Today is gloomy; the fog peppers the pockets of blue sky and promise. I don’t mind, it reminds me of San Francisco. I have just been to The States on a trip that I thought would never come to fruition. Several years ago I had told myself and my best friend that I’d never travel solo after my husband’s death on our last trip together. Having said that, I did have a dream of going to New York City.
After my brother passed, I thought it only too opportune to take some time for myself and I became holiday booking happy. So I did it; I booked flights to San Francisco and then across to New York in what would become two weeks of divine travelling pleasure.
The day of take-off was a calamity worsened by my cocktail fuelled hangover and 3 hours of sleep. Power cuts, almost driving off without paying for petrol at the gas station, the inability to find my car storage facility and nearly missing my flight as I was waiting at the wrong gate were fizzled memories by the time I was greeted on board by my air hostess cousin and her friend, with a Bloody Mary in hand and a large bottle of water. I was mistaken for thinking that sleep would come naturally, but shuffling in and out of consciousness in my own private lounge was enough to prepare me for San Francisco.
I was met at the gate by an old colleague from my days living in Hong Kong. We hadn’t seen each other in 3 years and it was so good to embrace. I tried to get into her side of the car, thinking I was playing passenger. A rookie mistake y’all.
San Fran played up to its misty nature and welcomed me with its foggy cloak. Over the next two days Gee opened the curtains to her city. The Haight Ashbury had its hippie charm, in an attempt to hold tight to an era gone by. From the wafting of weed, to the porch 5 piece band, to being told off for handling vintage dresses the wrong way on a clothes rack, to the young man carrying a kitten nestled in an armful jackets whilst miaowing to a pop song and pulling the middle finger. We later found out when he asked for money that the reason for flipping the bird was because we were ‘Too f***ing hot to be walking down the street.’
We also drove across the Golden Gate in all its glory while I chewed on maple bacon salt water taffy and managed to accidentally crack heads with a women while I was laughing out loud. Apparently I have a laughing personal space perimeter and I am able to do stupid NJ-isms in other countries. Another first for both of us was a guided tour of a pornography studio in an old armoury. No… we did not watch or participate in any live action. We did get shown where part of Star Wars – The Empire Strikes Back was filmed and found a new appreciation for hand sanitizer.
After another amazing meal (I could get used to this), I said ‘goodnight’ to San Francisco and ‘we’ll meet again soon’. It was time for the next leg of my journey.