SF.

This past weekend Manfriend (sometimes Boyfriend, depending on his attitude) and I jet-setted down to San Francisco for a fun weekend. After the Chicago debacle (see previous post), Alaska Airlines gave me a $100 credit so we felt the immediate need to put it to good use. No sense in letting that bad boy hang around for too long.

We got a screaming deal on flights ($166 RT after the credit, say whaaaat) and applied some additional credits toward a hotel (motel, holiday inn) and sha-bam! we were aweekending.

In three words? San Francisco rocks. If it were a mathmatical equation it would be:

Seattle + 4(public transportation) + 2(walkability) + cable cars + extra transients

That’s right, SF’s homeless population is mass-ive, but I guess if I were going to be homeless I would probably pick somewhere in CA. (San Diego, duh.)

We skipped out on work early on Friday (half-day Friday!) and were in SF by 4pm. The BART, which is a big reason I think their pubtrans is AWESOME, took us RIGHT from the airport to like three blocks from our hotel. And since we have legs, we totally walked there! Bitchin’.

It was naturally time for happy hour, and I needed a drink BIG TIME, so we set off on a never-ending adventure to find discounted food + drinks. This proved to be much more challenging that any person would every expect since

  1. I have an iPhone
  2. It has several food-related apps on it – including but not limited to Yelp, Urbanspoon, FourSquare and Happy Hours.

After making Manfriend walk around for almost 45 minutes looking for the “cool, hip San Francisco bar of my dreams” we settled on Morton’s. They have good eats but no drinks specials which…no. It doesn’t do anything friendly to the bill, let me tell you. To avoid another wandering adventure for dinner, I spent the majority of the time sipping my bubbles (weee!) and searching on several of the aforementioned apps for the “cool, hip San Francisco restaurant of my dreams.”

AND I FOUND IT. Hops & Hominy. If you are in SF right now, just stop what you are doing and RUN There. Unless it’s a Friday night, then first make a reservation because this place was hoppin’ (no pun intended).

Their featured drink was a bacon Manhattan which I definitely would have guzzled if I drank Manhattans. Their menu is simple and focused on Southern comfort food (I had shrimp & grits, he had fried chicken). We also got the sauteed spinach which was WAY overpriced (anything over $3 falls into this category for me) but I really could have made a meal out of it. ::drool::

We then retired to our hotel because it was 9:30 and, dammit, we were tired.

Saturday walked toward the water, got completed engrossed in the market and enjoyed the sun. We shared a hot dog AND a burger – then sat down to listen to these buskin’ fools:

ImageMad Noise. Their drummer is entertaining to watch & the guy rocking the guitar has an amazing voice. Listen to them now. Image

ImageWe walked back to the hotel to change and I stumbled upon this creme brulee cart:

ImageAnd since they weren’t around on Sundays I HAD to get one. I’d do it all over again. And thank GAWD Seattle does not have one of these. I would be there every.single.day. and would never lose weight ever. Om nom nom. #burntsugaryesplz

Then we hit up a Giant’s game (balls cold) where this adorable old couple gave us their tickets because it was (balls) cold and the Giant’s won in a 10th walkoff homerun. For the second night in a row. Plus, look at that view!

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Sunday was dedicated to Cable Car-ing to Alcatraz from our hotel. Acting as supreme tourist nerds, both Man and myself were VERY excited about this. (Tickets booked here.) We even did the audio tour, which I would strongly recommend because it paints a real picture of what life was like on the Island PLUS it tells you where to go. So, if you aren’t an idiot, it makes the tour easy and interesting. (I just pushed my glasses up my nose, nerd alert).

ImageWe took the 1pm boat and spent about an hour and a half on the island. Plenty of time.

We managed to get in one more high-priced, tourist-trapped happy hour on Fisherman’s Wharf at Lou’s before heading back to the airport. Lou’s features live music upstairs, and we could hear it loud and clear on the patio. Happy hour here is dedicated solely to drinks (opposite of Morton’s) so we had full-price-food. FPF is the WORST but I will say, it was tasty. Since it was Cinco de Mayo, we got a bucket of Corona’s and called it a weekend.

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Chicago.

