The San Francisco Treat
Makin my way down the West coast (LA, here I come!), I got to go to San Francisco last week for work. I swear, we don't travel much, us food bankers, but January has been a month for the road. The guys who do what I do for the Bay Area put us up at the Mandarin Oriental, a fancy schmancy worldwide hotel I've seen only in Thailand, where all the hi-so (high society, duh) Thais and visitors gather. I celebrated my travel arrangements by preparing for my sunrise-view, California King bed by dancing around in the buff both before and after my luxurious scented bubble bath. I do miss nice big apartments in the city.
The conference was fab. Just 10 or so of us food sourcers representing hunger relief agencies throughout the western US, ripping it up, so to speak. I can't praise the group enough. Dedicated, talented, and a comfortable barrel of laughs, especially after an outrageous Chinatown banquet or a down n dirty talk about produce and how it is we're going to get it out to hungry people with it all overpriced or rotting as it usually is.
As luck would have it (coupled with my pleading persuasion), my friend Mike also had business in San Fran and met me there. We spent the weekend trouncing around a bigger, wider-streeted, cleaner, wetter, warmer, foggier, blue and grayer, hillier, more public-transportation-friendly, Chinese, and finance and tech company-filled version of Seattle. The vibes of the cities are really pretty similar, but anything that could be exaggerated about Seattle is. Except for maybe the green and the mountains. But I hear these aren't far. Seattle also doesn't have Alcatraz, which is well worth the steep $26 buck a pop ticket price. The tour is well done and the view of the city spectacular.
It's not as good, however, as the experience biking across the Golden Gate Bridge. From the Ferry Building, past Fisherman's Wharf, rounding the bay and right up over big red herself, then a glorious downhill into sleepy Sausalito. On a perfect bright blue day. There was a moment about halfway from downtown to the bridge that we coasted through a park that, I'm not kidding you, was so picturesque I think actually sparkled.
Some random pics of site-seeing San Fran and Palo Alto (thank you, Mike for proof that we were there)(and for being a perfect travel buddy!)
at 6:23 PM