Peter Lyons

May 09, 2010

California fun

Had a really fun extended trip to California. It was a work trip but I tacked on both the weekend before and after to hang out in San Francisco. I flew out early on Saturday morning (April 24), grabbed my rental car, and met up with Pat to hang out. It was a very groovy and enjoyable experience as I was in a very much "take it as it comes" kind of mood and just enjoying the novelty of San Francisco. Throughout the day, Pat would suggest something and I would say "absolutely, that sounds perfect". We got Salvadorian lunch, looked at a funny pawn shop, took a nap, rode the bus to the Apple Store and played with all the latest gear, and went over to Japantown for some yummy sushi. After sushi we walked around a bit and saw a funny scene. A pair of drunken college goofballs were stumbling their way across a big overpass and got engaged in a conversation with the group of homeless people under the overpass. This ended with the goofball dropping a small bottle of booze down to the the homeless folks, who then broke out into a rendition of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" and were clearly delighted. It was pretty funny.

After sushi we went and got ice cream. I was under the mistaken impression that I am lactose intolerant for the past 18 months. I recently got officially tested and learned that in fact, I am not lactose intolerant. There was much rejoicing. This was an official dairy-fast-breaking celebration and I got a big ice cream sundea (as it was spelled in the store) and it was great. We took a very crowded bus back to Pat's neighborhood, or so we thought. Something got screwed up and we ended up a few blocks into an area Pat had heard was not safe. So we nervously made our way back into calmer waters, hung out on the roof a bit, then called it a night.

Sunday I packed up my stuff in the car and drove over to Golden Gate park for a nice run. Afterward I met up with my cousin Ed for brunch nearby. Then back to meet up with Pat before heading over to Dani's house to hang out in her lushly overgrown back yard, chat with some Freedom Community folks, and learn knife throwing. As it usually happens, eventually additional members of "the family" as they say appeared and we discussed what to eat for dinner for about 45 minutes before finally deciding upon Peruvian food. So we all rolled to The Mission and had a big long meal with lots of good chatting (albeit much of the chatting was not entirely appropriate for a restaurant filled with families).

I tried to meet up with Ed again for Classical Revolution, but dinner ran late and all was finished by the time I arrived. And I arrived at the wrong address by a lot anyway, so I just drove down to Cupertino and checked into my hotel.

It was not a good work week to have a sore throat as I had to give two presentations, both of which were being recorded. It was pretty annoying and I really sounded strange. Other highlights included no less than four sushi meals included some served on a little boat and one all you can eat lunch. Friday it was back up to San Francisco to hang at Pat's where a little party was happening.

Saturday Michale arrived (yay!) and we checked into our hotel and headed over to the Embarcadero to look at the yummies at the farmer's market. We wondered around along the waterfront up to the wharf. I got a crab cake that I had been jonesing for. We also paid hommage to Pope Joe at Trader Joes so Michale could get her favorite hummus. Pat joined us later for seafood lunch and then napping in a nearby park near Ghirardelli square. Then we got some ice cream before heading back to the hotel. Michale and I took a "nap" from 6pm to 8:30pm and then just decided to give up on going out of the hotel again that night. I ordered room service and then we went back to sleep. Yay for mini-vacations.

Sunday we had excellent breakfast at the diner across the street, walked around a local farmer's market fair, and then rode the bus out to the ocean. We walked along the beach a ways and then took a long walk through Golden Gate Park. We tried to make our way to Cafe Gratitude for some raw food yummies, and after a few address mistakes, we finally arrived to find it closed due to a power outage. Bummer! So we grabbed some pizza on Castro instead and then took the bus out to Diamond Heights for a party at Marcia's.

The party was a lot of fun and Michale fit in with that crowd swimmingly, as I knew she would. It was good. There was ice cream cake and swiss cheese and lounging and talking and hot tubbing.

I commuted to work with my boss Monday morning and then back in the evening. I met up with Rebecca and Brian for rock climbing at Mission Cliffs a bit. It's always fun to visit new climbing gyms. Then it was back to the hotel for early sleep. Tuesday morning Michale and I headed into the BART just as it was opening at 4am only to realize the first train to SFO wasn't until nearly 5am, which was too late for our flight. So we had to fall back and take a cab to the airport.

Photos from the trip are here.