In October Mike and I got to go "home" to San Francisco. We are lucky because we feel at home pretty much everywhere we go, and we always want to visit places over and over again. The trip ended up being shorter than expected, but it was jam-packed full of all our favorite things and we had a fantastic time. I have a lot of pictures from our trip, but Blogger recently informed me that I am going to have to start paying for my photo storage, and I'm not sure how I feel about that yet (you know, because Blogger is "free"). So I'm just going to give you a bullet-point version of our trip, instead. I love bullet-points:
- Day 1: I drove out on my own. It was especially relaxing following the funeral and crazy emotional roller coaster that went with it. (I stayed overnight in a hotel partway through the drive). My first stop in SF? El Metate in the Mission. Then I drove over to the school where I used to work. It was heart-warming to see some of my favorite students and wonderful co-workers, but I was also so glad I no longer work there. Next I went to see my friend's photo exhibit and tried to snag some gf donuts at Dynamo--they were sold out. The photographs were excellent, though. Then I drove to Oakland to stay with the Cardons and pick up my cute husband from the airport.
- Day 2: Mike attended a recruiting/potential student event at Stanford and I spent time with Becca and little T. We ate at Ike's (the gluten-free bread at the Stanford location is waaaaaaaay less delicious than what they office in the city, by the way), then we walked around Stanford's gorgeous campus. I met up with Mike for a few hours and then went to Ty & Becca's house to enjoy their company, eat some delicious Thai food, and wait for Mike to get done. I picked up Mike and we ate Pink Berry on the way back to Oakland. We miss living by Ty & Becca!
- Day 3: We paid a visit to Sol Food in San Rafael, then thrift shopped at all of amazing stores nearby. Then we drove across our favorite bridge and into the city to see a few of our favorite places in San Francisco. We went to Golden Gate Park and walked around, and visited Mountain Lake Park. We walked by our old apartment on Sacramento Street and cried (okay, Mike didn't cry), and went to Alta Plaza Park and walked and window shopped on Fillmore Street. All of this took longer than expected, so we had to hit the road (after getting a scoop of toasted almond and blackberry swirl ice cream at Swensen's) and head back to Oakland for a yummy dinner, games and fun with the Cardons. Some of our favorite people ever.
- Day 4: I met up with some friends in the city at Dottie's for breakfast and we found a too-good-to-be-true parking space. Then I did a little shopping (including the new Uniqlo, which as an absolutely madhouse). When I went back to my car, I realized that the parking space really was too good to be true. My car was gone, and after a panicked phone call I realized that yes, it had been towed. Mike, the most patient and wonderful husband ever, picked me up and hugged me while I bawled my eyes out. Then we picked up the car. $550 later, we met Curt & Naomi and hiked to Land's End, our favorite spot in San Francisco (okay, my favorite spot), and then finished the night with some take-out from Tony's (the dine-in wait was 3.5 hours). If you ever go to San Francisco, you MUST go to Tony's. They have the best gluten-free pizza I've ever eaten.
- Day 5: We woke up early to a lot of fog and started our drive back to Salt Lake City.
Our little trip, though much shorter than planned, ended up being pretty perfect. We got to see people we love and eat food we love and visit many of the places we love. What could be better than that? Also, our trip reminded us that we still miss, in no particular order:
- The Golden Gate Bridge from every angle.
- Beautiful public parks and dogs being walked on every street.
- Delicious food of all kinds, particularly Sol Food and Tony's.
- Gluten-free goodness in all places.
- The Whole Foods of northern California.
- Curt & Naomi (and kids), Ty & Becca (and kid).
- Zara. And downtown San Francisco.
- The pier by Ghirardelli Square (no, not Pier 39).
- Running at sea level.
- Speaking Spanish all day, every day.
- Farmers Markets every Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday--all year long.
- Sacramento Street/Pacific Heights.
- The Mission.
- San Francisco friends and a ward that feels like family.
- Coming home for the holidays.
- The urban jungle.
- Access to excellent, tart frozen yogurt at all times.
- Good macarons (I have tried some of "the best" in SLC and they just don't cut it).
- The food of San Francisco.
There are about 10,000,000 other things that I miss from the glorious city of San Francisco, but this list will have to do for now. My fingers are crossed that someday we will be able to move back. But of course we have so many other places we'd like to live that the chances of that happening are pretty slim. And that's okay, I think.