Wednesday, September 14, 2011

flowers in your hair

There are some days that make you feel like you are in the right place, at the right time, with the right people. Recent events have allowed me to confidently say that I am right where I need to be. For now at least. So I would like to extend a serious thank you to LA. Fo realz. You've been working some serious magic recently and I am sorry I ever doubted you.

What a sweet little love note to LA. But really.

Let's get real, I just had the best weekend ever! But really, who's surprised? If my former posts weren't evidence enough, I was super pumped to make a little escape from LA and soak up my favorite city in the US-- San Francisco.

Jimmy and I packed ourselves up and set out Friday morning, homemade chocolate chip cookies in tow. Becca dropped us off at the airport and we quickly made friends with people around us-- Albert Brook's sassy knitting mother-in-law for one. We enjoyed some coffee and chatted as we waited for our plane. Here's us about to board. Look how cute we are.

A short hour and twenty minutes later and we had landed. We hopped on BART and motored over to Embarcadero. Jimmy taught me this San Fran finger sign so I wouldn't be too much of a square.

Unfortunately I only operate in square mode. But I've been told that's what gives me gumption.

We met Spencer right on Market Street, scruffy face and all. We walked to his cozy little apartment to drop off our luggage. Spencer lives right off of Haight and Ashbury-- the epicenter of interesting characters/hippies/straight up crazy hobos, or as Spencer calls them "Haightsters" (pronounced hate-sters and to be said slowly in his deep scratchy voice). We stopped by the laundromat to start a load of laundry for Spencer, grabbed a burrito for Jimmy and horchata for me, and made a couple stops at some very interesting stores. This one in particular. It's called "Loved to Death" and it apparently specializes in anything dead and creepy. If you think taxidermy is weird, you ain't seen nothing yet.

Yes. That is a squirrel dressed up in 19th century clothing in a shadow box. My mouth was agape the entire time I was in the store. There were albino raccoons, necklaces that contained little dead animals... it. was. strange. A good welcome to Haight. After testing our shock reactions, Spencer then decided to test our agility and endurance by taking us on a steep hike up to Buena Vista Park.

On the way we stopped at a playground to swing and spin around on the little merry-go-round. Then we got to the very top of the park. The fog was just rolling in and starting to cover the little city. We laid in the grass and watched dogs running around chasing after balls that their sassy gay owners threw for them. It was kind of like heaven.

We walked back to pick up Spencer's laundry and stumbled into a shoe store. Jimmy came very close to purchasing a pair of light blue shoes that were a) women's and b) referred to by Spencer as 'fairy' shoes but were c) only ten dollars. He didn't end up getting them, but Spencer did grab some pretty snazzy black Nike's that he proudly sported the rest of the weekend. After donning his new pumped up kicks we met up with Spencer's roommate Tim and his girlfriend Kelly for dinner at a Puerto Rican restaurant called Parada 22.

After stuffing ourselves full of delicious things (including my first fried plantains...) we headed to Whole Foods where I found this little beauty:

Yup, 1 1/3 bottles of wine-- delicious wine-- for $6.99. Done. We all had a couple drinks then headed to their friend Ned's house for a little high school friend reunion... plus Jenny. I felt a little bad crashing the party, but everyone was so sweet and welcoming. I can't imagine a better group of people. Ned ordered a limo (?!) for us and we all piled in to head to a local Irish bar. We danced around until we were exhausted. Last time I was in San Fran I think I was 16, so this was my first time experiencing the city as an adult. I loved it.

We woke up late the next morning and headed to get some breakfast at Pork Store Cafe. The food was delicious and certainly filled us up-- it was our one meal of the day! Jimmy had a very cute dish that was awkwardly named "Two Eggs in a Tasty Nest". Awkward only because I feel like they could have come up with something shorter and more clever than that, but then again, I don't have any hilarious ideas, so who do I think I am? After breakfast we waddled over to Goodwill to get some thrift store finds for what would be one of the most interesting experiences of my seasoned 22-year-old life.

Dance Party is a public access television show on KOFY TV in San Francisco. It's basically just people dancing around like they're insane for a half an hour with a host and DJ that look like they have been artificially assembled by aliens to somewhat resemble humans. Spencer stumbled upon the show a month or so ago and made it a personal goal of his to make an appearance. Luckily for Jimmy and I they were filming while we were there. We went to the 80s themed Dance Party, though you probably can't tell from our outfits...

