Thursday, February 23, 2017

San Francisco

San Francisco and I have an interesting relationship. I visited for the first time in early 2010, after a crisis of losing two friends at once, and I was in despair for pretty much the entire week there. Despite that, I loved the city from the moment my sister Mary and I emerged from the subway, and although I sleepwalked through most everything we did, I can still look back at the pictures and smile. 

2010: "I am the most depressed I've ever been in my life!"
The second time I visited San Fran, I was headed up to Portland to visit my boyfriend (who just happened to be Zach). I was super happy about it, but at the time my oldest brother had complications with appendicitis and nearly died, so that kind of cast a shadow over everything, too. 

2011: "My brother nearly died on an operating table yesterday!"
2017: "I literally took no pictures of myself during this trip!"
Third time’s the charm, as they say, and this was it (despite the head cold I contracted and the dehydration headaches since there are no water fountains in California). Zach and I visited Mary, who now lives there, for a couple of days, and had a blast walking around the city. We hit up some of our old favorites— the waterfront, North Beach, Chinatown— and she also introduced us to Land’s End, a strip of wild land along San Fran’s western side. We walked along the beach (I hadn’t seen the ocean in two and a half years!), hiked up along the coastline, and explored the remains of a huge bathhouse, then trekked into a foggy forest that reminded me of a botanical garden. Huge lilies popped up from the thickets of blackberries and nasturtiums, with exotic trees towering overhead. Sometimes the fog was so thick, we couldn’t see the shore line below.

It's the Golden Gate Bridge! ...I swear!
Ruins of the Sutro Baths, and the backside of the Cliff House
Mary and ruins, looking epic as usual

Golden Gate Park

Grandma Kathy and Grandpa Ray met us at Mary’s place, and took us out to the Cliff House, a historical restaurant right on the ocean. We got a great seat and ate burgers while watching gulls wheel over the receding tide. 

View from the Cliff House

Although we only had a few days in San Fran, I was glad for a chance to visit the city again and enjoy it without any crises looming in the back of my head. But still, crises or not, it truly is a magical place.


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