Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Memories V.1 San Francisco

Monday Memories is a simple new series on my blog 
where I share stories and photos from my past 
as a way to keep my brain active, 
my happy memories present, 
and my writer's block at bay.

In the summer of 2010, one of my best friends, Shaun, was offered a job at Google in San Francisco. Without a place to live, Shaun
was a bit overwhelmed and needed a friend for support while he scoped out apartments on the West Coast a week before starting
at Google, so I booked a ticket last minute and flew out to lend a hand and help him sort out his exciting new life.

We were fortunate enough to stay with a couple named Mark and Erin who were friends of a friend. They welcomed us with open 
arms and I was overcome by how very sweet they were the entire time we were there. They never made us feel like we were 
being intrusive and I felt so comfortable with them; almost like we had known each other for years.

Their home was filled with fuzzy rugs, vegetarian cookbooks, buddhas, plants, love, and warmth. Since our time in San Francisco
was mostly rushed and a bit frantic as we searched from sunrise to sunset for an apartment, it definitely helped coming back at
the end of each night to Mark and Erin's lovely home.

Shaun and I bussed, trained, Bart-ed, and walked, walked, walked all over San Francisco in search of an apartment. It was super
tiring and blisters formed on four of my toes by the end of the 2nd day. I was also freezing since I didn't pack accordingly. Who
knew Cali could be so cold in August? Mark Twain was right. "The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco."

We met nice people along the way, including a man and his dog who we sat and talked to for nearly 30 minutes only because we
rang his buzzer by mistake, thinking it was the building and number we called earlier for an appointment. San Franciscans are 
too nice!

Between appointments to look at apartments, Shaun and I were able to do a bit of touristy stuff as well. We visited the Harvey
Milk Plaza which was heartbreaking, yet inspiring. Castro Street was full of energy, and I think it was the happiest place we visited
on this trip. Seeing Harvey's old camera store was amazing, and I purchased a shirt at the Human Rights Campaign shop just up
the street.

We took a detour and checked out the Google Campus. I couldn't believe how incredible it was! Googlers definitely have it made.
If Google employees aren't the happiest people on Earth, I don't know who is.

We rode the streetcars downtown and hung our feet over the edge as the trolley drove up and down the curvy roads. We ate lunch at a
50's style diner on the top of a hill that overlooked Alcatraz.

We rented a Zip Car and drove over the Golden Gate Bridge at night. We ate at countless new restaurants and walked away
satisfied each time. Though exhausted by the end of it all, I think our San Francisco adventure was a success. Once you get used to
the smog, the rain, the hills, the overcast days, and the chilly, windy temperatures, San Francisco really grows on you. It truly is 
a beautiful and unique place and I can't wait to go back.

Side note/Fun fact: Months after he was settled in his new city, Shaun participated in Google's "It Gets Better" video. He's appropriately wearing the Wisconsin shirt. :)


  1. Wow! Google Campus looks like the most amazing place in the world!


    1. It really is! And everyone is SO nice.

  2. congrats to shaun google seems like an amazing place to work!!!

    i was in SF this past weekend and i did NOT want to leave!

    1. Lucky! I want to go back! I need to explore more of California. I've been to San Fran and the Redwoods, but that's it. It's such a beautiful state.

  3. I love this post and the pcitures are so cool!
    I'd love to go to San Francisco one day and now one of my goals is to see the Google campus, it looks so amazing!


    1. Thank you, and yes, make sure you do that!! :)

  4. I am so jealous- of your trip and of shaun's new home at google. i have read so many things about working at google when i was in business school. they definitely have an amazing business plan and really care about their employees. he is one lucky guy to call that city and that company home.

    1. Agreed! Though right now he's living in London! He's hoping to be back in San Francisco next year though. He loves Google, and they love him! :)

  5. you always have the best posts!! i love your "love conquers hate" shirt and the harvey milk photos are amazing. great post!

  6. I love San Fran! But I didn't get to go to the Google Campus, so looks like I'll have to visit again! :)

    I'm starting a new link party on my blog that is exclusively for traveling and experiencing different places. If you could hop on over and link this post or any other 'traveling' post, I would be so grateful! Thanks so much!

  7. Your pictures are amazing. My husband and I went to SF during our honeymoon 6 years ago. We only went for a day really. I hope to go back someday!!


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