Monday, July 15, 2013

I Didn't Leave My Heart (Okay, I *Might* Have) in San Francisco...

...because I do love that town. I haven't been in around five years, but it's just as enjoyable as ever. I almost didn't go on this trip, which, as much as I wanted to to take, I so did *not* want to take. (My feelings about travel are complicated these days. It's hard to get away when you run your own business...). And it started out badly - flight booked for 10 pm instead of 10 am, two hour delay due to the Asiana Airlines crash last Sunday, so the flight didn't take off until midnight...I arrived in SF about 1 am local time...4 am my time. By the time I got my checked bag, got a cab, and made it to the hotel, it was 5 am Eastern. Can you say exhausted?

But it was a really great visit. I've been several times before, so didn't do much traditional SF sightseeing. I walked around Union Square the first day, Cow Hollow and Chestnut Street the next, spent most of the third day in Hayes Valley with Brett, and the last day was spent in the Mission District, which we LOVED.

One of many murals in the ethnically rich Mission area.

I didn't take many photos because most of the time I was hanging out in cafes or wine bars, taking in the flavor of the local 'hoods. But the Mission made me wish I'd brought my camera along, rather than just the iPhone. I'd been to Union Square, Cow Hollow, and some of Hayes Valley before, but the Mission was my favorite SF area by far.  Cool architecture, ethnically diverse, crumbling (literally) old buildings nearly next door to cute little eateries. Brett and I found tons of modern / retro items that we really loved, but didn't have shipped home (much of it was not exactly in the budget...), ate a bunch of healthy salads and breakfasts, and took in the cool, crisp air and relaxed

We split a summer salad (and I had the bottomless mimosas!) at Radish. We stayed longer than planned but it was a nice mid-afternoon break.  :)

I LOVED being so close to Union Square, because it was thrilling to see the urban styling. SF, of course, has its own style, just like NYC or LA. For the first time I brought flat shoes (it's taken a few SF trips to learn this lesson!) and I walked and walked and walked...I loved seeing what the people on the streets were wearing. Market Street is always, always bustling and the energy is contagious. 

The weather was quite chilly - I brought a scarf and jacket (for July?? that dang town doesn't really "summer") but they weren't quite enough in the evenings. And it was windy, which is nice when the sun is out, but around 4 pm each day I was wishing for the wind to die down. I cabbed to Cow Hollow, we rode the bus to and from Hayes Valley, and took the BART to and from the Mission, but once was a lot of walking. We logged nearly (or just over, on some days) 10 miles per day. Ten miles! On those hills! Sore feet, sore backs, sore knees...but so much fun. Such a good break.

Brett and I talked quite a bit about wanting to move back to the other side of the country. It's hard to travel West because it makes me really, really dislike coming home. Not that the other side of this country is so perfect - and there are a lot of things about California that are ridiculously complicated (for living there) but I will never be able to put down roots in the South. The mentality, the land, the aesthetic - I'm so much more matched with the West. And Brett doesn't say much about it, but he is, too.

Mid-century chairs at Harrington's, in the Mission. I'd reupholster (of course!) but love the shape. And in excellent condition. 

We saw so much modern decor that just made me happy. I love the design sensibility of the 1950s and 1960s. And it's hard to come by in Atlanta, though I did get inspired to Google around and it appears that there ARE some mid-century-ish shops...not up here in the 'burbs, of course, but ITP. I made a list and will have to find some time to check them out in the near future.

A shot of the Gryphon (I assume it's a Gryphon) on one of the doors at Mission Dolores. One of the very few sightseeing things we did. It had some lovely carvings. This was one of my favorites.  :)

Sadly, no souvenirs. San Francisco and I do not "souvenir" well. Last time I managed to come home with a scarf and a necklace. This time, nada. The problem with Union Square is that it's a lot of stuff that I could buy unless there's something really great that might not be available at home, I just window shop. Cow Hollow (which is where I bought last time) was not working for me, and Hayes Valley was close...but not quite. Also quite expensive, is Hayes Valley. Brett found some toys but I came home empty-handed. I'm okay with that...there's always another chance.  :)

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