On Catching a Ride to San Francisco
At the end of September, Logan and his supervisor attended a conference in San Francisco, and I was able to catch a ride with them to the city. I’m incredibly grateful that I was able to tag along on their business trip; it turned into an unexpected mini-conference for me. I did some work, had a lovely lunch with a longtime blog reader, and connected with a fellow blogger. I also ate amazing food, attended an author event, drank way too much coffee, and walked all over the city.
Walking in San Francisco
San Francisco is a walker’s dream. It was easy to navigate the city by foot, and I felt safe. Over the course of three days, I walked roughly 25 miles! I have to say that I’m incredibly grateful because my back is doing great. Being able to walk without pain is amazing, and I don’t take my steps for granted.
Honestly, I can’t believe how much of the city I saw by foot. I walked down the Embarcadero for miles, cut over to the Greenwich Street Stairs, and walked up to the Coit Tower. From there, I walked through the North Beach neighborhood and around Pier 39. I also walked through China Town, the financial district, and did an epic walk on the San Francisco Bay Trail. I picked up the trail at the Golden Gate Welcome Center, ended up in the Mariana District, and walked through the district until I found DAVIDsTEA —it was the perfect spot to rest my feet and do a little bit of work.
My wanderings above happened over a three-day period, and as I walked, I thought about my mom a little bit. She moved from the east coast to San Francisco in her early twenties. She even learned to drive a Volkswagen Beetle in the city (it was a stick shift, too)!
When I caught up with my mom on the phone, I asked her why she moved away from the city. I’ve heard stories about her San Francisco days, and they sounded like so much fun. I wondered why she would leave a city like San Francisco. In short, she married my dad, got pregnant with me, and bought a house all at once. Life changed, and she changed with it. I do think she left a little bit of her heart in San Francisco, though.
I truly loved San Francisco. It’s too bad it’s so expensive to live in the city. Otherwise, I’d move to the Bay Area because it’s walkable, bikeable, has amazing coffee shops, and it’s near the water. I miss living near the water.
Swimming in the Sink
And speaking of water, a few weeks before my trip to the city, I told my swim buddies about Lynn Cox’s new book, Swimming in the Sink. During our conversation, a fellow swimmer told me to check Lynn’s website because she might be speaking in the Bay Area.
Later that day, I navigated my way to Lynn’s website and saw that she was scheduled to speak at the Dolphin Club about her new book. I was beyond excited to see this news! However, I wasn’t sure if the event was open to the public because the Dolphin Club is private.
So, I decided to be brave. I emailed the folks at the Dolphin Club and asked if the event was open to the public and if I could attend. I was thrilled when they responded and said that I could attend the event as a guest. Being inside the Dolphin Club and chatting with some of the members was a treat. Swimmers are a friendly bunch of folks. Also, hearing Lynn speak and answer questions was so cool. She’s one of my swimming heroes, and I adore her writing.
Lynn talked about her swimming adventures and her books, and she shared interesting tidbits about publishing and writing. For example, it took twenty years for Swimming to Antarctica to get published, and then it became a best seller. Also, Swimming in the Sink went through multiple drafts. She wrote two books—and tossed them—before she came to the current iteration. I loved hearing these bits of information because it made my writing process feel normal.
Good Eats and Coffee
I don’t shop for clothes or trinkets when I travel. Instead, I spend my time walking, sightseeing, eating, and drinking way too much coffee. For example, on our first night in the city, Logan and I ate at The Slanted Door. The Slanted Door “is a modern Vietnamese restaurant that showcases the abundance of produce as well as ecologically farmed meat, game and poultry found at farms around the San Francisco Bay Area.”
The Slanted Door didn’t disappoint us. Logan and I shared cellophane noodles, stir-fried wild gulf strip, rice, a pineapple spritzer (which was the best nonalcoholic beverage I’ve ever had), and we topped off dinner with a milk chocolate lime mousse. The food was delicious, and my tummy was very happy. We were fortunate to experience The Slanted Door’s delicious food and incredible views of the bay because we got the last walk-in table.
Another culinary highlight included lunch with a longtime blog reader at Samovar Tea. The food and the view of the Yerba Buena Gardens were incredible, but the conversation was even better. I could have talked with Priti for days.
On my last day in the city, I connected with Cait Flanders. I’ve been following Cait’s writing for a few years, and it was a pleasure meeting her in person. We had a lovely conversation over brunch at the Cliff House, and then we explored a beach cave, Sutra Heights Park, and walked on the beach. It was fun wading into the bay and getting my feet wet. Also, a wave unexpectedly got my pants wet from the knees down. Thankfully, my pants turn into shorts, so I didn’t have to walk around with wet calves for the rest of the day.
More Good Eats and Coffee
If you’re a foodie or coffee hound and plan on visiting San Francisco, I suggest trying:
- The crab benedict at the Boudin Bakery on the Wharf
- The crab spaghetti with asparagus and corn—along with appetizers—at Belden Taverna
- The coffee and bread at Bread and Cocoa
- The Carrot Cupcake tea at DAVIDsTEA in the Marina District
- Coffee and baked goods at Blue Bottle Coffee in Ferry Building 1 and Philz Coffee
In a nutshell, that was my trip, and it was an incredible experience. Seeing San Francisco by foot, spending time with amazing people, taking photos, and doing a little bit of work made me feel happy and grateful.