“Leaving San Francisco is like saying goodbye to an old sweetheart. You want to linger as long as possible. “
I love this city.
This week has been pretty ridiculously busy, and I’ve spent a lot of it being Cranky McCranksterpants. So it’s probably best I didn’t do any sort of commentary. Last week, though, was amazing.
Started out flying into LA and renting the cheapest car possible:
Fiat 500. Booyah. Every time we saw another one the driver would give us a thumbs up.
First up was a 20-hour trip to SD, where I visited my old friend Jen. We hit up Comic Con…
…and ended the night at a gay bar with everyone was dressed like superheroes with inflatable flamingos everywhere. There was some carnage the next morning.
Kind of tragic.
After that it was up the coast to Santa Barbara
where we ate some good produce from my parents yard
enjoyed local brew
and binged on Blenders and burritos. Lots and lots of burritos.
There was also Red Rock
and some kayaking
It was a pretty fantastic week of relaxation and sun.
Then it was up the coast again to Carmel for a really spectacular wedding.
Instead of a traditional rehearsal dinner, Alix and Christian threw a rock legends party where everyone had to dress up like rock stars.
The blushing bride.
The wedding itself was out on a reserve
and the reception was held in a barn.
Alix and Christian run the Lazy Parrot CSA, and our tables had basil plants and all sorts of fresh produce to make our own bruschetta. That was awesome. As was the dance floor.
It was a spectacular weekend. The next morning we drove up the coast a little further to SF, which isn’t a bad place to recover with friends and fish tacos.
Then the red-eye back to Kentucky and right into the week from hell (OK, it wasn’t that bad, but it was busy.) I’m still exhausted. And tomorrow, assuming the weather mellows out, I’m on another flight solo out to DC for Kristin’s 30th.
But for now, enjoy the picture from our front porch tonight before the deluge began.
Yup, that’s right. A coworker and I were back in the Bay for the past 5 days (actually 3 days…2 days of all-day traveling, blarf) for a work conference. In addition to attending the conference, we made a “networking” stop down in Mountain View….
…where they provide their workers with free beer every Friday, have free cafes every 200 yards, and google-colored bikes lying around for people to grab if they need to get across campus. Big thanks goes out to Jess for the tour.
Saturday afternoon, after two days of conference and a morning meeting, we took a trip over the bridge in PERFECT weather in a drop-top Mini Cooper…
…to chill with some old grad school friends and their babies.
And now we’re back, work is in full force, Paul is in full studying and pickling mode.
Oh, and I changed my hair color.
…is where I was for the past week and a half. I sat down at a computer exactly once and it was for 5 minutes. And it was glorious.
The past week, in a nutshell:
xmas in santa barbara (and an xmas dinner in seal beach)
hiking in the mountains
at old hangouts
a little swimming in the sun
in totally amazing weather
then i headed thata way
where i spent a lot of time walking
over hills, through familiar neighborhoods
avoiding death monsters
hanging out with super awesome peeps, making great food
and eating (and drinking) it
enjoyed some local music
and local art
culminating in a bridal shower for alix
where my more artistic counterparts took over the job of making the rehearsal bouquet (because I was ruining it) while i went and drank champagne and ate about 30 shrimp before hopping on a red-eye back to kentucky
so long, california. until next time.
…continued from Part A.
Before we continue, did you know that September 17 is Constitution Day?
Chrissy did. And did you know that Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution? Now you do.
From the Inner Sunset we headed into Cole Valley for some uphill. Way, way uphill. Running sounded like a good idea, so that’s what we did.
It was easy. And by easy I mean painful. Ferg also figured out that skipping uphill is basically impossible. From here, it was time for steps…which we also ran up.
These took us to…
Stop #5: Michelle and Dave’s, Mount Sutro.
Dave and Michelle (and Cooper, their dog) had an amazing view and a RIDICULOUS amount of delicious food at their house. It was fantastic. We arrived sweaty and out of breath, and ended up hanging out there longer than the allotted 30 minutes due to some coordination problems with two other hikers who wanted to meet up (after about an hour we realized that they were waiting for us at Michelle and Dave’s old house across town. Whoops.) We decided to meet up with them at the next stop.
Fully fueled on pulled pork, mac and cheese, and brownies, we finally hit the road again. This next stretch would be one of the longer ones of the day. Road sodas in hand, we left Mount Sutro and headed down into…a forest.
Yes, really. This little jungle is nestled right behind Michelle and Dave’s, and is home to the only mountain biking trail inside the city (we actually had to let a few bikers pass by.) We emerged from the forest for yet another hill…
…and a few more stairs…
…to the top of Tank Hill, for a pretty fantastic cityscape.
(Note: Tank Hill was actually a hill for a water tank, not an army tank.)
