This weekend J and I flew out to San Francisco to attend our friends' wedding. I first met the couple getting married - Alex and Natalia - my freshman year at BU because we lived in the same dorm, Loretto Hall, which wasn't, in fact, located on the university's vast and sprawling campus, but instead about a 15-minute walk away at a small Catholic college. It was used as overflow housing. I met a lot of my good friends in the dorm. We grew close, I think, because we were isolated, fondly dubbing our home away from home, "The Loretto Ghetto." Don't get me wrong, it was a totally decent place to live, but I mean come on, it rhymes. Needless to say, I was extremely excited about this weekend. For one thing, J had never been to San Francisco, one of my favorite cities. For another, we were going to get to hang out with old friends we hadn't seen in a while.
Because the wedding took place a little south of the city we rented a car and didn't waste any time upon arriving early Friday afternoon. With the help of a map I'd snagged at the airport we maneuvered our way into San Franscisco, got an incredible parking spot near the North Beach area and started walking. We saw some huge seagulls at Fisherman's Wharf, did some people watching at Washington Square Park and then picked a little Italian place on Columbus Avenue that seemed popular with the locals for pizza and a beer.
Afterwards, because we were close by, I told J he had to drive us down Lombard Street, the crooked street. Despite the fact that he told me he wasn't that into doing the really touristy stuff (I couldn't get him sufficiently excited to go on a trolley ride) I think he had a pretty good time.
We ventured back into the city Saturday and after getting lost downtown for, well, let's just say a while, we made it over to the Golden Gate Bridge and surrounding park, where we explored some more.
We had bloody marys and a late lunch with friends in Pacific Heights before driving up to Telegraph Hill for a quick glimpse of Coit Tower, and to see the adorable, tree-hidden apartments up there, and then of course J wanted to keep an eye our for those parrots we learned about in the documentary "The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill."
Since we didn't have too much time Sunday - our plane departed at 2 p.m. - someone had suggested we drive to the coast, and that's exactly what we ended up doing, then taking Highway 1 back up near the city then heading, sadly, to the Oakland airport, to go home.
Were there some less than perfect moments? Sure. We accidentally drove the wrong way down a one way road one time (San Francisco is very confusing) and J, in his hurried motions to get us turned around somehow put the windshield wipers on at the fastest speed, and I didn't mean to, I swear, but it was funny, and I started laughing and I don't think he liked that too much. Another time, because of the crazy air travel restrictions and the fact that you can't bring anything with you anymore, including saline solution for contact lenses, J bought what he thought was saline at a drug store downtown. When we got back in the car he decided to pull over and put his contacts (which he'd brought in the case) in since his glasses were giving him a headache, and it turned out what he'd bought was not saline solution, but instead emergency eye wash, you know, the kind with an eye wash cup, like if you're in science class and squirt chemicals in your eye. But we decided it'd work anyway and so there we were in our rented Subaru Outback pulled over somewhere near Market Street, with J putting his contacts in with emergency eyewash which, let me tell you, doesn't exactly work the same way as saline. He looked over at one point and told me, bleary-eyed, "I squirted it in my crotch." I lost it. We couldn't stop laughing.
And that's the thing. There were some stressful moments, there always are when you're on unfamiliar terrain and you just want to take it all in - the tourist attractions, people, food and lifestyle - yet you're on budgeted time. But you make the best of it, and J and I made the absolute best of our trip to San Francisco, not to mention the important part, seeing the most adorable couple in the world get married. Sharing that with good friends.
So when the priest who was officiating the ceremony told us to point our right hands towards the newly married couple standing at the front of the room and send them our heartfelt wishes for the future, I couldn't help thinking that I hoped they'd be as happy as we are. Because, seriously, I'm having so much fun.