Two of my best people are American, and as it happened both of them were venturing to California over the Christmas period. I'd never been to the US before, and never really thought I'd go to California anytime soon, so it seemed like the perfect time and place to go. We started out in San Fransisco, and it looked a little bit like this:
I flew in to San Fransisco where I met with Best Person #1 (Julia). We checked into our swanky Hotel Tonight, and Julia managed to keep me awake until midnight (aka 8am London time) by force feeding me whiskey sours in dimly lit bars. To be honest I can't remember much - I suppose that's what happens when you haven't slept for 30 hours.
It did the trick though, as I woke up ten hours later feeling all things fresh and ready to go for a day on town. We started off with a greasy brunch at Brenda's in Tenderloin, which also happens to house (or, not house) homeless communities of considerable sizes. A "tech bro" recently penned an open letter to the city's mayor on it. Apparently, he thinks that since he's worked very hard in his life, including "getting an education" (lol mate) he shouldn't have to witness the misery of homelessness. Read more here, and prepare yourself for outrage.
I enjoyed SF. I only spent a few days there, but still managed to tick off most things I wanted to do. We walked all the way up Telegraph Hill to peer at the Golden Gate Bridge, we visited the quirky little shops in the Mission, we walked through The Golden Gate Park - which, by the way, is one of the most beautiful manmade parks I've visited, and we got to know countless of SF people by Uber Pooling.
And as always when we travel, food was in focus. I went on my first ever food tour (Christmas pressie from bf - aka Best Person #2 - and best Christmas pressie ever), though it could as well have been called tacos tour - we had a about five different tacos, with everything from fish to pork belly to vegan tacos. And accompanying margaritas, of course. Another highlight was the burgers, both the ones in true America style and the ones less so. If you ever come across Umami Burgers, do yourself a wonderful favour and have the Truffle Burger. A little piece of advice from someone who used to be known as Burger Girl (no joke). I'd also recommend going for chocolate tasting (yum) at Dandelion, having artisan coffee and pastries at Tartine Bakery (though prepare yourself for a significant queue), and visiting the Bi-Rite Creamery for some organic, homemade ice cream. Yummy yummy in da tummy.
The SF food scene is glorious, in spite of all the queuing. People don't really do queues in London, so I'm always taken aback when other metropolitan cities do. Another word of warning, albeit a bit more specific - if you're a fellow food lover, spare yourself the pain of visiting Foreign Cinema. While the film that was on during our visit is well worth the watch (after all, it was Breakfast at Tiffany's), FC was terribly overpriced and not very good.
All in all, SF was great. Next up - LA.