**EDITED TO ADD PICTURES**
I can't sleep. Yes, i realize it's 3:30 am. Yes, I am a freak. But you see, I'm still operating on vacation time! California time, at that -- where it's only 1:30 am and the night is still young! Um, yeah. So the combination of being unemployed for two weeks now (can you believe it??? I can't), the banishment of the alarm clock, and a delicious vacation in a delicious timezone -- well I'm screwed, pretty much.
So I thought since I'm awake anyway, and because I can surf the web all night long but can't buy anything because I'm unemployed, here I am, Internet. And I might add i'm typing this in my comfy bed on my brand new (refurbished: bargain) iBook!! Which I lurve. But it's going to take awhile to get it all loaded up like the one I had from work. That, btw, is the worst thing so far about losing my job -- I lost a year's worth of computer stuff from my (company) laptop. Live and learn.
And now, I present my vacation account for your envious pleasure:
Arrived in San Jose at 7, where Sarah picked me up. We then picked Danny up at their apartment and proceeded to a cool Italian restaurant near Stanford. I can't remember the name; Pomodoro something? But it was awesome -- the pasta was homemade -- thick and yummy. Then we went home and stayed up late talking. This was the beginning of the end, as far as my sleeping schedule goes.
Danny went to work and Sarah didn't. We got up around 11? 12? and went to my favorite Menlo Park breakfast joint, Hobie's. YUM. Had their famous blueberry coffee cake and a magnificent omelet. (I'm hungry right now, so please excuse the emphasis on food...).
After breakfast, we drove to Muir Woods, a majestic Redwood forest about 1 1/2-hours from Menlo park. The drive was beautiful -- right through San Francisco, over the Golden Gate Bridge, and up a windy mountain. Awe. Some. I have pics I'll post tomorrow, but i'm too comfortable/lazy to get up and go find my camera right now. Heh. Anyway, we hiked for over an hour, and even though it was slightly muddy, it was amazing. The air was so fresh, the kind of air you only get high up on a mountain away from a city. It smelled loamy and woodsy and wonderful. It was sprinkling a bit, but the tree canopy totally protected us. When we got to a part of the trail that was blocked because of a recent mudslide, we turned around and hiked back out. Dude, those trees. Are gigantic.
Then we continued up the twisty, two-lane mountain road until we got to Mt. Tamalpais, this awesome lookout point. We hiked up a steep hill (stopping to pant every 15 steps or so) until we were greeted with a panoramic view of the bay and the city and many green rolling hills in between.
I walked to the edge of a steep rolling hill and looked over the edge, which was a straight-down plunge lined with thick, green, grassy grass all the way down. Way, way, down. The grass was so plush I was tempted to roll down the hill. It didn't seem that steep because it was so thickly carpeted, but it WAS. Sarah looked a little nervous while I frolicked near the edge, but I'm in a phase of my life where I think I'm going to do a lot of frolicking near the edge. Hee. It was awesome.
While we were here, the only other people we saw were the remnants of a film crew; they were wrapping up a shoot of some kind; parts of the windy mountain road had been blocked off and there were several trailors in the parking lot along with a "stunt car" that had a giant camera "arm" attached to the driver's side door. I imagined Brad Pitt barreling down the mountain, camera trained on his intense face, but then I remembered he's in Paris right now with that bitch Angelina. *cough*
After all the hiking and breathtaking views and all, we were exhausted so we headed home. We were planning on going out to dinner, but once we hit the futon and couch, there was no getting back up. I was achy from hiking, but in a good way. A way that seemed to justify the awesome takeout I ordered from a nearby restaurant. I think this is the night Sarah and I drank a whole bottle of wine and giggled until 2am or so.
Today Sarah went to work and Danny worked from home and I slept. Pretty much all day. Off and on. It's cool because I've been to San Fran enough times now that I don't feel compelled to madly squeeze in all the sights - I can relax and veg too, which makes it feel like more of a vacation. Plus I felt like I'd been hit by a truck.
But I was up and ready to go by 4, when Sarah picked me up and took me to her fave salon where we both got spa pedicures and haircuts. I'm happy with my haircut -- the first one in a couple of years -- and my toes look purty. Then we went straight to a pizza-making party at the home of some people from Sarah's church. There were 8 of us, and this home was amazing. The woman who lives there is a professional chef who has actually written a few cookbooks. She had a tv-like professional kitchen and taught us all how to make dough, roll it, and make our own pizzas. There was red wine and interesting conversation and yummy food. It was very cool. Sarah and I were by far the youngest foliks there, and the only non-married people, but it was neat to hear about the other people's lives and how they'd gotten to where they are now. I feel like I got a glimpse into the "real" CA lifestyle. Afterwards we went home, drank more wine, watched silly t.v. until 3 am (are you seeing a pattern here?) and finally went to bed.
The three of us got up around noon and barely made it to The Pancake House in a neighboring town before it closed. But we made it and that's what counts. It was delightful and we were full and sleepy when we got back home. Sarah and I napped until about 4, when we drove to a neighboring town to visit a Nordstrom Rack. Shoe nirvana. Then we swung by the apartment to get Danny and went to In-and-Out, where they had the most delicious burger I've ever had in my life. I even loved the dusty, weird french fries. It was worth all the hype and I can't tell you how glad I am that there aren't any here. Geez. Late night, wine, TV, blahblahblah -- 3 am bedtime. sigh.
So this was the last full day of my trip, and we spent most of it in San Francisco. I just love that city. I feel little butterflies of excitement driving up and down the steep hills, and the rows of narrow homes in various shades of pastel make me yearn for a different life. Sarah and I shopped -- we went to a LUSH store and I spent less than I have ever EVER spent in that store -- under $20. WOW. We walked and window-shopped for a couple of hours, then we got the car and drove over to Sarah's workplace so we could park for free. We then walked to Union Square and did some more shopping, mostly at Macy's, where I helped Sarah buy stuff for her upcoming wedding. We also visited H&M, which I'd been curious about, and damn. Good thing I wasn't skinny and employed, because that place is a goldmine of cute, trendy, tiny, inexpensive clothes. It's like the Ikea of clothing, if that makes any sense. Then we hiked over to Chinatown and had a fab Chinese dinner at one of Sarah's fave restaurants. By the time we got back to the car and drove home, we were weary -- but the exercise felt good and I got my San Fran fix. Late night routine same as always, only I found myself still awake at 3:30am, which is 5:30am here. The utter decay of my sleep schedule was complete.
I got up "early" (comparatively) and took a cab to the airport. Flew home and got to my house about 7:30pm. Collapsed in exhaustion after briefly updating my blog.
So that concludes my trip account. We did a lot, but managed to relax and sleep a lot too -- a perfect getaway. I'm so glad I got to go see them again before they move this summer! It was awesome, as always.
Now I shall slumber.