For the first thirteen years of my life I spent every summer at my family’s wheat farm in Montana. Before you even think it, no we did not have cows/horses/pigs. My parents only did spring wheat, as it meant my dad could commute between Seattle and Montana. When I say “commute” I mean it in the sense that he would shuttle back and forth 2-3 times between April and September, depending on me, my schedule and my mom’s pleas for him to come back (it’s tough being away, yknow?).

Anyways, small towns are the exact opposite of the city. People wave when they drive last you, often with the simplicity of two fingers raised from the wheel. It’s not as official as Southern hospitality, but it’s something that is lost in the city. Maybe it’s because there are more people per square mile, or maybe it’s because they are just that much more self centered. Either way, I like to think I got my manner from the country and my driving skills from the city (speed up or move!).

After driving from Green Bay, WI to Chicago in attempt to catch my flight home the past February, I endured a massive snowstorm. A storm my mother would have surely abandoned her car in the middle of and my boyfriend begged me not to drive through. After days of being away from home, I promised to be safe and pressed on with my front wheel drive Ford Focus (hatchback, see photo). Not to plug Ford or anything, but that thing can definitely hold its own. And even though I made it to Chicago with hours to spare, my flight was cancelled.

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So, there I am stuck in a city I’ve never explored though I have flown into it more times than I can count in the last two years. Rather than saying, ‘screw it! Let’s go exploring!’ I said, ‘mmmm shower, Ben and Jerry’s, hours of Big Bang theory.’ Maybe it’s my age, late 20’s are sooooo brutal (read: sarcasm) or my relationship status (though not Facebook official, it’s been two+ years) but there was nothing about this night that motivated me to trek into the wild Chicago airport suburbs.

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I was smart enough to bail on my flight before it was cancelled, effectively avoiding the scramble and panic of securing a seat on the next available flight out. I managed to get a seat with no problem by calling Alaska, although it did mean I missed my exit thus lengthening my commute to the airport by almost an hour. Ironically I had no issues driving in the snow covered freeway however later while looking for my hotel, following my phone map and shoving Jelly Bellys in my face I did encounter some issues. Kind of sad, no? I easily picked ice cream + jelly beans over wine.

I had an enjoyable, slow day before my 3pm flight out. Getting stuck was more of a blessing than a curse. The Chicago airport is big and bustley but it’s also home to the BEST AIRPORT FOOD EVER: the Frontera Grill. Thank you, Rick Bayless. Anything you get there is good, but the guacamole is the best. Put it in your face and thank me later.

When it was close to my flights boarding time I leisurely walked over to my gate. I usually stand amongst the MVPs and MVP Golds to ensure early boarding. People that say, “I don’t understand why everyone is so anxious to sit down” (usually with a scoff) are commoners with no boarding status. I’m anxious because sitting > standing, putting my bag up top > being forced to check it and getting stuck behind a row of people that only once a century < than not.

Though my low-level status doesn’t allow me to board until the first class, Golds, armed forces members (thanks for your service, btw), anyone with something resembling a child or limp – I SOMEHOW manage to survive.

While waiting somewhat patiently to board, I noticed a woman moving glances between the gate and her ticket. She approached a nicely dress first class or Gold member and politely said, “Excuse me? Is this flight going to Seattle?”

Though a simple, “yes” probably would have sufficed, THIS guy decided that, “I don’t work here.” was a more appropriate response. Who says that??

Dude, I get it. Chicago was a total asshole to me, too. However, I’m not an asshole in return to everyone I meet. So, in the event that you are ever approached by someone with this same question, I have compiled a list of appropriate responses to get you by:

1. “Yes.”
2. “Yes, it is.”
3. “I sure hope so, ’cause that’s where I’m going!” (this should be said with a genuine, non-creeper smile.
4. “Yes, ma’am.”
5. “No.” (only if that’s really the answer.)

While it took me almost a full 15-seconds to come up with those extensive, deep and heroic responses I assure you that they will make someone’s day a little better.

PS: the aforementioned woman had an accent and this is exactly why non-Americans say things like “Americans are rude assholes.”

Lesson: don’t be a rude asshole, no matter where you are.