Thursday, December 6, 2012

Ten Reasons Why I Loved My Vacation: San Francisco

This week has whirled by in a blur. It keeps me from feeling like the clock is moving in reverse, which is always good, especially when I spend forty-ish hours sitting at my desk at work, but the flip side of that coin is that I don't feel rested or relaxed. I feel tired and irritable. I want nothing more than to not go out anywhere, to curl up in my comfy clothes and hang out on the couch with my husband. Even when fun things, like dinner with a couple of friends I rarely see and a Christmas party and a much-anticipated trip to Disney World to see it all dressed up in its holiday finery, are on the calendar. Never mind the fact that when I am at work, I should be focused on my tasks, because if I'm going to do something, I prefer to do it properly.

Yet, here I am. ::ahem::

My mind needs a little break, it seems, even if my body can't be granted one. It keeps traveling back to the west coast, where I took my vacation this past August. (Four months ago. Before I was married. Feels like it's been a lifetime.) Ever since I saw The Pioneer Woman do a blog post recapping "Ten Reasons I Loved Our Family Vacation," I knew I wanted to do one of my own, documenting my trip to San Francisco with Nichole and Daniel. It was just the kind of trip you want to remember, and before I lose the *feeling* of this trip as a casualty of ever passing time, I'm going to take that little mini-mental-vacation right now.

1. The excitement of boarding a plane, knowing you're about to have an adventure, seeing a new place.

There is just something about standing in the middle of a place where you've never been, soaking in brand new sights. I like to stand still for a few minutes, turning slowly right where I am, just soaking in how it looks and feels and sounds. Those are the things I want to be able to call to mind later when I look through my photos.

2. We stayed at the coolest hotels.

We stayed one night at The Argonaut, down by Fisherman's Wharf, and the rest of the time at The St Francis. They could not have been more different. The Argonaut was quirky and nautical. The St Francis was sleek and classic.

3. The "inside jokes" born because you really did "have to be there."

Like this photo, for instance, which was taken by Nichole at The Winchester Mystery House. Doesn't look like much to *you*, but to us? That is photo contraband. The look on Nichole's face when she realized she just took a photo inside (photos were only allowed outside)...and the fact that she didn't delete it. We laughed and laughed over things like "Little Jerry" and how I threatened to murder the next person who suggested we walk back to the hotel after being made to climb eleventy billion steps up the side of a mountain up to Coit Tower. The cab driver with the napkins. The guy at the bar with "the question." Trying to make elevator mates wonder what we were up to based on the conversation we were having (we never were able to pull this off with a straight face). "Going UP!! Going down..." When you spend time with people whose company you enjoy, you're bound to find things to laugh about long after you've returned to regular life.

And so much laughter.

I have a series of photos--thirty-one, to be exact--that work something like a flipbook. I set the camera to continuous shooting and captured Nichole attempting to eat this gelatinous dessert with chopsticks. It was one of the funniest things I have ever photographed. It was like a real life cartoon.

4. The food. So many delicious meals.

5. Seeing sights you've only ever seen on television or in photographs.
Like Lombard Street,

The Rock,

and the Golden Gate Bridge.

It still has not gotten old (at least for me) to point and shriek, "I've been there!! I saw that EXACT. SAME. VIEW. I stood right there in that spot!"

6. The opportunity to play with my camera in a brand new environment.

7. The night tour of Alcatraz.

Hands down, one the coolest things I have ever seen.

8. Crossing an item off my bucket list.

One of the things I would love to do is see a home game for every Major League Baseball team. San Francisco Giants? Check!

9. Seeing the fog.

Not even close to a good photo. I don't travel with my tripod and there was no way to improvise one in the hotel room. So I took what I could. It's about as technically imperfect as a photo could be and I don't even care. Because when I look at it, I know exactly how crazy it was to watch the fog actually rolling in through the tall buildings of the city, completely blotting out lights and structures I had seen with my own two eyes earlier.

10. Being there. Being present. Having this opportunity and recognizing how grateful I am to have had it.

I was there. I saw new things. I made new memories. I spent time with dear friends. My life became a little richer.

5 with their own thoughts:

*krystyn* Thursday, December 06, 2012 3:34:00 PM  

sounds like a FABULOUS girls trip!!!

~**Dawn**~ Thursday, December 06, 2012 3:38:00 PM  

Well, girls-plus-Daniel, but yes, it really was awesome! Such an amazing city.

Nichole M Saturday, December 08, 2012 9:06:00 PM  

There were SO MANY HILARIOUS THINGS. Dude. Reading that paragraph gave me the giggles. Still laughing as I write this, even though it was number 3 on your list and I read the rest of your post!

~**Dawn**~ Monday, December 10, 2012 5:59:00 PM  

In my top three favorite vacations ever!

penuttpie Friday, January 04, 2013 3:43:00 PM  

I love this post and I love that town! I still can't believe I missed you guys by just a few days. I guess that just means that when we do meet up it's going to be epic!

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