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Getting to know San Francisco

by becca on June 11, 2010

When moving to a new city, I think it’s important to do a round of touristy stuff to get to know the city from that point of view that you may never have again. While we stayed with Leah in April and May, we made sure to do just that.

– Clam chowder at Fisherman’s Wharf, check.
– Pier 39 to see the sea lions, check.
– Night tour to Alcatraz, not checked off just yet. We talked about it a lot and we sat on the bay and looked at the little island. Who ever comes to visit us first, you’re in for a treat ;)
– Musee Mechanique, check. This place is awesome. Just a warehouse full of vintage coin slot games.
– Street car ridin’, check.

I have a feeling I’ll do these things many times before it’s all over — and there were a few other little outings better fit for residents. Like enjoying Saturday afternoon in Delores Park or a day trip out to Marin County for a hike. Like accidentally strolling through the Tenderloin or checking out a new bike shop and taking a prototype for a spin on the Embarcadaro and around the Giants’ stadium.

Looking back at these photos makes me really excited about our big move to San Francisco in just under two weeks — so friends and fam start planning your visits!

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Hop in the car with some of your favorite people. Roll the windows down. Turn up the music. Stop when you have to pee. Stop when you’re hungry. Stop when you see people kite surfing and you want to have a closer look. It’s a real road trip — something completely different from what we, as backpackers in Southeast Asia, had been experiencing abroad.

Now, I’m a big fan of public transportation. I love trains. I’ve grown to appreciate buses. Subways, trams, trolleys, sign me up. But after over seven months of depending on bus companies to get me from point A to point B, it’s a relief to go on a proper road trip. And last week when we drove down to Santa Cruz, a bus just would not have cut it.

Every turn down highway 1 unveils another breath-taking view and the control of being in the driver’s seat allows you to stop and appreciate these views instead of honing your drive-by photography skills. As we traveled up and down the coast, we got up close and personal with a beach full of kite surfers and a lone sunning sea lion; went thrift store shopping, which lead to Leah purchasing a pair of rollerblades for $1.30 and proceeding to cruise around for a few minutes before heading to the beach; and stopped at a roadside diner for hot chocolate to sip as we watched the sunset over the ocean.

As I wrote this post, I tried to tie this trip to how influential the mode of transportation is on personal experience while traveling (which is it). But in the end, this post is just in homage of the road trip – the quintessential American travel experience — and the memorable day with friends that Leah’s little Dodge Neon helped shape as we cruised down the coast of Northern California.

There are more (and probably better) photos from Phil’s new camera found here.

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Sipping Our Way Through Sonoma

May 5, 2010

Decent wine and real cheese are hard to find in Southeast Asia. And while we wouldn’t call ourselves connoisseurs, we missed both dearly while abroad and thought it necessary to spend a few days catching up with our old friends. What better way to reacquaint ourselves than a day trip from San Francisco up to [...]

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Welcome to America!

April 27, 2010

We’re back in the states and experiencing less culture shock than anticipated. We arrived in San Francisco where we’ll spend a few weeks with the lovely Leah Wolfe (Nate’s sister, my good friend, and our match maker) who’s big smile and palpable energy greeted us at the airport. To our surprise, as we exited the [...]

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