I remember, looking up from sleepy eyes at the bright lights on the Golden Gate bridge. I was about three years old and it was dark outside. That was my only memory of San Francisco, even though we have boxes and boxes of family photos at Yosemite and the bay area. And when my good friend Ruben moved to the bay area to be with his girlfriend, I missed a good friend and dreamed of red trolly's and the red bridge I so faintly remembered.
Then in September, we made it happen. Ruben and Stephanie let me stay with them during the long Labor Day weekend and we even got to photograph their anytime session! Which you can view here.
They were the best hospitable people ever! And when they had plans on Saturday, I told them that I'd explore the city on my own. They worried about leaving me alone. Did I mention they're the nicest ever? Little did they know that exploring on my own is my middle name! I surprise people when I tell them that I've gone to dinner alone, or that I don't mind going to the movies alone, or sitting somewhere and enjoying God's wondrous world by myself.
So they dropped me off.
Geared with a camera backpack, my camera, and some walking shoes, I hit the streets. First the Embarcadero, making a very zigged-zagged line through the empty streets of the financial district, crossing into Chinatown, which was so alive and colorful! Chinatown was my favorite. Then I made my way slowly into Little Italy, and as night fell, I moved towards the Ghirardelli Square and Pier 39. By that time the lights from the square were twinkling and I felt as if I were in an entirely different world. I worked my legs that day. And my eyes were overfilled with so much life and so much newness. If newness is even a word. If it's not, then I vote to add it to the dictionary. Stat.
The nights were filled with the most amazing food I have EVER eaten! San Francisco also stole my stomach. Hand made noodles in Oakland, authentic Italian food in Little Italy, and the best Peruvian food I've ever had. Ever.
Sites, food, and nightlife. And... Some amazing friends! Ruben and Steph, you have no idea now much I loved being your hood and I appreciate how awesome you guys were in driving me around and really showing the true San Fran. So, while I left my heart in San Francisco, take care of it until I go back!
Enough rambling! On to the photos!
Flying photos. Random lake in the middle of California. And of course, Bart Station.
China town! These men and women were huddled in groups and played games. It was very intense! They didn't even notice me taking photos.
As we were driving into Muir Woods, I saw this little gem from the highway. Little did I know that it's the same boat that my photo friend, Eddie Yerkish, photographed. His shot is waaaaay better than mine and has won awards. This was my attempt to one-up him. His is still better :)
My wonderful hosts and tour guides! And lots of camera phone shots from the whole weekend.
Flying back home. The fog really started settling in.