We just spent a weekend in San Francisco. Neither of us had been there before, but we both definitely had ideas and expectations for what the experience would be like. Honestly? We were pretty much wrong. I can't exactly articulate what we expected, we just know it turned out to be what we didn't expect. Doesn't make much sense I know, but here are some basic observations, thoughts, ponderings, senses about our 60 hours in San Fran.
it's people are quirky. as a whole--not trendy, not sophisticated--just quirky. Eclectic.
the city is not as flamboyant as one might expect. admittedly, we're fairly conservative and didn't seek out the, I'm sure, readily available gay activities. but it just wasn't as "out there" as we'd thought.
the "Full House" theme song was in our head all weekend. I wonder if that happens to everyone?
climbing those famous hills can be likened to climbing a 14,000 foot mountain. except with oxygen-rich air, which was nice. loved it.
it's really cool to watch the gripmen manually turn the cable cars around at the end of the line.
i've now been in the Chicago Chinatown, the NYC one, the Seattle one, the Vancouver one, and now the "real" one--the San Francisco Chinatown. Loved it.
i love Irish pudding. and our waitress, who has lived in San Fran for two years, couldn't suggest anything cool for us to do. Seriously--does she get out??
i set foot in a Barneys. Actually, two feet, walked around a table, stood for a moment, and left. didn't love it.
Apparently we saw the Golden Gate Bridge. Supposedly we walked on it. Never really saw it, so I'll have to trust what I think I know. sounds a lot like life in general.
Fog is THICK in San Francisco. Crazy thick.
it's dirty. seriously--couldn't begin to count the amount of grayed, hardened gum pressed into the sidewalks.
Coit Tower is not worth the climb. and the bushes need trimming.
Lombard Street--the "Crookedest Street"--is awesome. i wish we'd driven it, but walking down it was cool. who comes up with this stuff? loved it.
I love being in major metropolitan areas. Denver really isn't one. This was close to like being in New York, with all nationalities around at all times. LOVED IT.
Side Note: Seriously, is Denver a city? I'm thinking not...it tries to be, but then it gets outdone by the neighboring Rocky Mountains.it's cab drivers speak wonderful English. I know i risk sounding "haughty", but i travel a good deal, and it's rare to be able to communicate with ease to a cab driver.
i always thought it'd be fun to live in the city, frequent a diner, walk everywhere, take public transportation...oh wait! that's what we do when we travel! it's enlightening to "try out" the city lifestyle. we ate breakfast at a corner diner both mornings. small, crowded, busy--but great food! and loved it.
staring at our map and trying to find a cross street, suddenly i hear an Asian voice, "Can I help you with a location?" i looked DOWN (love it) to see a tiny little Asian woman, very eagerly staring up at me. "Can I help you find location?" she asked again. So, I let her help me find my location, even though I knew where to go. ah, the little things. loved it.
Warning: Self Critique Time. (or maybe you love it when I admit my faults....publicly...on the World Wide Web....) I loathe the fear that threatens to overcome me when i'm in a new situation with unknown surroundings. why do i fear the man walking toward me, just because he is wearing raggy clothes and has headphones on? just because he looks different than i do? he would probably feel just as uncomfortable if i picked him up and stuck him in the suburbs. why am i so fearful of people?? i hate this part of myself. i want to get past this, and see people as Jesus sees them.
in China town, we stumbled upon a large group of Chinese men in the park--gambling. it was awesome. loved it.
city buses--for some reason, they freaked us out. not the people or anything, but figuring out the schedule. once we did, it was great! you learn so much about a city by taking the bus. loved it.
we did experience one crazily flamboyant guy. he wore a huge pink feather through his ear, like an earring. cept it was a feather. the tip of it was stuck through his earring hole, but from the back, so the feathery part shot backwards from his earlobe. pink nail polish, ruffles on his shirt, pointy-toed shoes, loud cell phone call where he said, and i quote, "i'm so over throwing parties for heterosexuals. they just don't appreciate it. my life is so homo right now--those people know how to party!" i think the whole bus breathed a sigh of relief when he hung up the phone. the whole bus except for the woman he then sat by. she seemed a little tense. maybe it was the feather protruding from his ear that the woman's baby kept grabbing at. loved it? not sure.
it took me all weekend, but I finally admitted something to myself, and now to you ... I don't really like sourdough bread. *Gasp!*
you know how some people just can't not talk non-stop to babies? strangers' babies? one of those people got on the bus. she was a large woman, with loose facial skin and bright white hair. she literally wedged herself between an armrest and a small African American woman who's feet dangled off the bus seat above the floor. like mine. she shared the armrest with a grandpa who held his grandson. the large woman with loose skin revealed a beautiful beaming smile, and proceeded to make funny faces at the kid for the next 15 minutes. at first, i was like, "seriously? are you done yet? say hello, call him cute, and be done with it." but after a while, i realized that this lady just likes to bring joy wherever she goes. Sadly, I am not one of those people, but i am learning to appreciate those people. 15 minutes later, as she waddled off the bus, she spoke joyful words to each person she passed ... and left us all with a smile lingering on our faces. Except for the baby boy. he, by then, was crying. go figure.
smokers--everywhere. i forget how generally healthy denver is. seriously. smokers--everywhere.
I'll close with this ... I found HOPE in China town. If you know me (or even if you don't but you've read my blogs) you know that I'm always looking for things that say HOPE. I've looked for Chinese script before, but only found characters that said, "Success" or "Wealth". Well, off the main tourist drag, near the gambling men, I found a store that sold HOPE.