Two things I’ll miss when we sail into the sunset — girlfriends and walking.
Two things I won’t miss a bit — grey winters and biting-cold Montana wind.
This weekend I was lucky enough to soak in the good stuff and get outta the bad. On Friday afternoon, I hopped on a cheap Allegiant Air flight to San Francisco with two of my favorite ladies. We said goodbye to husbands, dogs, and children, escaping the frigid cloudy skies with giddy excitement. Last time I headed out of town time for quality girlfriend time with Joellen and Gillian was over 5 years ago, and I was psyched to hang with these two hot mamas for 4 days of city time fun.
First stop: our friend Melissa’s SUV outside of Oakland airport. Second stop: a giant (authentic!) margarita in the Mission district. Third stop: Sengalese food at Baobao, followed by a rockin’ dance party as dinner tables were cleared out from under us. “You dance crazy,” we heard, multiple times, from different patrons. True that. Not bad for the first few hours in the big city.
Thanks to our friends Andrew and Julie, we got to stay in a sweet apartment one block from the Presidio. While the mamas headed to yoga the next morning, I followed the siren call of salt water and ran to the beach. Now, if you know me at all, you know I only run when large predators are chasing me or I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to get somewhere fast.
As a landlocked beach girl, seeing the ocean after almost 6 months brings out my rusty running instincts. I spent the day tooling around beaches and marinas, watching fisherman, sailboats, and kiteboarders. Dreaming of the soon-to-come days when I’ll be staring at land from the water, instead of vice versa. Dreaming of the day when I will feel as urgent about getting to the shore as I now feel about getting to the water.
We drank champagne when we reunited, and hit the streets in search of Thai food. As the weekend wore on, we added Greek, Mexican, and Chinese to our cuisine, satiating those cultural cravings that itch like hell when you live in a town that specializes in burgers and beer (even if it IS exceptional meat and mircrobrews).
Speaking of cravings, we also filled our urban hiking cup to the brim. The best part about cities is that you can walk and walk and walk, and still see something new, vibrant, unique, or bizarre around every corner. I love that my girlfriends love walking as much as I do, and that we had the same chill exploratory agenda for the weekend.
On Sunday, we trekked over 8 miles, stopping to sample premium green tea, Vietnamese coffee, falafel, artwork, thrift stores, a brewery, a roller skate park, and — of course — beaches. The 3 of us all love the ocean, and you could tell: we cartwheeled near the water line, did headstands in the sand, and tried to absorb as much salt-water-laden goodness as our eyes, skin, and hearts could hold. These memories will feed us through the long Montana winter.
The highlight of our urban hike was walking the length of Golden Gate Park, where we had the pleasure of meeting these Barbies in a Boat. I’ll end here because — in a lot of ways — these 3 Barbies happily jetting around sunny San Francisco symbolize how I felt with Gillie and Jo this past weekend: carefree, fun, free, and easy.