I guess I should’ve mentioned in my earlier post that this is my 3rd trip to San Francisco. I’ve already done many of the touristy things (Golden Gate Bridge, trolley car, wine country), so you won’t see any of that this time. But San Fran is one of my favorite cities and every time I go back, I’m able to experience a little more of it!
Thursday — Thai, Tapas, and Theater
First official day of work. A couple minor snafus, but everything went off without a hitch.
The wonderful thing about San Francisco is that there was an Indian buffet across the street from our hotel. And a Thai place across another. Since I actually ate a buffet breakfast on Thursday (totally out of character), I went to the Thai place Thursday. My lunch was tasty. I could’ve used more vegetables, but usual Convention fare consists of cardboard pizza and dry sandwiches, so I’m not gonna complain!
After work, we decided to go to the Thirsty Bear for dinner. It’s a tapas place Kurt and I had been to four years ago and it was (relatively) close by. We had tickets to see Wicked that night, so we didn’t want to repeat the “where the hell is the restaurant” debacle of the night before.
The Thirsty Bear is also a brewery, so I decided to choose the beer sampler. Yes, folks, that’s right– NINE different beers (they were only 4 or 5 oz each… but STILL!). It came with a cool “legend” underneath each beer to indicate what you were drinking.
As expected, my favorites were the IPA and the wheat beer. I wasn’t so keen on the stouts, but I tried them. I also learned that E.S.B. really does stand for Extra Special Bitters. I didn’t believe Andrew when he told me that.
Tapas were phenomenal.
Unfortunately, we were a little rushed for time and Kurt and I had to ditch out on Andrew to make it in time for the show. Getting there was quite an adventure. We couldn’t hail a cab to save our lives and we were practically race-walking to make it to the theater in time. At one point, I thought I’d be better off running. We finally got a cab that took us ~ 4 blocks, but we made it to the show in time.
Wicked was playing at the Orpheum Theater, which was just beautiful. It’s a very old, very ornate theater. We got there right on time and I didn’t have a chance to snap any external pics, and they didn’t allow photos of the show, but it was AMAZING.
I couldn’t get over how big everything was– the sets were amazing, the costumes were gorgeous, the actors were amazing (Carol Kane played Madame Morrible). Some of the songs were a little cheesy, but I was just so000 impressed by the whole production. I’ve never been to a Broadway show or anything like that, so I’m not sure what I expected. But this topped it all! A couple highlights:
- Galinda teaching Elphaba the “toss-toss” method of flipping one’s hair to flirt with a guy. Uh… I know someone like that :)
- Fiyero describing himself as “deeply shallow.” Classic
- The curtain call. For some reason, I *always* get a little veclempt during the curtain call. I’m weird.
Friday– Run on, Retirement, and G. Love
Usually, about the 2nd or 3rd day of a trade show, you start to get bored. I spotted a guy wearing a “run on” tshirt and texted my friend about it, since he used to have a running “team” called the Run-ons. (English teachers are really quite witty. Really!)
When the guy wearing the shirt came into our booth, I just had to snap a picture:
Instead of going out for a fancy dinner on Friday night, we celebrated our colleagues, Pat’s, last convention with a pizza party in a SWEET hotel suite. Check out this view:
Then it was off to the G.Love and Special Sauce concert at The Warfield. G. Love and the boys did not disappoint. We had general admission tickets and were able to get fairly close. I LOVED the venue. Totally cool and “intimate.” Definitely one of the highlights of the trip for me. I’m not sure if Andrew and Kurt enjoyed it as much as I did, but I had a rockin’ good time. Crazy hippie dancing and all :)
Saturday– Last day, Haight-Ashbury, and Supper
As you can imagine, Saturday was a bit of a long day for me. Even though we had a short day in terms of hours, it was looong in terms of how I felt. But I made it through. And then crashed. I took a 3 hour nap that afternoon. I probably should’ve gone out and “done” more of San Fransisco, but I just didn’t have it in me.
Andrew was visiting with friends, so Kurt and I decided to head to the Haight for dinner. We went to Magnolia, a gastro pub Lisa read about in a magazine. There was a wait, so we decided to walk around a bit. Believe it or not, I had *never* been to Haight-Ashbury before. Yeah, it’s touristy, but I had to take a pic.
The food and beer were both good at Magnolia. The service was a little slow, though, or else I probably would’ve had a couple more beers. All in all, a great way to end our adventure in San Fran!
Sunday-Tuesday: Recovering in Chicago
Instead of coming home to Champaign on Sunday, I spent a couple days recovering in Chicago. I was waayyy too tired to do much, but we did spend St. Patty’s day in Millennium Park. We had super great weather and it was the perfect way to spend my last day in the “real world.” Again, I didn’t take any pictures. I need to get better at that.
Things I didn’t do
Although I’m pretty impressed with all the things we were able to do in such a short time (especially considering I had to actually work for most of it), there are a few things I missed:
- Warhol Live at the de Young Museum — Andy Warhol and Rock music together. I really wanted to see it, but the timing just didn’t work out.
- 826 Valencia (aka The Pirate Store)– Jane told us about Dave Eggers’ literacy project that features a “pirate store.” I never made it down there, but Kurt went and brought me back a souvenir skull. That’s gotta count for something!
- Alcatraz— I’ve never had time to take the tour, but I hear it’s phenomenal. One of these days, I will go! For reals.
- SF MOMA Museum store– I made the mistake on my first trip to SF to actually tour the MOMA on the last day of Convention. It was complete sensory overload and too much at the end of a long day. But I at least wanted to make it to the museum store ‘cuz it’s super cool.
- Take any pictures of myself in San Francisco. Seriously, what is wrong with me? I have tons of food pics but none of me! I really must get better at this!