I never would have thought a few years ago that I would be traveling across the world and across the country in the years to come. Here’s to some good travel karma, and the chance to do what I never thought I could. This weekend has been an amazing close to a difficult but wonderful chapter of my life, and fundraising for CCFA has allowed me to give back in a really concrete way. But it also gave me the chance to connect with people who had the same struggles, and many who are still struggling. Needless to say I feel so incredibly grateful and hopeful that continuing research will bring an end to the disease. Here are some beautiful shots from the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. A gorgeous place, located in a must see park in San Francisco. You could literally spend a day wandering to and from the botanical gardens, bison enclosure, various ponds, Chinese Tea Garden, De Young Modern Art Museum, California Academy of Sciences, historic bandstand, polo field, and scenic bath houses (and I’m sure I’m leaving something out). This park is huge, much larger than Central Park, and not nearly as crowded.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a nerd, and when there’s a museum to check out, I’m there. NightLife at the California Academy of the Sciences seems like a well kept secret (thanks to the friendly guy on the bus for cluing me in!). Every Thursday night, the academy is open to the 21+ crowd from 6-10pm. Each week there’s a different theme, this week’s was how-to. Some of the how to hands on demos included sausage making (actually really gross), drink mixology, LED wiring, owl pellet dissecting, skull reconstitution, self defense, salsa dancing, bone identification, etc. As you can probably tell it draws a diverse crowd, and there was everything from Louboutins to Birkenstocks present. Which is fitting because it’s a unique experience, I certainly never really thought I would be listening to a DJ blast Beyoncé while learning about the mating habits of electric eels. You have free reign of the museum, including the three story indoor rainforest, earthquake simulator, and planetarium, all for $12. Which really beats the 30 something entrance fee during the day. There are also five bars set up around the museum, all full service but each featuring a signature cocktail. The one of a kind Andy Warhol collection I discovered in a secluded wing on the third floor was pretty much icing on the cake!
San Francisco is a welcoming city, and compared to the cities I’m used to (ahem, NYC) people are almost overly friendly and outgoing. It’s easy to make fast friends here, which came in handy when I needed a picture taken. When one man saw me struggling to see over the crowd he casually offered to lift me up so I could get a better view, as if that was the only logical thing to do. I politely declined, although I was stuck by how completely genuine and kind the offer was. I did, however, let him snap a few pictures for me from his superior vantage point.
I have to say the highlight of my day was getting asked for directions by two bewildered tourists and actually being able to give them. As any traveler probably knows, there are few greater compliments than getting mistaken for a local.
My first half marathon is in a few days (gulp). I’ve trained, I’m ready. I think. But no matter what my finish time is I’m going to love the beautiful Napa scenery I get to enjoy along the way.
But first, being the travel hopeful that I am, I decided to squeeze in a few days in San Francisco. Trips like this are hard because just as I start to get a feel for the city it’s time to go. Yesterday I had the opportunity to check out Chinatown, which was slightly less crowded and more manageable than what I’m used to in NYC. San Francisco is still a city for sure, but the more laid back California mindset is apparent. I was surprised to find my self annoyed at the slow pace, compared to the walk-run that New Yorkers know so well (and which, evidently, I am also guilty of).
As any vacationer will tell you the relaxation can only really begin after all the bags are packed and the security checkpoints crossed (good luck with that carry on). My own summer plans include a few short trips, clumsily squeezed in among summer weekends that are already busier than I would like. As far as dream destinations go, I have a lot. Most of them in Europe, but those don’t really lend themselves to last minute getaways. So this summer I am staying stateside. Paris will have to wait. I will get there. Eventually. Right now I am thinking more along the lines of a long weekend in California. I have never been to the West Coast, and San Diego, CA tops my destination wishlist. I’m just worried once I visit I will decide not to return. Just a risk I will have to take I guess.
Take a look at San Diego Magazine, decide where to eat, what to pack, and where to party.