Friday, November 28, 2014

Betsy's in Town!

Ahhh I just love it when friends are in town!  Betsy is now my 5th out of town visitor!  Granted, most of these were in town because of business, but I'll take what I can get :)
  • Haileigh, a friend from my London programme
  • Amanda, a sorority sister who was at AU when I advised there
  • Hannah (and Megan) visited in July
  • Molly came too 
  • And you can't forget my (real) sister Brandy
Betsy is a sorority sister whom I met when I lived in D.C. She has since moved to NYC and I've moved to San Francisco.  Betsy got a new job as a campus recruiter and was in town for a college fair.

Betsy is an amazing friend, its always like no time has passed and we picked up right where we left off! Granted it was a few weekends back but I wish it was this past weekend!

OF COURSE we headed to 21st Amendment for a few watermelon beers. Thankfully they were still in season!  I haven't been back in a few weeks, I don't know if they are still on tap or not.  But I did take back my duchess status at the bar!  Thank you Yelp!

Check out that SWEET SWEET mullet this lady is rocking!

We got lunch at the American Grilled Cheese Kitchen. It was good, I just don't know if it was good enough to go back.

Oh and the BF was in town for the weekend too! We hung out most of the weekend with his friends who were in town so I didn't feel bad for having Betsy in on the action. She truthfully saved me from the xx hormones!  Yes, that is my jcrew vest to be funny.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

San Diego Times Two

Ah I can't believe I haven't written about my second trip to San Diego.  I went the first time back in August while the BF was he was stopped over there during his deployment.  Well, he had to stop again, so I went ahead and scheduled another trip down south! We stayed at the Andaz hotel in downtown San Diego and it was a great hotel in an even better location! They had a great rooftop pool and bar that had great views of the area.

It was so sunny and warm! Well, until the Saturday and then it rained and it turned cold, but the weather changed and it was warm again!

It was fleet week that week too!

The BFs ship was open to the public and I took the opportunity to come aboard. 

The had a fun little sign of the route the ship (boat?) took on the last deployment. I can't believe how far north they went...the arctic circle!

The helm (Is that what its called?)

Each of the flags means something but I have no idea what they mean. 

The have a helicopter landing pad too

The woman the boat was named after

And this....this my friends is the bf's room. I guess they decorate it for morale purposes. Behind that door 6 smelly men live in 1 room and share 1 teeny tiny bathroom .

Look how dirty the boat is!

We took a day trip to  Ocean Beach 
The weather was amazing but slightly chilly.  We went to a few bars and did a little shopping while we were there on Saturday.

We had a Sunday Funday and hit up a few bars.  We started at Barley Mash, then hit up the Blind Burro and then Wet Willies!  A whirlwind but a great time!

On Monday I had a little jaunt downtown by myself and saw a few of the sites.

The Gaslamp quater

Their tram/train system

Lion spotting!  Hard Rock Cafe had a brass lion outside.

All in all a wonderful time. I do miss those days when I traveled to other countries during my vacations, but seeing places in the U.S. that I haven't seen before is pretty cool too.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Smitten Ice Cream

While I was in Hayes Valley, I found the COOLEST ice cream shop! In one of the reused shipping containers, was Smitten.  It's made to order so each one is unique! Their menu changes daily and they use FRESH ingredients!  The day I visited there was vanilla, TCHO chocolate, fresh mint chip, creme franche and root beer floats!

I chose the fresh mint and had a TCHO chocolate topping. 

So many yummy choices!

I was waiting patiently for my ice cream. Each one is made by liquid nitrogen!

AAAAHHHH it was SO good! I could taste the fresh mint in every bite! I would maybe next time not get the chocolate topping, but it was magical!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Raleigh with the Besties

(Me, Erika, Nikki and Melissa)

Man, I’m exhausted! I just flew back from Raleigh on Tuesday. I was in Dallas previously as well for work from Sunday to Friday and then took a late afternoon flight to Raleigh to meet up with my BESTIES FOR LIFE!!!! I was so excited and I couldn’t wait for my work week to be DONE so I could be reunited with Nikki, Melissa and Erika :)

Nikki texted me back in early fall to let me know that John Butler Trio was coming to Raleigh and she wished I still lived in D.C. so that I could drive down for the weekend to finally see our favorite band. Well, I looked at the calendar and realized that I’d be half way to North Carolina and in Texas that previous week! So I excitedly texted her back that I may be able to swing it to take a personal trip after my work trip!  The stars aligned and I was able to make it work!

Melissa and Erika were next to tell! I was afraid that since Melissa was pregnant she wouldn’t feel like driving down and seeing a show (especially considering we would be drinking and she would not). But she proved me wrong and they both agreed to drive down that weekend. I was SO excited that I’d be able to see my besties!  Life in San Francisco was getting a bit sad since I have a total of one really good friend in San Francisco.  I needed something to look forward to!  

I suffered through my work week and then took off to head to Raleigh! I didn’t land until 9pm, and I was afraid Melissa (being pregnant) and Nikki (being the mom of twin 16-month olds) would be too exhausted. Thankfully they were not and we hung out catching up on Friday evening over a couple of bottles of wine (well, the 3 of us did while Melissa longingly watched us).  It’s such a weird concept to me to have 2 extra bedrooms for my friends to stay at (since I have a tiny 1 bedroom apartment), but I guess that’s what suburbia affords you….space. What a novel concept, but one I do not enjoy the thought of.