...looks like Beetlejuice took up jogging with a dirty pirate and a smurf manchild.

Tottalllly 80s.

We danced around to fun music and enjoyed all of the crazy characters that showed up in ridiculous costumes. It was the weirdest mix of people ever-- old, young, short, tall, ugly, handicapped, loaded. La crème de la crème of San Francisco. It's a good thing we weren't under any influence or I may have not believed it was all real. We were incredibly sweaty by the end of it. We mustered up the strength to hail a cab then headed home for a much needed nap.

Jimmy headed off to Slim's, a swanky little bar where his brother Carlo was performing with his band, Dylan Cannon and the Woundlickers (sweet name, right?) Spencer and I left a little later because Jimmy had to be there early to take pictures. Well, we got a little bit lost off one of the bus stops and ended up getting there in time... to hear the last half of their last song. But of course we got there in enough time to pay the $15 cover charge. Awesome. We had some beers, met all of Jimmy's AMAZING family, and had a nice chat about life in general. Afterwards we converted Spencer into a crepe lover at the little cart vendor across the street. Nutella and bananas... mmm...

Jimmy stayed out with his family and Spencer and I headed home to watch some much needed Curb Your Enthusiam. It's been too long. That show.

And then came Sunday. Sunday, Sunday, Sunday. Spencer and I got up early and walked to "Happy Donuts" to redundantly get some doughnuts. I of course appropriately embarrassed myself by saying, "What kind of doughnut is that? The one covered with crumbs?"

Small bald foreign man: "Ehhh... A crumb doughnut."


Spencer got a maple doughnut (which was, let's face it, a rather safe choice) and we headed back to his apartment to begin the neverending day of football watching.

I'm not going to lie... I secretly loved it. Which I realize isn't the cool girl thing to do-- but again, I work in square gumption mode. We watched NFL RedZone, which only shows the exciting integral plays of every NFL game going on at that particular time--- non-stop and uninterrupted. It was insanely overstimulating. The boys have an absolutely monstrous television, and my brain was completely consumed with football. Spencer got a huge bbq chicken pizza and we slowly made our way through it as the day went on. By 4 pm, the games were done and we desperately needed some fresh air and exercise.

We packed up a frisbee and a couple of beers and headed to Golden Gate Park. If Buena Vista Park is heaven then Golden Gate Park must be the upper echelon. Truly.

We wandered for hours. We walked by the Japanese Tea Gardens, bison grazing in the field, split a deliciously messy ice cream cone, and I made myself a little daisy chain to wear around my head, as pictured here by this majestic waterfall.


Then we stumbled upon this sweet little windmill.

We finally found our way down to the beach, just as the sun was setting and the full moon was rising. We bravely whipped off our shoes to feel the cold waves.

...Did I mention heaven?

We took the bus back to the apartment to give our tired legs a break. Spencer and I wandered back down Haight in search of some free jazz music to no avail. Darn Sunday nights. We ended up stopping into Blue Front Cafe to split a gyro platter for dinner. We ended the night with Jimmy watching more Curb and Dexter. We were all exhausted. A very well-played weekend.

Jimmy and I reluctantly left the next morning bright and early. We all said our tired goodbyes on the BART.

Then of course Jimmy and I HARDLY made our flight thanks to SFO's ridiculously long line for Southwest.

It's always been sad to leave San Francisco but this trip I may have been a tad bit sadder.

Jimmy and I scurried home and picked up Becca to get some birthday pizza lunch. Both of my roomies have the same birthday! ...those silly Virgos. Get a shot of those little scamps, will you? Aren't they lovable? (I'll give you a high five if you get that reference). I treated them to some delicious pizza at Caioti Pizza Cafe in Studio City. Mmmm.

I really like them.

The rest of the day Jims and I laid pretty low. I skyped with Jamie for a couple hours before meeting up with a beautiful blend of Bravo and Bang friends at the Fox and Hounds to celebrate birthdays and a promotion for Mariko! Woo! It's only a block away from our apartment. It may or may not be our new stomping grounds.

A bittersweet ending to a very sweet weekend. Thanks to everyone who makes me feel like I am right where I need to be.

The rhythm of the weekend, with its birth, its planned gaieties, and its announced end, followed the rhythm of life and was a substitute for it. -F. Scott Fitzgerald

Kisses, all.

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