I just got back from my super fantastic trip to San Francisco! There were really only two things I wanted to do when I was there…and I ended up doing more! My friend Ben and I got on a plane last Thursday and we partied like crazy until we left.
Some highlights include:
- Riding our bikes over the Golden Gate bridge-I have to admit, I was really proud of myself for going up these huge hills without getting off my bike or anything. Ben was a doll and carried my backpack the whole time even though it didn’t match his outfit. The bike ride from the bike rental place next to the wharf, to the little town over the bridge called Sausalito was about 8.6 miles. It was awesome to go over the bridge and see how many other people were just thrilled to be there. We almost got hit a couple times on our way to Sausalito, but we didn’t let the 45 miles an hour cars get their fair share of us…we kept plugging along, stopping at the most random places to take pics.
- Ferry Ride- We took a ferry back to the main wharf. We met this sweet lady that was in town for a 5-day wedding extravaganza. Included in the wedding was a 5k, where people dressed up in all kinds of outfits and walked from one side of SF to the other. She also let us borrow some of her sun tan lotion since we were burning up! Thank you Liz!
- Fine Arts Palace: This was the place I wanted to visit the most. I remember seeing it for the first time in So I Married and Axe Murderer and have wanted to go ever since. Some of it was under construction, but for the part that wasn’t…it was so gorgeous. I loved how it took me back to France….ah, a time I will forever miss! It was absolutely beautiful.
- Ethiopian Jazz Restaurant- For my b-day, Ben found this incredible Ethiopian restaurant. He knows that is my favorite food. Combined with the Jazz…it was pretty much the most fantastic place ever. We got down with the locals and listened to a little bass guitar.
- Yoshi’s-I can’t remember the name of the brothers who played, but we went to this Jazz club featuring two brother’s from Japan that totally jammed out on 3-string citar-looking instruments. It was amazing. While were there, we ordered a desert that was…get this….caramel ice cream on top of a brownie. Sounds pretty normal, right. Oh wait…it gets better. The ice cream had some kind of a Japanese spice on it that included some kind of chili powder, maybe some basil-like substance….to top that….the brownie was resting on some kind of popcorn and seed mixture. Don’t worry, they didn’t forget the caramel topping. It was very intense! Would I eat it for pleasure? Probably not, but it was worth the try.
- Legion of Honor - Ah, another French moment. Ben told me that for my birthday, he was going to give me part of the world….or at least the part I love. Along with the Eiffel Tower necklace he gave me, we went to the museum where I met Paul Mounet! Paul…oh, Paul, how I love thee let me count the ways. Have you ever had this complete connection with someone where all you can do is just stare and feel a burning in your heart!? Yes, I had this with Paul. Too bad he was a painting and he died in the 1800’s. Seriously, the connection with this piece was something I have never felt before. I felt like I had met him before. Seeing pieces by Monet, Rodin and Picasso was also pretty fantastic.
- Golden Gate Park – we were able to go to GGP and visit the de Young museum. We went into an exhibit hall where we had to leave post-haste because there were pieces that I didn’t care for. Ben, my editor, forgot he needed to edit along our art journey. However, we made it to the other exhibits that made up for it! Again, saw Picasso and some of his sketch-books. It was pretty awesome. We walked over to the Conservatory, where a dance group dressed in black and white danced. They all had jingle bells on their shins and choreographed their dancing. I don’t know what it was for, but they danced to accordions, fiddles, tambourines and drums. It was very Bohemian!
- Crab at the Wharf - I always wanted to eat crab-legs at the wharf…so we did! I was hoping to get down and dirty with the crab legs..you know…breaking them open and stuff, but the crabs came d-legged *sniff. Too bad, but it was totally good. Ben and I pretended to rate the food based on plating, originality and taste, just like the do on the Food Network. It was pretty fun.
- Pearls and Cold! It got really cold on the wharf. As we were deciding what to do, we kept ducking in and out of little shops along the pier. We stopped by one of the shops, where Ben bought me a pearl. I got to choose the oyster and then we opened it and pulled out this beautiful white and pink pearl! My first real pearl…and so pretty!
- Church - when we went to church, we walked in and these men were wearing Fijian skirts and leis. People were all in the chapel chatting and I asked a sister if we missed sacrament meeting. She told us it was stake conference. We came to find out that we were at the Tongan/Fijian stake conference! There was Tongan princess that represented Tongan royalty who was there. We were given headsets for translation. Kids from primary-young adult age were all involved in a choir that sang exuberant and lively songs of Jesus Christ. I have never heard so many youth sing with such enthusiasm and vigor. It was pretty incredible especially as the youth harmonized….wow…it brought tears to my eyes!