Anyways, so we woke up Saturday and had some bloody mary’s (and a tomato juice for Melissa) and hung out for the day. We headed to T. Mac Sports Grill to get lunch and have a few more cocktails and appetizers and then went home to get ready.  It’s quite weird that I left San Francisco and it was in the mid 70s and it was around the lower 40s when I arrived in Raleigh…brrr I have quickly gotten used to warmer weather.  Downtown was freezing, but we headed there anyways. We stopped at Busy Bee Cafe for dinner. They had an amazing cocktail list and I chose the Queen Bee. WOW! That was so yummy!  It had gin, St. Germaine elderflower, pineapple, sour and champagne. It would have been sickly sweet if I had had more than 1. We wrapped up there and headed to the venue.

I guess the original venue was under some construction so we got booted to another venue. However, this one was like an actual concert hall (with chairs) instead of a big open space so it was a bit weird.  We headed up stairs to sit but when JBT came on, we realized the acoustics upstairs totally sucked! So instead, we went downstairs amongst the crowds and it was MUCH better!

We rocked out for the show. But somehow we got stuck next to an older drunk cowboy who kept wanting to talk to us WHILE THE BAND WAS PLAYING. WTF?!?!  We played nice and took a selfie and then promptly set out to ignore us. We had such a good time watching the band! It was the first time I’ve seen them but Nikki and Melissa saw them at Bonnaroo one year.

Video of the band!

Hope this turned out

We headed home after the show and we headed to bed. Melissa and Erika headed home the next day and I stayed until Tuesday.
In the mean time, I got to hang out with the twins!  I can't believe they used to be this TINY:

And now they are 16 months and are SO BIG!

This is Sadie.

Summer is on the left.

I tried taking a selfie with them but I failed....oh well!

I had such a great time seeing my besties!  It was well worth the exhaustion and checked baggage to make it all work!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Day Around the Bay #5: Hayes Valley

Hayes Valley, as Wikipedia mentions, its boundaries are ill defined, Hayes Valley is generally considered to be the area north and south of Hayes Street between Webster (near Alamo Square) and Franklin (near the Civic Center) Streets. Hayes Valley's commercial center is made up of the section of Hayes Street running from approximately Laguna Street in the west to Franklin Street in the east, with extensions on perpendicular Gough and Laguna Streets.  It's an interesting little area, there are a few great blocks of really nice areas, but a whole lotta area where it ain't so pretty.  Much like a normal city!

I decided to set out to conquer Hayes Valley and role the Muni to Van Ness station. I got turned around and ended up walking FURTHER into the 'hood but eventually got myself straightened out.  When I finally got to the area I had intended, it was ADORBS! For example, below is Smitten ice cream! OMFG that ice cream was SO GOOD!

There's a whole park area, the Patricia's Green, which is surrounded by a few blocks where they have re-purposed old shipping containers into stores and restaurants!!

There's a play ground for the kiddies and tables along the outer edge to enjoy your morning cuppa Joe or to eat your lunch.

Quiet time by the tree :)

Then I happened along to a space that I can't wait to bring friends to and drinks lots of beer! This is the Biergarten. It's located at 421 Octavia street and its hours are Wed-Sat from 3-9, and Sunday from 1-7pm.
There was a lot of awesome art around the couple of blocks near the area. This is right across from a Blue Bottle Coffee kiosk location! Of course, even in the middle of the day there was a line! If you ever have the chance, you MUST try the New Orleans style iced-coffee!!!

Lots of color!

This was painted in a small alley way

Well hello little birdy! She stopped by while I ate my lunch because she wanted to say hello!

Beautiful clouds in the sky!

Want to see my other adventures?! Here are other Days Around the Bays:
Day Around the Bay #1: North Beach and Coit Tower
Day Around the Bay #2: Fisherman's Wharf
Day Around the Bay #3: Russian Hill
Day Around the Bay: 4: Mission Bay

Friday, November 7, 2014

Giants win the World Series...and SF goes WILD!

Well, the San Francisco Giants won the World Series! Granted, I don't watch sports, I did catch the last catch that won the World Series. Baseball to me is boring, but I guess I can get behind the excitement of something as big as this!  Being in San Francisco was cool too! Would have been even more epic if the last game was actually IN San Francisco. I live down the street from the ballpark, so I'm sure my area would have been even crazier than it was!

There were so many drunken baseball fans, honking car horns, shouting, looting, riots and yes, 2 gun shot victims. There's a reason I don't like sports...because of the destruction and violence of sports fans after a victory. Heaven forbid, a loss. Anyways, I'll get off my high horse and show you a little of the fun.

This was the day after at the stadium. They were selling all kinds of World Series gear.  People were just shelling out hand over fist to get gear.

#OctoberTogether...winning 3 world series in the past 5 years is pretty epic on all fronts.

 There was even a parade! AND ON HALLOWEEN DAY, NO LESS!!!  I took a few minutes to go downtown since the parade was only a 15 minute walk from me. The video above shows the craziness. Oh and it started to rain too. It NEVER rains here, sucked that it picked that day to do it!

Just some of the crowds

The players rode by on the top of double decker tourist buses

And this is what I mean by I don't understand sports victories. This is a FIRE in the middle of the STREET to celebrate!!!! WTF?!?!?!  Police had a heck of a time controlling the drunken rebelling.