A few weeks ago I went to San Francisco. Because why not? I’m going on business trips all the time, so I figured it was about time I took myself on an actual vacation. A 100% pleasure trip.
The weekend was…interesting, to say the least. That is to say, it didn’t quite go as planned. But I suppose that’s to be expected when I take myself on vacation. I rarely make actual plans anyway.
I took Friday off work and hopped on a noon flight to SFO. I landed around 2pm and took the train into the city, where I met my friend Bill at his office. (He works at a startup. Like everyone else in San Francisco.) He finished up some fun tech-y coding things (read: I don’t know what he was doing) and we headed to his place, stopping to pick up a six pack along the way.
After a beer and short rest at Bill’s sweet pad, we began the evening at the Rogue Ale House. I had two Rogue beers (which of course I failed to write down). We then moved on to a pizza joint, where we ordered delicious slices and had another pint. Then we went to another bar where we had yet another pint.
At this point I was five beers deep (most of you probably counted that on your own). And we hadn’t even met up with my friend Devo yet. It wasn’t even 8pm. The night HADN’T EVEN STARTED.
Soooo, this is where things went south. Because Devo showed up and we “went out” for real. To Polk Street. Which, I have decided, I don’t like very much. It was kind of bro-y. Also I was way too drunk to engage with anyone besides Bill and Devo anyway. I honestly don’t know how many bars we went to. I think it was three. I drank more beers. I also had a pickle-back. And lots and lots of water.
But despite watering myself profusely and taking a midnight stroll to the top of a hill with a pretty sweet view (which I hardly remember), the next day was a disaster. I spent much of it over the toilet and didn’t manage to truly get out of bed until 4pm. Ouch.
But you know what? I RALLIED. I fucking rallied like a champ. I finally dragged my ass out of bed, showered, and headed south to my friend John’s house. We promptly left his place and headed into The Mission for dinner.
Before we move on, can I just reiterate that I am A CHAMPION?!!? Any normal person would not have been able to go out again after a hangover like that. Hell, even normal me probably wouldn’t have. BUT I DID IT. Because I am awesome.
For dinner, John and I went to Mission Chinese. And it was absolutely fantastic (thrice cooked bacon omgggg). We shared a bottle of sake. (Seriously, I ROCK.) And then we went on our way to the next spot. In an effort to avoid beer, we went the cocktail route.
And so we headed to The Hideout, a nice speakeasy-style cocktail bar located in a back room of another bar (Dalva). I was a fan. The drinks were good (and actually quite different from Seattle cocktails, which was kind of fun to experience) and the atmosphere was just right. Great music too.
My friend Ben joined us there and we went on a strange adventure for a bit. First, we met up with a friend of his as she was walking her dog. We then stopped in at someone else’s apartment (they were having a dinner party? I dunno, it felt awkward.) and hung out on their roof for a while and drank Fernet.
[Side note: Fernet, let me tell you now, is foul. Avoid at all costs. It tastes like mouthwash. But Ben decided that I was missing out on a quintessential San Francisco experience if I didn’t drink some, so I had to. I will not do it again.]
We then went back to girl-with-dog’s apartment to drop off the dog, and finally headed back out to the bars. Or bar, I should say. We went to El Rio, a really awesome spot that I really hope to go back to again some day. There was a massive patio out back (with a GIANT lemon tree in the middle…bearing fruit, might I add!) and we sat outside in the lovely warm weather and drank Tecate. (Yes, I know I said I wouldn’t drink beer…but that’s what I was handed so I drank it. Because wasting beer is a crime.)
After a few beers and some delicious arancini from the street vendor who had set up shop in the courtyard, we headed back home for the evening. All in all, a much more tame evening.
Sunday was my “touristy” day. I went to the Presidio, walked to the Golden Gate Bridge, bussed south a ways, had some lunch at a cute neighborhood café, wandered over to the Sutro Baths, and then met Bill at Ocean Beach where he had just finished his beach league Frisbee game.
I then hopped on a bus all the way back to the other side of the city to meet my friend Bri for beers at 21st Amendment Brewing. This was pretty much the only thing I actually had on my list for the weekend, so I’m glad I made it happen. The brewery is really cool, definitely a spot I could hang out in regularly. And the beers. My fave. I had their unusual winter seasonal (Sneak Attack, a saison brewed with cardamom) and then the Dubstep, an imperial IPA.
After drinks I went back to Bill’s place and we wandered out for some spicy Korean food for dinner. Then we went to bed. Cuz I had to get up at 4am to catch a plane. (Lame.)
All in all, the weekend was great. I sure would have liked to do more eating and drinking, but I suppose that’s hard when you spend a whole day retching. I suppose I’ll just have to go back and try again sometime. Maybe I’ll have better results.
Highly doubtful. But hey, it might just be crazy enough to work.