Road Trip, Part Two!

(Originally, I was going to make a single post about my roadtrip, but it’s so long! I’ll split it up so it’s not so daunting. So this section is Part Two: San Francisco.)

UCSC was lovely, but we had to push through and continue on our journey! This time we needed to make the drive from Santa Cruz to San Francisco to say with Mirthala, my sister Teresa’s former roommate and bridesmaid. The drive was about 75.5 mi – about 1 hour 32 mins, and we got a later start than we anticipated. By the time we got there, around 5:30 PM, Mirthala was on her way to class from work, and wouldn’t be out until around 10PM. Teresa was on her flight to Oakland from Orange County, so Brittani and I decided to walk around the neighborhood. And what a neighborhood it is! Mirthala’s apartment is a block away from the panhandle of Golden Gate Park, and about two blocks from Haight&Ashbury! It was also close to several colleges, namely University of San Francisco. We walked there, but they wouldn’t let us use their bathroom, lol. So we found a Starbucks again and chilled there for a little bit. Eventually as the afternoon wore on, I got a little chilly in my shorts and t-shirt, so we made our way back to the car so I could get a sweatshirt and then we decided to wait for Teresa in the panhandle of Golden Gate Park and read our books.

Once she got there, we stowed her stuff in my car and hobbled with her over to Haight, as there was a restaurant there she wanted to take us to. I say hobbled, because the poor thing fractured a bone in her foot two weeks prior! Silly girl! We wanted to go to Cha Cha Cha!, but the wait was too long, so we ended up at a smaller Mexican restaurant next door. And we stayed there until they turned off the lights, subtly asking us to leave, I suppose! Ha ha! We started making our way back to Mirthala’s apartment when she called to let us know she was on her way. Perfect timing!

I do have a note about Haight, though. It is CRAWLING with homeless people! I felt like there was a homeless person at least in front of every store and on every corner. At one point, there was a couple of guys panhandling on a corner with an honest sign that read, “Need Drugs!” They asked us, “Hey, can you spare some change? That way we don’t need to kill someone’s children. AND YOU’RE SOMEONE’S CHILDREN!” And earlier that day at Golden Gate Park a homeless guy sat next to us on a bench. So, I can’t say that I felt completely safe there, haha. We got back to the apartment and Mirthala let us in and gave us some spare keys. Yay! We set up our stuff and stayed up talking for a while, and then crashed for the night.

The next morning we set out for a walking tour of University of California, Berkeley, the oldest UC of them all. This was by far the WORST of the walking tours. Not only was our group huge, but our guide didn’t know anything and she didn’t speak nearly loud enough for a tour of this size. I was disappointed because this is one of the schools I really want to apply to, and I didn’t get a really good feel for the campus. It is a very pretty campus though, and Berkeley is a really cute town. You should just get used to me saying that I didn’t take pictures of the campus, haha. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me at the time! Here are some website pictures:

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Afterwards, Teresa took Brittani and I to “the best pizza you’ve ever tasted:” Zachary’s Pizza in Oakland. The pizza was really really good! But it was really busy and our service was kind of slow, so unfortunately we got out of there a lot later than I anticipated, and had to rush into San Francisco to get a Harry Potter wristband for Brittani (more on that later) and then out again to try to get to Stanford on time. Although we drove to Berkeley over the Bay Bridge, the way back was a lot scarier for me because I could actually see my surroundings and the sights in SF, and as I’m afraid of heights it made for a quite anxious drive!Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to Stanford University in time for the afternoon tour, which I was really, really disappointed about. However, by this time it was very hot and I was very tired, so it might have been for the best that we didn’t make it. We stopped by the bookstore and then booked it back to San Francisco. Here’s some pictures though:
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Once back in San Francisco, Mirthala, Brittani, Teresa and I went back to Haight to try to eat again at Cha Cha Cha. This time our attempt was more successful and we got a seat (although right by the door!) and ordered a bunch of appetizers to share and of course, a pitcher of Sangria, which I got totally wasted on of course! Dinner was fun, and afterwards we headed back to the apartment for a break until we needed to go to the Borders on Post Street for the Grand Hallows Ball for the last Harry Potter book release. I completely passed out once we got to the apartment and napped until it was time to leave! I can’t decide if it was from the alcohol or the fatigue! ;)

Eventually I woke up and we made our way downtown again for the HP party. I’ll make another post on this later. :)

The next day, Saturday, Teresa, Brittani and I drove to Teresa and Mirthala’s alma mater, University of California, Davis for a walking tour. I really love Davis’ campus and the city, it just feels really close knit and everyone there was friendly and helpful, but unfortunately it’s really hot in the summer! Here are some pictures from the Davis website:

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After our walking tour, we headed over to Dos Coyotes for lunch. It was really, really good, especially after walking for a couple hours in the heat! Afterwards we headed back to San Francisco to have dinner with a bunch of Teresa’s friends: Eric, Keith, and his girlfriend Emily (and Mirthala, obviously!) Brittani really wanted to go back to Haight Street because the other times we were there the shops were closed, so we went back to check them out and buy some more stuff. She got a couple shirts for her friend, and I got Chris a shirt for his birthday:the dude minds

From one of his favorite movies, The Big Lebowski. After about an hour we rushed back to the apartment and I hopped in the shower to rinse off before going out that night with Teresa’s friends. Brittani decided to stay back at the apartment and catch up on her summer reading, which actually worked out better for us, because now we could go to bars! We had reservations for 8:00PM at Rose Pistola in North Beach, but we got there a little early, so we went over to a nearby pubs for some drinks. Dinner was excellent, I got the grilled calamari (so did Mirthala) and we all ordered a bottle of wine. After dinner we went to a couple more bars and pubs, and stopped by a restaurant at around midnight for some dessert. After that we headed back to the apartment, Keith and Emily took off immediately, but Eric came up for a chat. Brittani was already asleep and I crashed next to her. It was a very long day full of walking and I was exhausted!

About four hours later I had to wake up and get ready to get an early start on the road. We still weren’t sure how Brittani was going to get back to Big Bear (I certainly didn’t want to drive her all the way there!) so I left a little early so we could fit that in if need be. The drive from San Francisco to home was 434 mi – about 6 hours 47 mins long. Brittani, being the sweetie she is, summarized the first five chapters of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and then proceeded to READ the book to me for the remainder of the drive! We stopped a couple times — once at a rest stop because I really needed to pee, haha, and another time to get lunch. The route I was on took us right through Burbank and Glendale (read: LA) so I was a bit apprehensive about the traffic I might hit (it makes no difference that it’s a Sunday afternoon!) but traffic wasn’t too bad, and we made it home around 3:00 PM. But first, we stopped at a Borders and I bought my own copy to read once we got home. :)

Overall, I feel like it was a really successful trip, and I’m super glad we went. I had an awesome time and I really liked spending time with my sister and my niece :)