At this point we were pretty far behind schedule, so we had to get our move on. After a handstand attempt at the spot where the water tank used to be…
…we headed downhill (finally) toward Upper Market and passed a minibus that, like Chrissy, understood the importance of Constitution Day.
We successfully completed our first crossing of Market (the main drag you can see in the picture above from the top of Tank Hill)…
…and managed to find a ledge to set the camera on autoshoot and posed for a full group shot. From here, it was down through Noe Valley to…
Stop #6: Summer and Ryan’s, The Mission
This stop resulted in 2 more hikers, 2 dogs, and a Katy Perry dance party. But 30 minutes later we were on our way again, through the Mission to…
W-K MARKET! The same stop we made last year.
Cutty bang time. This year tasted a lot better, for some reason.* We continued through the Mission without encountering A SINGLE bacon wrapped hot dog cart (a miracle)…
…successfully completed our first freeway crossing…
…and hiked up to the top of Potrero Hill to…
Stop #7: Ferg’s, Potrero Hill
Quick stop, we met up with 3 new hikers (and acquired another dog) and headed downhill (thank God)…
…to freeway crossing #2. Completed our second freeway crossing successfully, with some people showcasing their parkour skills down into SOMA. Counting strollers was long gone, but a few hikers were so happy to be on flat ground again that they just kept on skipping.
As dusk fell, we headed into downtown, crossed Market Street for a second time, passed City Hall…
…and marched straight into the Tenderloin to our old favorite hang out, Harrington’s Pub: where people smoke inside and dogs are welcome (which worked out great for us). We asked a lady in the bar to take a group shot.
Apparently she’d been hanging out at the bar for a while. But to be honest, it was probably better than any of us could do at that point. We finished up our drinks and hit the road again, where we saw…another double decker red bus. Why these things run through the Tenderloin I will never understand. This meant only one thing:
Time for The Outsider, another Tenderloin gem. From here we put on our blinders and made our way up the final hill to our FINAL STOP!
Stop #8: Sherwin & Peterson’s, the Tendernob
Victory. Pizza and football for everyone.
Finishing time: 8:30pm
Lessons Learned: Carl is the fastest skipper in the group; they won’t let you in to a marijuana store “just to go pee”
Flora and Fauna: Max, Lani, Cooper, and Huey.
*UPDATE: The Cutty Bang was on ice this year. General consensus is that’s why it was so much better.
Some fortunate people with calves like this had an advantage:
Most of us did not. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Location: San Francisco
Distance: 14.04 m
Entry Fee: A good attitude, willingness to walk up hills
Apartment Hike #2 was a massive success…no thanks to me. A huge HUGE thank you goes out to Molly, Peterson, and Ferg for making this happen. And, of course, all of the hosts. Without you, there would be no Urban Apartment Hiking.
AND WE WERE OFF!
Stop #1: T. Dude and Eden’s, The Richmond. Newly engaged. Champagne for everyone.
Eden couldn’t join, but was gracious enough to host. Their new apartment is awesome. We left the first stop with almost 20 people in tow…21 if you count the one in utero (Summer is a TROOPER).
Pat and Foster skipped through the park…
…and right into our first Red Double Decker bus.
Which landed us in Yancy’s at 10:45am. Sherwin (attempted to) skip through the door.
Stops #2 (Telleen, where we were provided with delicious fresh fruit), #3 (Molly, who made some fantastic cookies), and #4 (the Hesslers, who provided a wide range of delicacies) were all within 4 blocks of each other in the Inner Sunset. And that’s exactly how it went: boom boom boom.
Then we hit the road again…
…and walked the 3 blocks down to the Blackthorn Tavern for the second bus stop. Lara skipped.
(Gold star to anyone who can identify the origin of the yellow sunglasses.)
At this point we were halfway through our stops but had only been hiking for about 2 hours. And it had all been flat. We were fully fueled and ready to attack the upcoming hills. Things were about to get a lot gnarlier…especially for skipping.
I thought this was pretty awesome.
The purple dot on the map is where our apartment was, almost at the top of a relatively steep hill (though pretty mild by San Francisco standards). Next project should be to include elevation changes in our urban hikes based on this map.
The Steepest Streets in San Francisco
1. (tie) Filbert between Leavenworth and Hyde (31.5% grade)
1. (tie) 22nd between Church and Vicksburg (31.5% grade)
3. Jones between Union and Filbert (29% grade)
4. Duboce between Buena Vista and Alpine (27.9% grade)
5. Jones between Green and Union (26% grade)
6. Webster between Vallejo and Broadway 26% grade)
7. Duboce between Alpine and Divisadero (25% grade)
8. Jones between Pine and California (24.8 grade)
9. Fillmore between Vallejo and Broadway (24% grade)
Source: San Francisco Bureau Of Engineering.