When I was in high school, one of my big dreams was to live in San Francisco with my friend Stu. We had some sort of 60s-era fantasy about being wild and free flower children, letting our creativity blossom and our destiny flow.
Fast forward to my mid-twenties, when I finally did visit the city, with my mom. The trip was in celebration of her turning 50, and we stayed at a cool hotel called The Cosmo (I think) which had a complimentary wine hour in the lounge every afternoon, ate dinner in The Mission, and browsed the shops. I loved the city, and always hoped I’d return.
Tomorrow, Joe and I are flying there! We’re going to meet up with his parents (who are coming from Illinois) and his sister, who moved there recently. Typically Joe and I love researching places we’re going and making fun plans, but this time we’re happy to just go with the flow and do whatever everyone else is up for. His sister Annie has laid out some awesome-sounding plans, and I’m looking forward to just going along for the ride.
A few of the suggestions on our email thread include: Lands End, Dolores Park, Twin Peaks, The Presidio, Chinatown, seeing the Bay Bridge lights, Sausalito, Muir Woods/Stinson Beach, and Point Reyes for oysters. To be honest I haven’t looked up any of these places for a sneak peek (and I can’t recall what all my mom and I did last trip), so I’m excited to just explore with no preconceptions — almost like how travel was pre-internet, when you couldn’t look at a million photos beforehand. (Part of me misses those days!)
Have any of you been to San Francisco? What were the highlights?
There is a LOT of talk in the news these days of how much the city is changing, with all the San Francisco artists getting priced out, taken over by the Silicon Valley ‘tech bros’…and here in Portland, there is concern the same sort of thing could happen.
For now, I’m just going to enjoy the sights, hopefully some sun, and catching up with our family. And maybe, while crossing bridges and people watching at parks, I’ll do a little daydreaming about the flower-child fate that never came to be. :)
p.s. This is my friend Stu. He is decidedly an actual flower child, and he’s the best.
(Top photo by Axel-Antas-Berhkvist, bottom photo by Lili Popper)