San Francisco

What a trip! It was such a fun three days and the city is so beautiful. I traveled with one of my best friends and we had a great time. We didn't go with any specific plan, just figured we would wing it since there is so much to do and we didn't have any real "must-see" type things when we got there. We ended up doing two tours - one was the double-decker bus tour and the other was the Duck tour (those amphibious cars or whatever they call them). They were really good choices because walking around San Francisco is NOT easy (Too many BIG hills! Several of them at 23 & 27% and at least one is 32%. That's steep!!) and we managed to see a lot - and learn a lot about the city - in just a few hours. Granted, we didn't get to "explore" but that's ok. We know we want to go back, probably a few times and explore then. We chatted with several fun people, a few from New Zealand and Australia, one from Scotland, one originally from South America who has lived in San Francisco since at least '89 (same year I moved to Washington), two from Turkey, even a couple from Portland and Seattle.

The really entertaining part was knowing that on Friday, as we soaked up the much-missed sunshine, it was snowing in Seattle. Aaron sent pictures on the phone (which I shared with Northwest folks and they just shook their head in amazement, too) and measured about 8 inches of white stuff - and there was still some on the ground when I got home on Sunday night. We are just having a Winter that seems to be refusing to relinquish its position to Spring. Our tulips are popping up, roses are starting to bud and we get eight inches of snow. Go figure.

Back to San Francisco - I was reminded that I don't really enjoy flying, although Barb treated us and we flew first class. We did see a beautiful sunset on the way home, too. Its different to watch the sun set into the clouds. Barb and I talked almost non-stop through the weekend and while we caught up, I still feel like there were thousands of things left unsaid. We just don't get to spend enough time together. It feels that way with most of my friends. Everyone is always so busy and we live so far away from one another sometimes, it can be really tough to get together on a regular basis. We're talking about our annual birthday weekend and it looks like it might be our birthday weekend and girls' weekend rolled into one and I'm still not sure I can go! Its absolutely hysterical trying to coordinate schedules!

There was so much that happened over the weekend and I knew I should have journaled while I was there! Probably a dozen or more stories that I've already forgotten. I was reminded while I was there to not hesitate when you think you should do something. On Friday, after checking in at the hotel, Barb and I headed out to walk around and see what we were near and to grab a late lunch. I could only eat 1/2 of my club sandwich and Barb suggested I wrap it up and give it to someone obviously living on the street. I decided not to because who knew how long it would be before we saw someone and it had mayo & turkey on it - I would hate to poison someone with food that had sat for too long. So, I left it. We go out the back of the restaurant and wander by the Ghiradelli stuff debating on buying chocolate (believe it or not, we passed), head down a short set of stairs and who is standing at the bottom of those stairs? A homeless woman asking for food... I could feel my blood go cold as I looked at her, feeling the Holy Spirit convict me for leaving that sandwich upstairs. I had "logic-ed" myself out of blessing someone and there she stood. There was another situation in which I probably should have done/said something but decided against it and since I've been home I've been doing a lot of soul-searching. I need to come to a balance somehow - when something angers me, or I see a wrong and stay quiet, I fail. It is fear of being wrong in what I see and making a fool of myself and I'm afraid my anger will have me over-reacting (I can be a bit passionate about stuff...) so I stay quiet. (Yeah - I know - I go from a narrative on San Francisco to feelings. Go figure...) And let it eat me up from the inside out. There are parts of me that haven't made it beyond the "you are stupid, you are worthless, how do you make it through..." that I heard from one or two people while I was growing up. I always amazes me - and irritates me - how a thousand people can tell you how good you are, smart you are, worthwile you are and you still believe those one or two thoughtless & cruel people who told you otherwise... Another post, I think. :)

We also met a wonderful photographer who is originally from Philadelphia. We pass by his table (he was selling prints of his work) and there is a picture of lightening hitting a beach and I had to ask where it was. I was absolutely certain it was the Jersey shore and sure enough - (I have Barnegat Beach on Long Beach Island (in Jersey) stuck in my head but I don't think that's quite right, although Long Beach Island is) and he had a picture of Boathouse Row (in Philadelphia) at night. We must have talked to him for 1/2 hour or more. His website is a work in progress but he does interesting stuff with polaroids. Check him out - they look like watercolor paintings. His website is http://www.addariophotography.com/ and Aaron and I will be getting one of his pictures to hang over our TV. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

I'll stop talking now. San Francisco, if you haven't had the opportunity to check it out, is worth every moment. Perhaps it was just the "never been there before" thing but I don't think so. It's a city so eclectic - so full of differences - that you can't help but have a great time while you're there. I can't wait to go back!

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