I could write a laundry list of all the things we did and all the people we saw/met/spent time with on our trip to California, but I won’t. It was a trip with exactly the right amount of walking, socializing, eating, exploring, and relaxing, with almost everyone I’d been hoping to see. We were hosted on Thursday night by an internet friend we’ve “known” for 9 years but never met, who not only went out of her way to welcome us to San Francisco and offered us a futon to sleep on but somehow magically knew that the thing I wanted most in the world when we finally arrived at her apartment in North Beach was an egg tart all ready to go.
On Friday, Dan and I walked from North Beach all the way down to the Mission in order to meet up with another internet friend, the person through whom we met/booked our wedding photographer. She and her husband got married just a couple of months after we did, and they were in town celebrating his birthday. The walk itself was just what I wanted: through some great parts of the city, and some not-so-great parts, and I kept feeling like we were in some other city that we’d explored together – New York, say, or Rome, or Seattle. But I knew where I was going and enjoyed “discovering” San Francisco all over again. Apparently, San Francisco was expecting me.
We arrived early, did some wandering through hipsterville, but the pirate store wasn’t open. We scouted out some of the stores along Mission for possible pinata procurement, and saw some creepy kid models in Zoot suits. We bought treats at a kindergarten bake sale (one leftover egg tart was not enough for me for breakfast), and relaxed on the grass in Dolores Park, watching the tennis players, listening to the tiny dog barking excitedly for his owner to throw the frisbee again! again! again! Upon arriving at the restaurant, we discovered that our internet wedding friends were just as delightful in person, and we spent a couple of hours chatting and commiserating. They left to have their own San Francisco adventure and we went back up to Mission street and bought the multicolored horse pinata. Because we’d split a piece of bread with vegetables and cheese, we were still hungry and so we then split a Mission burrito, with Mexicoke and too-sweet horchata, and then walked along, the three of us, back downtown.
All-told, between our trek across SF and back, and various on-foot trips in Emeryville (both secret-agent-style and mundane), we walked 10 miles on Friday. Thankfully, though Saturday was errands in the morning and preparation in the afternoon, far less of it was spent on our feet. Of course, no party is complete without the multiple trips to BevMo, the trek around the entire East Bay to procure supplies, or the princess tiara. Oh, did I not mention that? Leah and Simon came to hang out pre-party and gave me an awesome birthday present. And I got to spend a good long while exploring Brian’s backyard with Wombat.
The party. Oh, the party was amazing. We had the right amount of food, and a booze-, candy-, and toy-stuffed pinata, and balloons, and flowers, and waaaaay too much beer. Everyone from my mom to my oldest friend to my old coworker who now lives two blocks from my sister came, from near and far, to help me celebrate my birthday (belatedly) and also celebrate 2 years of Dan and I being married. There were games and hijinks and shenanigans, and the poor pinata did not survive the night, though it took some severe beating with a billy club and Dan’s bare hands to make him finally spill his guts. We wore him as a victory hat, when we weren’t passing around my tiara. I just wish I’d remembered to pull down the viking hat so people could have worn that as well. It was a three Dan party.
I got to celebrate with most of my favorite people in the world, people who I see entirely not enough, and that alone made it a success. That everyone there seemed to have a good time was just icing on the proverbial cake. (There wasn’t cake, but there were Mexican wedding cookies and PW’s lemon crumb bars courtesy my sister. Delicious.)
We spent Sunday recovering and cleaning, returning and relaxing. We saw one sister’s progress on the backyard, and the other sister’s brand new place, and enjoyed a sit on Leah and Simon’s patio furniture, all while being carted around in Brian’s Prius. We spent Monday eating sushi and gelato with the Irish German, and then shopping and relaxing in our hotel room in San Francisco. We found Dan’s new favorite burger joint after hemming and hawing over where and what to eat for our anniversary dinner, and split the champagne Leah and Simon gave us over a shared slice of tiramisu in our hotel bed.
I was sad to be leaving on Tuesday, so we hightailed it over to Ocean Beach and the ocean made me feel very small (and what the hell was up with all the foam?), and then there was a rainbow. By the time we were through with lunch and shlepping to the airport, I felt a little better. We don’t live there yet, but we’re working on it. Everyone will be there, everything will be there, everyone is waiting, and I hope will welcome us with open arms when it’s finally time to leave Denver and go home.
(Click on any photo to embiggen)