Thanks to going to be early-ish on Saturday night, I had no issues getting up to go to Team Challenge practice. I managed to snag a ride with Maria, who actually is an employee of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. It was great to talk with her and learn about what an important undertaking this is. I’ll be dedicating a special post very soon about my fundraising efforts, but if you can now, please take the time to donate just $13.10 ($1 per mile) to my efforts.
Practice moved this week from its regular location in the Presidio over to Ocean Beach. This meant running up a BIG ASS HILL and then back down along the beach. Wow. I am NOT in Kansas (or Wisconsin) anymore. While over here I was reminded that it was Sunday Streets again and, if possible, I should get back over later that afternoon.
First, however, was a brunch hosted by one of our Team Challenge teammates in Pacific Heights. This was a great chance for me to meet some of the other runners, as well as some of the people they are running for. It was also a way to connect with other Midwestern transplants to the Bay Area AND learn about other organizations in the area. I was happy to find out what La Cocina is, since I walk by it all the time. It’s a fantastic non-profit in the Mission that empowers low-income and immigrant populations to earn a living through food service entrepreneurship. I’m definitely signing up for their mailing list! Yum.
Once I got home, I showered and decided to give it a go and head out to Sunday Streets. Apparently EVERY Sunday the main streets in Golden Gate Park are closed and there’s a flurry of activity, including skate rental for a roller disco and lindy swing dance lessons. I declined to stop and participate, but enjoyed watching the participants.
I had only been in the eastern end of the park before, and truly could not believe how GORGEOUS the whole property was. It was difficult to believe that I was in a city, nevermind that I’d pop out on the ocean when all was said and done. With every turn there was something beautiful. A meadow, a waterfall, a lake, giant trees. I think I had a smile planted on my face the whole time.
Then suddenly, there I was, back on the beach, a whole other world than the city I’ve been living in for a month. This part of town is stuck in the ’50s, there’s surfers, sand dunes — it doesn’t even seem like a city at all.
I grabbed a quick bite at Chairman Bao truck, and ending up chatting briefly with the director of the San Francisco Bike Coalition. I thanked her and the other volunteers there for Sunday Streets being so awesome. I hope I can find time to volunteer with this group in the future. As an SF resident I’m just so grateful for all that they do! Like most of my food truck experiences thus far, I was again NOT disappointed. I had Red Sesame Chicken baked bun with Pickled Paperthin Cucumber & Carrot, as well as a ginger lychee to wash it all down (since I stupidly forgot my water bottle). The bun was just the right mix of spicy and tasty. I’d definitely track down this truck again.
Then it was off for a ride down the Great Highway, again amazed at how an urban space changes when cars “disappear.” I rode to the end of the track and back. I felt badly that I didn’t have contact information for some family friends that live in that area of town and my phone wasn’t juiced up enough to do much research. I had plans later and some errands to do beforehand, so just one quick loop and it was back for me. I stopped briefly to take in the surf music of The Hi-Waters to set a nice soundtrack to the setting.
Once again, Sunday Streets did not disappoint and I look forward to when it comes to the Mission next month.
After a bit of time stopping and chilling out in Golden Gate Park under some cherry trees, I headed home to change and go back out for my night’s plans. You’d think that running 5 and biking 20+ miles would be enough for one person, but not this gal. The day was just beginning…
I had plans to meet my friend Paul over in North Beach at a Belgian Beer Bar called La Trappe. I hopped Muni to get over there and enjoyed the stroll through the crazy hills from Pacific Street north on Mason. Unfortunately La Trappe was closed, so we popped to a nearby Italian-Californian fusion spot, Campunula.
I ended up getting the extremely excellent Pan-Seared Branzino (sea bass), served over a bed of quinoa. YUM. Definitely hit the spot after all that bike riding. Filling, yet still nice and light. I was excited to explore a new area of town, so Paul suggested we pop into The Saloon for the weirdness and people watching. This place was a total trip with a hippie blues band that marched through the small bar area and serenaded all the ladies with their instruments. I got double-teamed by two saxophones (that’s for you, Becky). The band took a break and we were getting tired, so on the way back down toward BART, we popped into Vesuvio for a quick beer (I’m writing this post so belatedly I don’t recall what I had – I know I wanted to try a Lagunita’s Hairy Eyeball, but they were out!).
We split ways at BART and I’d PLANNED to go home, but I had a text from Mary Ann’s friend Ken who lives in my ‘hood to meet up for a drink. Since we’re neighbor(ish), I thought it wouldn’t hurt to have one, so we met near the BART Station at Rosamunde Sausage, where I got to try the Hairy Eyeball. I do need to go back and actually try the sausage as people keep raving about it (there’s another one for you, Becky). However, the bar was closing and we opted to move on and hit Dirty Thieves (where I’d made an effort at on Thursday night). Well somehow we ended up chatting with the extremely awesome bartenders, and somehow it came up how I wanted to make the place “my bar,” and somehow we ended up with copious amounts of beers and shots on a school night. Oye. As you’ll see I paid for it all week.
At least I know I have a bar now!