Saturday, January 7, 2012

Roadtrippin', solo style

The Japanese word for weekend is shuumatsu (週 = shuu = week; 末 = matsu = end); that's the Saturday and Sunday (obvs). In December, there's the nenmatsu (年 = nen = year), which is three times better. Instead of one day off at the beginning and end of the week, we get three days each for the end of the year and beginning of the new year. Pretty sweet, innit?

With a good chunk of days off I decided to do something spontaneous -- well, as spontaneous as I can be.  Which means I thought about it for a week or so. Called my friends to see if I could crash with them.  Thought about what to pack. And on the 29th, I drove up to San Francisco. By myself! It's the longest time I've been on the road alone.  Which is why I was hesitant to commit at all.  I made sure enough people knew what I was up to before leaving, took a deep breath, and hit the accelerator.

After loading into the car everything I could possibly need -- knitting projects (yes, more than one), journal, book, clothes, camera, chargers, water, coffee, snacks -- it wasn't until about an hour or so into the drive that I realized I'd forgotten one very essential item: my phone -- YIPES!  I toyed around with going sans for the weekend, but it was impossible.  I'd have no way of contacting my friends, or getting around.  I'd be totally helpless. And so I turned around and drove back home. All the while cursing my own self.  Once I got home, it took me another 20 minutes to find the phone and refill my gas tank before I was off: again. Of course, I hit traffic.

It took me about eight hours (with one bathroom break) to finally reach my destination -- an apartment right about city center -- and my dear old friend had  a glass of wine and a darling two-year-old waiting for me: perfection.

The weather in SF was unseasonably clear and warm.  My friend, the baby, and I hung out in Noe Valley on Friday morning, and then I hopped away on my own through the Mission District and up to Japantown to meet an old roommate for coffee and a maddish visit to Daiso.  I'd jotted down a few stores to visit from Design Sponge's SF Guide, but it proved too tedious for my mood, so I just wandered around and poked into interesting-looking shops.  There's a mid-century furniture shop somewhere around 16th Street that always seems to catch my eye, which always causes me to sigh covetously at teak wall units and many a chair.  One day, my pretties.

On Saturday I went with my hosts to a New Year's Eve brunch -- fabulous idea that I might steal for this year -- which was one of the most international gatherings I've ever attended.  Simultaneous conversations going on in French, Arabic, English, Chinese, and Italian.  Beautiful Moroccan tea glasses, ceramics, and rugs.  Good coffee.  Good mimosas.  Lots of beautiful babies, playing harmoniously together.

At midnight, the three of us rang in the new year with a quiet, "Cheers!" so as not to wake the baby.  Then it was off to bed, and homeward bound the next morning, armed with coffee and a slice of toast.  I arrived at my door in five hours flat.

My SF photo album is dominated by pictures of a very charming 22-month-old girl.  I've put together a mosaic of the trip's other highlights below:

It'd been a good two years since coming to SF (last time was for the baby's baby shower!), so it felt good to be there.  I still don't know the city as well as I'd like to, and didn't get to meet up with my cousin, who lives there now.  Which means the possibility of returning is great.  Especially now that I know I can make the drive there in one piece. 

1 comment:

  1. [...] to my coworker that if she wants to visit her sister and niece again, I am confident in my northbound driving, so maybe we can go together, stay a few days in Fort Bragg (so I can visit the brewery!) and hang [...]