Tea Parties and San Francisco Roadtrip

Roadtrips are the way to go.

So much more exciting than taking a bus.

Heading to San Francisco in an hour or two- and then we’re staying in a youth hostel. We got our own room– Monica, Derek, Joe and I and Monica’s friend Kayla who’s headed to Guatemala for a job and is stopping by on her way there.

Should be an interesting weekend. Took out twenty dollars in cash and that’s all I’ve got for today and tomorrow. Do a lot of people watching instead of a lot of drink buying.

Today is absolutely beautiful outside– I went and ran errands at the exchange across the street in yoga pants and a tank top. Then ran into my favorite cashier whose name is also Annie, and we caught up and she told me to go to Japantown in the city. She’s so cute– she’s about 35-40, and always asks us girls if we want a ride to the mall. Gave us her phone number the first time we met her, said she understood how hard it was without a car and she’d give us a ride anytime as long as she wasn’t working.

Feeling good, catching up on my life and taking control of what I can manage myself. Had our workout training at 8:30 this morning, nice to sleep in.

Last night we had the ultimate tea party in our room. It started off with George, Carinne and I eating Thai food in my room in the dark together. Then, suddenly people started piling into our romo. Derek, Maddie, Joe, Izze, Tony, Monica, Selena, Hannah. We all sat in a circle. Derek brought homemade praline cookies, Selena brought tea, Maddie brought the tea pot and Michigan fudge, Hannah brought out the macaroons and Carinne ran upstairs and grabbed a big tub of honey. Everyone stayed in our room late into the night, to the point where Hannah, Monica and I were brushing our teeth and getting in bed while people were finishing conversations. My favorite types of nights. Monica and I kept looking at each other across the room last night, so visibly pleased at our unexpected company.

Later that night Jess wandered in our room as Monica, Hannah and I were having our nightly roommate musings. And Jess, through a series of events that shall not be mentioned here, had us laughing so hard we probably woke up the whole dorm.

I want to write more about the trip here from Colorado to California, but I guess I’ll just summarize now, in case it never gets told.

Drove all day and stopped in Salt Lake City for the night. Ray’s mom bought us the hotel because she was worried about us driving all night- so sweet.

The next day was beautiful scenic driving again– Salt Lake City, the salt flats, wonderful wonderful wonderful. Could write a novel. Then a whole lot of nothing for the rest of Utah and Nevada, and stopped in a Casino to get coffee at a sketchy Starbucks.

Stopped at a beautiful Subway up in the California mountains– had an epiphany and wrote for about three hours straight.

Got back to California and began easing into life here again.

Getting there. Definitely nice to have the weekend. And the tea parties help everyone.

Just back from San Francisco.

Wonderful city for inspiration.

But traveling partners can become such a complicated situation sometimes. Reminded that it’s best to make sure your traveling group fits you well before committing to a weekend together.

Weird vibes. Weird weekend. Really tired.

Saw a lot of hippies.

That was good.

Walked through a pretty scary part of town last night after the bars- prostitution and security alarms going off loudly through the block. Everyone uncomfortably quiet around us on the street.

Went to a really weird bar last night- seduced in by the Welsh bouncer who promised a hot tub, water bed and more. There was more. And there was also a water bed to converse on in the corner, where we met a few locals. Then sat inside the empty water tub and finished our beers while contemplating how attractive the people in San Francisco are. Everyone was very tall.

I got delicious Indian food to go on the street corner.

Got pizza later that night and a guy walks up to me, “What kind of pizza did you get?” “Vegetarian.” “Oh, that makes sense! You look like a vegetarian. The short hair and everything!”

We all thought this was absurd and hilarious.

A few people in that pizza place uncomfortably drunk. Falling over onto the table drunk, where their friends had to keep lifting them up. It was really sad actually, and made me feel very disgusted with the excess we all take our drinking culture to.

This morning I had pancakes and coffee in the hostel basement with Derek. Then hit the ground running in the city.

Walked through Chinatown, and ended up on North Beach. North Beach is where Jack Kerouac is from. It was pretty cool- lots of restaurants with names dedicated to characters from his book and a beat museum. Further north we came up to the beach, walked up and looked across at Alcatraz, and then went to the shore and dipped our fingers in the water. Not thinking far enough into our plan, the tide swept up over our feet and soaked out shoes and socks for a nice wake up to the city and the Pacific ocean.

Walked around a bit and painstakingly walked through the uber-touristy fisherman’s wharf, and then we jumped on a cable car and took it to the subway, which we then took to the Castro neighborhood, America’s gayborhood. It was really cute- so many gay couples walking hand in hand down the street.

After that we wandered a bit, and waited too long to eat lunch and started to get tired on those beautiful and ridiculous hills.

I really wanted to go to Mission- which has a huge DIY culture, and is known for artists, punks and feminists. Another time.

We ended up heading to Haight and Ashbury, stopping at a falafel shop and filling our stomachs. Then taking a few minutes to rest at “Coffee to the People!” and peering into the window of a locked up anarchist collective bookstore that ran by beach hours.

After that we started a journey to the “Full House” house. Which ended up being an hour long walk for a house I had no desire to see. I get a bit salty about it all, and never fully recovered from my mood. I need to take some time alone tonight.

Monica dropped her friend off in Berkeley this morning, so it was just me and the guys. It was kind of different because I really only know them through her. But we all got to see a bit of San Francisco, so no matter.

Fun fact: This weekend was the first weekend in the history of the Golden Gate bridge that it has been closed! It was on “hiatus” from Friday to Monday. Take from that what you will.

All in all glad to be back, and reminded of the fact that I am not necessarily a seasoned traveler yet. I’ve still got a balance to learn in regard to doing what other people want to do, and what I want to do. All I wanted to do all day was run off on my own and explore the city in my zen state. But looking back, it’s good to check out a city with other people. At least when you’re getting your footing. It would have been completely fine during the day, but I’m very happy we were all together last night. I would never do that alone. I don’t think I really even felt safe doing that with a group.


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