You know it’s time to re-remember your exciting trip overseas when you bump into friends who had no idea you went. My sister and I travelled to the United States of America in late April of this year. It affected me profoundly.
Mostly because it was the first time I had ever spent so much time without my kids since I first got to know them. All I had to think about was what I wanted to eat and when I wanted to eat it. I still had to find public bathrooms at unexpected and random times but, hey, they were for MY needs not anyone elses dammit!
So, in no particular order, my favorite things I experienced whilst visiting San Francisco were:
1. Airport security calling me ‘Miss’ and showing interest in me after an eleven hour flight, with a very precious 18 month old seated next to me. Of course.
2. Riding on the outside of the Mason/Powell Cable Car – even from between the knees of a German tourist who had mostly a view of my crotch until the Fisherman’s Wharf.
3. Clam Chowder in a Bread Bowl mmmmmm.
4. Real Margaritas. Real BIG Margaritas.
5. My sister enjoying said Chowder & Margaritas.
Isn’t she cute? She should know better than to let me take photos of her. That’s one of the reasons I love her.
6. Bristol Farms – how good is that place? I love supermarket shopping in foreign countries.
7. Fillmore: We found a secondhand clothes shop “Crossroads” and I was in heaven. I love op-shopping in foreign countries. Also, tiny hole-in-the-wall Sushi shop ‘Maruya Sushi’ where we were nourished with amazing spicy tuna rolls while we giggled at our incredible good fortune. Then ‘Browser Books’ where I purchased M.F.K. Fisher’s ‘A Stew or a Story’ and where I secretly hid a copy of my own book ‘Chooks in the City’, so that I know I left my book in San Francisco. It’s kind of like my heart. Don’t judge me, I know I’m crazy.
8. The Benefit Brow Bar in Macy’s: every girl traveller needs nice brows. It’s true.
9. Smoked Salmon, onion, salad and cream cheese on Rye at the Jewish Contemporary Museum. Oh, you didn’t realise that this trip was all about food? Really? This sandwich was good, enjoyed in the sun outside the Museum and only one stop in a food laden day.
10. Sitting on top of a ‘Hop on/Hop off’ double decker bus on a very chilly day to see the Golden Gate Bridge with a tourguide who looked like Keanu Reeves from his Parenthood days. Seriously.
Nanna Em loves the Golden Gate Bridge.
I can’t feel my nose.
11. Defrosting with a couple o’ scotches at Dirty Martini, Fisherman’s Wharf. Mmmmm.
12. BBQ Beef Sandwiches at Lefty O’Douls…this is SO not what Australian BBQ is like, I loved every chin-wiping, lip smacking, finger-sucking bit of it. Seriously, this may have been the first time we two sisters were silent at the same time, and awake!
13. The DeYoung Museum would surely have been on this list, had I known it was only closed on Mondays – our last day in San Francisco and the day we chose to visit it. Instead…
14. The Haight! Op shops, Taquerias (Hola Taqueria El Balazo!), Mendel’s Far Out Fabrics, very friendly, interesting people…what’s not to love?
I left the Haight-Ashbury area with a full tummy, 6 metres of fabric, 3 pieces of oilcloth and a very big smile on my face!
15. The Mission: where I was offered a special kiss by a lovely man who was half my height and twice my age in such a courteous way it made me smile, where there are MORE op shops, and where we found a wonderful small publishing shop: Little Otsu Publishing who had the cutest bookmarks, notecards, diaries, index cards that I wanted to put the whole shop into my pocket and take it home! BTW, I did NOT take the man up on his offer.
16. Philly Cheesesteak. I don’t know…is it supposed to be a Philadelphia thing? I wasn’t going there in body, but I thought perhaps I could go there in spirit by eating a Philly Cheesesteak Sub from Subway. I think maybe I did. It was good because it was bad. You know?
17. Remnant shopping at Britex. Oh Britex, you sure know how to woo a girl.
18. Hanging at Union Square Park, with ‘Cola’s’…phew I sure didn’t know what I was doing trying to order two Cokes. The girl gave me such a look.
19. Martin Luther King Jnr Memorial. A beautiful day, a beautiful park and actual serenity.
“No. No, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until ‘justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream’ Martin Luther King, Jr. Washington D.C. 1953
20. Travelling around San Francisco with my sister.
Thanks San Francisco; it was an absolute pleasure visiting.