Well, friends, I don’t want to move back to SF. And I did have a moment – walking up Market towards the Castro Safeway, looking out over the house-dotted hills with the radio tower and the rolling clouds – where my heart squoze in panic and my brain shouted, “Get OUT! You don’t belong here!”
I got over it. But not so much that I want to move back. Despite having a truly lovely time on the trip, of course.
So here’s a rundown of what we did. Only have photos of select activities, so you’ll have to use your imagination on the rest.
We arrived Wednesday evening and had a delicious dinner at Burgermeister – an old fave of mine – in the Castro. Audi and her superawesome boyfriend, Mark, gave us a quick walking tour of the Castro and Lower Haight and then we crashed.
Thursday, we took the F down to the Ferry Building, which is full of quaint little upscale grocers and shops. This was the first non-ban day, and I’ll admit to buying two necklaces in about 10 minutes at the little street vendors on the plaza … but that was all I bought that day, I swear.
We had an AMAZING lunch at The Slanted Door, a restaurant I’d never had the chance to try while living in SF. Can’t recommend that place enough – especially now that they’ve relocated to the Ferry Building and you can chow down on Vietnamese spring rolls while gazing at the Bay Bridge.
After lunch we walked up Market toward Union Square, and spent the afternoon strolling around that bustling area. I introduced Husband Mike to the wonderful worlds of Paul Smith and John Varvatos. The Varvatos store is filled with limited edition photos of the Stones, the Dead, Springsteen, Dylan and just about every other beloved rocker you can think of … so that appealed to my photographer husband just about as much as the amazing duds.
We headed back up Market to the Castro, but hadn’t gotten too far before it was time to head back toward the Mission for my tattoo appointment.
I had booked time with Audi’s artist, Cecelia, at Warlock Tattoo many months in advance. My simple design was likely quite boring to a total master such as she. Seriously, check out Audi’s work sometime … it’s breathtaking.
We had walked for about 8 hours that day and I’m ashamed to admit that I packed THE WRONG SHOES. My slight wedges turned out to be devices of torture. So when Cecelia got going on me, even though my neck is a fairly sensitive area, all I could think was, “I am SO GLAD to be lying down! Do whatever you want to my neck, just don’t make me get up from this massage table.”
That’s the fresh ink thar. Bright red neck and all. Why a crown, you ask? Read about my deep-seated personal attachment to this symbol here.
Friday was shopping day, and our first stop was the big Goodwill downtown. I scored a bale of wonderful stuff, which I’ll show yas tomorrow, but we only got one photo of the experience. I’m trying on a wrap dress that didn’t quite fit.
Then we hit the Haight, my old ‘hood. A close friend had driven up from L.A. the night before and we had planned to meet up Friday evening … but while we lunched with Audi and Mark, he walked right in. I mean really, what are the odds? So he and his girlfriend shopped with us for much of the afternoon. How fun!
I’d had my eye on those Fluevog Bills for months, and the fact that they were flat-soled and my wedges were about to kill me, sealed the deal. I just adore them, even though I may only get one more wearing out of them until fall.
Husband Mike hit Amoeba Music – a mere half-block from my old apartment, and a store that I was once unable to enter without dropping at LEAST $80 on CDs – while Audi and I hit more clothing stores. My favorite? Held Over, a vintage emporium that was a bit out of my price range nine years back but yielded my favorite purchase of the trip.
We had an indescribably delicious dinner at Home (that’s the name of the restaurant) that night. Pot roast, mac and cheese, cornbread … it’s a comfort food lover’s heaven.
My L.A. friend, Amirali, and his truly-lovely-girlfriend-who-I-wish-still-lived-in-Mpls-so-we-could-hang-out-all-the-time JoAnna braved Fisherman’s Wharf with us, all for a glimpse of these schmos. I could gaze at the nervy sea lions who took over Pier 39 for endless hours, giving running commentary on their antics to anyone who’ll listen. Or just to myself. Doesn’t matter.
Sadly, my crab cakes were sub-par on this visit … but HM had some mind-blowingly good salmon. And we witnessed an epic seagull battle on the roof of the restaurant.
Sunday we scampered around in Golden Gate Park for a while, spending much of our time in the Japanese Tea Garden. Can you tell we had ridiculously gorgeous weather pretty much the whole time we were there?
Next we hit the DeYoung, where we saw a Warhol exhibit and an Yves Saint Laurent exhibit. I kinda hate Warhol’s work, but the exhibit was masterfully curated – multimedia explorations of the work and the man, an excellent Warhol 101 – and I enjoyed it more than I expected to. The YSL was chock full of pretty frocks, and it was fun to see some superfamous designs in person.
Audi couldn’t have been a more generous and accommodating hostess. She drove us all over creation, did whatever we wanted, and always had great suggestions for eateries and activities when our minds went blank. Meeting her was, hands down, the best thing about this trip. I miss her already!
Now, as you know, the trip coincided with the end of the shopping ban. I feel a little weird about showing off all of my purchases, and wasn’t actually planning to do so. But I got SO MANY comments from you fine folks asking to see the loot, that I caved. Tune in tomorrow for the fairly aptly dubbed “Sal Gone Wild” post!