Remember when I used to blog? Me too. How do those blogger girls do it? Where do they find the time? The sad truth is that I don’t have much time or creative energy for writing these days. Work is taking up my whole brain. It’s probably a good thing, but I do miss it. The writing, not my brain. My brain is still sloshing around up there somewhere.
Speaking of writing! I entered an essay contest in the summer. I had to write an essay about my story with Vancouver. If you would like to read it you can find it online here. And then once you’ve read it please vote for me and share it around with ALL your friends and distant relatives.
This type of self-promotion makes me cringe, just so you know. My usual mindset whenever I hit “publish” on something is that I’ve written it for myself. If no one but my Mom reads it, great. But… I did enter the contest so I should probably tell people this time, right?
What else have I been up to since you last heard from me? Travelling to foreign countries and getting sick!
Last Friday I packed up work early and flew to San Francisco with a small crew of friends to visit Colin who recently moved there. We made it exactly one month without him. (Note: I apologize for Josh’s rude hand gesture in the following photo)
The trip started off great, we stuck to Mennonite seating arrangements on the plane and had a boys against girls race to finish the crossword puzzle in the in-flight magazine. The boys won, I’m so ashamed to admit. The stewardess gave them a chocolate bar and some twizzlers as a prize. They were more excited about the opportunity to gloat and sing the All I Do is Win song. Colin picked us up from the airport and the guys were so excited to be reunited. See:
Adorable, right? We went out for dinner in Oakland that first night and that’s where all the trouble started for me. In Americah, they ask you how you want your burgers cooked. I said, “Medium-Well?” and when it came it was more like blue rare. But I ate it anyway because it was dark in there and I couldn’t really tell the difference. Plus I was too hungry to send food back. Big mistake.
I woke up at about 5:30 the next morning and my stomach was all in knots. I’ll spare you all the gory details, but let’s just say I’m now well acquainted with Colin’s bathroom floor.
I was faced with two options: stay at the apartment all day and spend my whole time in San Francisco sick watching American Netflix, or power through and see the city. I chose power through. It was a little rocky at first. I very nearly threw up on the train into the city and the first 20 minutes or so walking around I spent clinging to my Peppermint tea for dear life. But slowly the fresh air got into my system and I started feeling better. I managed to eat a banana mid-morning and a small garden salad at lunch.
On Saturday we walked. And walked and walked. We climbed up and down telegraph hill. We walked to and around Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf. We walked up to Ghirardelli Square. We walked up more hills to the zig zag street. And then when we were all tuckered out we walked all the way back to the BART station. To be honest, it’s a bit of a miracle that I made it through without being completely miserable (I wasn’t, I promise).
It was a cool way to see the city, because we walked through a bunch of the residential areas that we wouldn’t have seen otherwise. San Fran is beautiful and there is so much to do and see that it’s a bit overwhelming. I’d love to go back and explore some of the neighbourhoods a bit more, shop and check out some of the millions of places to eat.
On the train on the way back to Oakland, Krystle & I made friends with an old lady named Virginia who was a total riot. She gave us unsolicited life advice and told us which of the guys we should date (Dave was her favourite). Another older lady on her way home from the Giants game sat down next to Virginia halfway through our trip and joined our conversation. She pointed at Colin and asked if he was with us, when we said yes her eyes got all wide and she nodded in approval, ”Hmmm. Good, GOOD!” she said. Riding the BART was a cultural experience. The best people watching, random conversations, and high pitched train noises. Highly recommend.
Saturday night we drove up into the hills above Berkley and watched the sunset over the whole bay. It was beautiful. The photos don’t really do it justice. You could see all of SF with the Golden Gate bridge poking out from the clouds in the distance. ”Mmm. California. Beautiful.”
Late on Saturday night my stomach problems returned and by Sunday morning I was back hogging the bathroom, not sure if I’d be able to rally. Being sick is no fun regardless of where you are—but being sick whilst sharing one bathroom with five other people is a whole other thing. My friends took great care of me, were sympathetic and wonderful about it. They altered plans to make things a bit easier for me on Sunday and kept me laughing most of the time even though I felt rotten.
After church we went for a driving tour of the beaches and the Golden Gate Bridge instead of biking as we’d originally planned. In the end we probably had a better view of the bridge and it was less crowded than if we’d biked. We ate lunch at this amazing Mexican restaurant in Sausalito. You guys, tacos are my favourite food and I couldn’t even eat any. All I had was a Squirt and a bowl of soup. Life is hard.
All things considered, it was a good weekend. San Francisco is a cool town and I’d love to go back and explore more. I still want to see the Full House house and do an Alcatraz tour. Still, we managed to see and do a lot in 48 hours. And it was so good to see Colin again. I’m sure we’ll all be back sometime soon. But I suspect I will stay away from the burgers.