Wednesday, March 4, 2015

If You're Going To San Francisco ...

San Francisco made its way onto my bucket list four years ago when I moved to the west coast. I arrived in Vancouver on a rainy Christmas Eve with my whole east coast life packed into four suitcases (more on that story some other day) and as I settled into my new surroundings I slowly became aquainted with the travel rhythm of west coasters.

It didn't take me long to realize that the weekend road trips down to New Jersey and New York City I had enjoyed so much in my youth would be replaced with getaways to Seattle and Portland. If I wanted to lounge on a beach I'd be heading to Hawaii or Southern California, not Florida, and if I was in search of a good time Las Vegas would always be an affordable option. And then there was San Francisco … a city I knew precisely three things about:

1) It was home to the Golden Gate Bridge
2) There were a lot of hills and slopes
3) If I went, I should wear a flower in my hair.

Just four weeks after Alan and I started dating, he headed down to the Bay area for a month-long business trip. We kept in touch with daily phone conversations, emails, text messages and a secret Drop Box folder where he would upload photos of the city, the wineries, his rental apartment. I would pore over those photos, inspecting every detail, trying to visualize this strange place that had taken my sweetheart hostage. My first glimpse of the city was through Alan's eyes and perhaps that's why I romanticized it the way I did.

He promised to bring me there one day and - fast-forward through six months of dating, a sparkly engagement ring, a wedding and two years of marriage - he finally made good on his promise.

San Francisco did not disappoint. I wasn't prepared for the foggy mornings and the cold wind but, other than that, it was lovely. The Victorian architecture and the beautiful gardens hidden away behind cast iron gates … the hills so steep they made my heart beat a little faster … the eclectic sights and sounds of Chinatown … the boardwalks and piers … the sound of seagulls squawking as they soared above the tourists in Fisherman's Wharf. Also, the thin crust pizza in Sausalito. I'm pretty sure I want to eat that pizza every day for the rest of my life. So delish.

San Francisco is the kind of place everyone should visit at least once. I'm so glad it's just a two hour plane ride away; we'll be returning again someday soon.

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