary's, brunch with an Affiliated Agent from the Secret Agent L Project, and a delicious trip to Muir Woods and Sausalito. Pictures to come tomorrow!

Night night!