Our flight out of Chicago was delayed a few hours, but there are only so many $8 airport bar beers I can drink while waiting. I don’t travel by air that frequently, but I will say from now on, whenever I can, Virgin America is my new airline of choice. I’d flown Virgin Blue around Australia years ago when I was working in Queensland, and was always impressed by the experience, but I’d mostly chalked that up to the friendliness and laid-backedness of Australians in general. But I soon realized that the same culture that makes flying pleasant there persists on their flights in the States as well. After announcing our flight was delayed, the gate attendants distributed snacks to everyone while we waited. Free snacks! While we waited at the gate that had seats with power outlets aplenty. Power outlets!
On the flight itself, the flight attendants actually seemed happy to be there, and the 4 hour flight went by in a breeze thanks to monitors in every headrest that allowed us to watch a Final Four game on live on CBS. I don’t mean to write so many words about air travel when the real action was still all ahead of us, but after my last bought of air travel on United/Continental left me sleeping in the Cleveland airport overnight, it was stunning to remember that flying could be a pleasurable experience. So you should all fly Virgin America when you can. No, I’m not being paid to say this.
Mark and I landed in San Francisco and were greeted with fog and rain.
Not surprising. But what was surprising was that that was the last time it rained for the rest of our week in California. Blue skies followed us wherever we went. We were picked up at the airport by Adam and drove into the city to meet Bo for dinner. There was delicious Chinese food, loud music, beer, and some walking the streets before staying the night sleeping on Bo’s floor in the Mission District.
The next day was a lot of walking around the city taking in lots of tourist sites. We had good coffee and the best donut I’ve had in my life. We climbed hills.
We smelled saltwater air and ate fresh crab.
We casually strolled through the streets with no real plan in mind. People watching, seal watching, stopping for lunchbeers as we made our way to the Golden Gate Bridge.
We hadn’t quite planned for so much sun when we set out in the morning, so I got sun burnt.
But I couldn’t complain, because I wasn’t cold, unlike a year ago in the Smokies. Every step I took throughout the city was with joy and springiness, and I just stood and stared at all the scenic city that is San Francisco at every intersection and took it all in. We were in a state where nothing could touch us.
After deciding we’d taken in enough views for the day, we settled into a brewpub in Haight and sat on the patio and drank good beer and watched the sun get lower in the sky and make every shadow longer and longer and the wind chilled us a little but I put away my camera and recorded snapshots with my eyes and brain instead.
We rode the BART to the end of the line in Pleasanton and drove with Adam to Oakdale where we slept on a pullout couch on an almond farm.