I just made it back to LA from a lovely weekend up North in the Bay. I finished TAing my summer course last Tuesday and I couldn’t think of any better way to celebrate and regroup taking a weekend getaway. I love going up to San Francisco to visit Nora and Gen but this time, one of my friends who lives in Cuba was back in town for a bit so I had to be sure to see her as well.
I got into SF on Thursday night and promptly met up with Nora and Gen in downtown SF for dinner, followed by an interesting night at The Battery. The Battery is a social club in San Francisco that holds various events throughout the year and on Thursday, it just so happens that they were having a really special event. I still don’t actually know what the theme/premise of the event was but basically, every room had something different. The club itself is absolutely gorgeous. Beautiful, elegant decor with bars and dining spaces on both floors. On the first level, there was a somewhat typical bar scene with people standing around chatting. Updaters things started to get more interesting. On a small plateau in the middle of two sets of stairs were people reading palms and telling fortunes. The line was rather long for this activity just we worked our way to it to the second level. In the corridor on the second level was an arts and crafts space. There were two tables, one for glitter/drawing/collaging and another for writing love notes to oneself. I didn’t actually end up writing a letter to myself, which I’m honestly kind of bummed about but I did make a great collage that I will be displaying in my room along with my art from random wine/paint nights.
After arts and crafts, we ended up in a room with another bar and some singing drag queens. They were quite the life of the party. This room definitely had a more fun vibe than the bar downstairs so we hung out here for a bit. And then to finish off the night, we learned a bit of salsa in the room across the hall. Initially we were all being lamos, standing on the wall, watching everyone else dance but we eventually got roped in since there was a shortage of “followers.” I really glad that I ended up doing this. It was a lot of fun. I got paired up with a random guy to start and then we ended up doing a move where we change partners while dancing in a circle so I ended up dancing with pretty much everyone. It was a good time. Kind of made me feel like I have coordination. Kind of.
On Friday, while all of my friends were being adults, I took a day to explore the city. I started my day with a class at Yoga to the People in the Mission. I had actually first heard of YTP from my friend Kyle while I was visiting New York last year. He said that he thought I’d appreciate it. It’s basically this awesome yoga organization that is entirely donation based and operates in the Bay, NYC, and Seattle. The instructor was great. The gorgeous 5th floor loft space was absolutely drool-worthy, and the come-as-you-are vibe of it was refreshing. YTP will definitely be my go-to yoga spot whenever I in a city where they operate.
After yoga, I made my way over to Dandelion Chocolate. Dandelion is a must-go for me every time I’m in SF. They make delicious hand-crafted small batch chocolate that is dairy- and soy-free. High quality dark chocolate goes a LOOOOOONG way in my book so I made sure to schedule Dandelion into my day. While the chocolate alone makes Dandelion worth raving about, the experience was made even better by the fact that I ran into an old study abroad friend. Kaylen and I both studied together in Paris through Middlebury’s program and hadn’t seen each other since that semester ended in January 2011. It was such an awesome surprise walking in and seeing her face. It’s always so amazing to reconnect with great people.
After Dandelion, I started making my way back to Nora’s, where I was staying. I had initially planned to take the bus back since I was about 4 miles away but it was such a lovely day in the Bay, and I was wearing my running shoes, so I just decided to walk. On the way back, I grabbed a coffee at Philz, this great local coffee chain that Genevieve has recommended to me. They had the most impressive selection of decaf options that I’ve ever come across in a coffeeshop and the blend that I got was top notch. Would highly recommend!
I made it back to Nora’s and chilled out until meeting up with her and her friends for dinner and drinks that night. On Saturday morning and I headed to Oakland to meet up with Sarah to experience the Lake Merritt Farmer’s Market. Sarah had told me great things about this farmer’s market before and I was not at all disappointed. Great variety of fresh, local produce and hot meals as well baked goods and other edible things. I ended up coming back with four spice blends, two logs of salami, and a package of beef jerky. And I tried so hard to stick to my budget! Womp. womp.
After saying bye to Sarah, I met up with Sam, my friend who is lives in Cuba and we chilled out for the rest of the day with one of her friends. There was no real structure to the day, which I appreciated. It was just to just be in a different place with familiar faces. That evening we went out to San Jose to meet up with another one of Sam’s friends from college, Q. We went to dinner and I had pho for the first time.
It was amazing.
We stayed in San Jose for the night at Q’s house. It was great to sit up and chat about everything that came to mind. On Sunday morning, I was up before everyone else (surprise, surprise) so I went for a short run, where I encountered this guy.
After running, I went back to meet Sam and Q and then we headed out for tacos and cheap clothes shopping before they dropped me off at the Oakland airport. Was a perfect weekend away from LA.