This is about a week overdue, but I’ve been quite the traveling pants wearer with two back to back trips. Last weekend, I hopped on a plane for a much needed escape to San Francisco with my dear friend, Andrea. Other than my long backpacking trip to Europe in 2005, I haven’t had a “just because” getaway in years.
The main reason for this trip was to finally escape the craziness that is my daily work & personal life. So, for the first time in a long time… I didn’t have an itinerary. Can you even fully capture the magnitude of that statement? For a living, I get paid to plan events. My mind automatically (and psychotically) breaks down a day in 30 minute increments with all of my “to-do’s” dropped in a mental bulleted list. Yes, I’m insane, but I’m a damn good planner.
Only two things were planned/finalized: my roundtrip ticket from LA to SF and 2 free VIP tickets I scored for Outside Lands (I knew someone that knew someone that knew somebody). After an early, but quick flight north and a zippy ride on BART, we arrived in the heart of Downtown San Fran. This was my first time seeing SF as an adult so I was giddy with excitement– especially when I walked out of the BART station right in front of a 3 story Forever 21 (a budget shopper’s mecca).
First thing on the spontaneous agenda: FOOD. I yelped us the best breakfast within walking distance and we found ourselves at Dottie’s True Blue Cafe. I highly recommend this joint. Expect to wait at least an hour out front, but the wait is definitely worth it. French Toast decadence graced my taste buds as I doused everything with real maple syrup and stole bites of perfectly crisp, yet oh so tender home fries off of Andrea’s plate. Talk about full bellies– we left Dottie’s and went back to the hotel to sleep the afternoon away.
That evening we met up with our friend, Ben (see Ben here) who took us on an evening tour of Fisherman’s Wharf and Ghiradelli Square. There, I proudly wore a lobster hat and ate a delicious seafood meal at Scoma’s, courtesy of Benjamin. Thank you, Ben, for a spectacular dinner and the humorous, yet awkward guided tour through the wharf. Gotta love those sea lions, eh?
For the rest of the trip, my gracious angel of a friend, Erika, (aka “boo boo” or “DJ Deck”) let us stay in her studio apartment for freebies. Who doesn’t love the sound of that? That left us with more cash to spend on booze and medical grade mary jane for the concerts. HAHA. I kid, I kid. If my mom is reading this, mary jane is slang term for lollipops and gumdrops. I’m kidding– I’m all about a drug free America. I digress.
The next few days were an amazing, but awesome blur. 3 full days of music in Golden Gate Park and seeing two of my favorite bands of all time: Muse & The Black Keys. EPIC! Thanks to my dear “cousins” Sam & Ryan, we escaped the nightmare that is the public transportation system during Outside Lands and got to hang with some pretty rad, music lovers. The Black Keys & Muse killed it, but they were joined in greatness by Girl Talk, The Decemberists, STRFCKR, and Deadmau5.
Side tangent: Deadmau5 was mind blowing. So mind blowing that I blew off seeing Arcade Fire (I think someone at Rolling Stone just fainted). So AWE-mazing that I walked away from the stage furious with myself. Why, you ask? Because, this little piggy had 2 tickets to his LA show this week, which she bought for $50 each and sold them a month ago because her girl friend couldn’t go with her anymore. Looking back, I would have gladly gone alone and sold just 1 ticket to some house-music loving transient. UGH! Idiot!
Okay, I’m back. Not only did I get to spend 3 days with Sam, but I got to meet and hang out with MDH (“Modern Day Hippies” = Ryan + JV + Lorenzo). What a crew! This trip would not have been the same without them. Despite the broken rib that I gave JV while ninja chopping him in the chest, he was a good sport and, wow, can that boy sing a tune. After a gripload of wine glasses and maybe a little help from some other goodies, he was game to sing tunes with me. But let’s not forget about the “Beast”. Lorenzo is my new San Fran bestie. Overflowing with compliments for any beautiful dame that crosses his path, he was ready to PARTY. Just hold onto to your tv remotes because when you’re least expecting it, he can magically turn them into microphones as he belts out the best rendition of Rihanna’s “Take a Bow” you have ever heard. These two, plus Ryan behind the camera, joined Andrea and I in a vocal escapade while we chorus lined our little hearts out up 36 blocks in the streets of San Fran well into the evening. Lead by some random, Disney-tune singing drunkard from Santa Barbara, we stopped at various blocks to “battle” other groups of singing Outside Lands attendees. Lots of people go to San Francisco, but not everyone gets to sing Disney ballads, Journey, and television theme songs in the streets under the moonlight.
In the words of my dear, Samantha: Outside Lands and San Francisco were “AMAZEBALLS”. It was greater than I could have ever imagined. Fun times with old friends, chowing down on some unbelievable meals (DIM SUM GALORE!), and some rockin’ tunes. I didn’t leave my heart in San Francisco, but I definitely can’t wait to try again. See you in October, San Fran. I’m taking you out for a second ride.