This has been a week. It started last Friday with a 14-hour trip from Nashville to San Francisco, including a four-hour “break” in the de-icing lane at the Dallas airport (never again will I connect in DFW), and ended with a 14-hour trip from Tahoe to Reno to Denver to Atlanta and—eventually—back to Tennessee in the wee hours of the icy morning via a guy on my plane who had rented a 4×4, was driving the four hours up to Hendersonville, and offered to take me and a businessman from Brentwood along for the ride. There’s never a dull moment in these parts, folks. (And before you ask about safety, SVV demanded a copy of his photo ID before he’d let me in the car with him!)
But it was worth it. Every last minute stranded in the airport—worth it. Especially since I ain’t seen the sunshine since I don’t know when.
The reason I was out in California in the first place was to speak at Women’s Travel Fest. My dear friends Kelly and Mickela are the brains behind WTF (best acronym ever or best acronym ever?) and were so sweet as to ask me to speak since I wasn’t able to attend last year. I met so many people I’ve been online friends with for years and others who aren’t in the media at all but just love to travel. It was such an empowering weekend, and I even got to see one of my journalist idols, Laura Ling, speak, which was one of the highlights of my time in San Francisco.
For those of you who have been reading this blog a long time, you’ll recall I spent four very formative years of my 20s living in the Bay Area, where SVV was born and raised. I’ll be the first to admit, they weren’t always the best of times—have you ever lived in the most expensive city in the world on a freelancer’s salary? I dare you to try it and come out from that experience loving San Francisco and its callous meter maids—but they were full of good friends and memories and favorite spots we collected.
So cramming my second visit back in nearly four years into a mere 48 hours was challenging. Particularly when the festival took up half of that.
Still, I managed to do the following….
Have dim sum with my sister-in-law Lisa, niece Lucy and friend Amber at Yank Sing.
Wander through the Ferry Building and Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning.
Have a bite of Humphry Slocombe, which now has a Ferry Building outpost.
Watch this cherub toddle about the waterfront, chasing pigeons and charming passersby.
Chow down on Sunday brunch at Zazie, a personal favorite from my days as a local. It’s still every bit as good as I remembered.
See a killer sunset from atop the View lounge in SoMa.
Drink my way around the Tenderloin with some very dear friends, who also happened to be in town for a conference that very weekend.
Do a little yoga with former running buddy Autumn in the Mission, before grabbing some authentic Mexican food for the road. (I mean, when in the Mission, am I right?)
From San Francisco, Jade and I rented a car on Sunday night and drove the three hours east to South Lake Tahoe, where Bob and Spencer were waiting for us with cocktails in hand at Aston Lakeland Village.
The three days that followed were full of Instagram tutorials, belly laughs, beer, hikes in the wilderness from which we nearly didn’t return and being all-around silly. The best types of vacations if you will. The kind for which you’d do those hellish travel days all over again. (Well, once you’ve taken one long nap to sleep off the jetlag, that is.)
Soup dumplings! My favorite thing about San Fran haha So good.
Dallas is the worst! I avoid any Texas airport like the plague when connecting. Sorry you had the craziness with getting home! At least, you made it safely.
My first soup dumpling experience but DEFINITELY not my last!
And I changed my flight six days before and didn’t even think to check where it was connecting through, UGH. Can’t wait for the Southwest direct flight from Nashville to Oakland that starts in June!
so good to finally meet in person! 🙂 loved the whole wtf weekend. and yes, that acronym is amazing, haha.
SO nice to meet you, too! I almost titled this post WTF?! but thought not everyone would get it 😉
I was in the Bay Area this weekend too. First trip back in 2 years since moving to Texas. Also my first trip says boyfriend who like SVV is a native. I loved it and was also reminded why I don’t live there anymore. Lol. I hear ya on seeing old places and new ones. Such a captivating place.
i am so proud of you and would like to adopt both lucy and jade if that’s cool with their families.
Sounds like it was totally worth it. And how awesome that your got a ride home from another stranded traveler.
You made me homesick. This is where I used to live, and I sure miss the soup dumplings and the Ferry Building. What a magical place!!
Most of the photos I see at this post are indicative of a beautiful landscape and terrific sky. I love the Sun when it sets and when it rises again. Traveling on a 4X4 must have been very fun!
San Fran is such a deep city … something to love for just about everyone!
If only for the soup dumplings, I hope to make it to San Fran someday. 🙂 Love this post!
Fabulous times! San Francisco seems to be a wonderful city! I’ve never been there but I have a friend who moved there few years ago so I will definitely visit! Thank you for sharing your wonderful stories! I always enjoy reading your lovely blog!
Thank you so much, April! I appreciate the sweet words =)
And I hope you get to make it out to SF soon!
Adore San Fran! Was there this past October with my bestie. We stayed a week at the gorgeous Inn San Francisco in the Mission District and dined to our waistlines’ discontent at several of the city’s best! Our favorites included Farallon and Anchor Bar in the Castro.
Thank you for the write-up and pics, brought back so many cherished memories!
I’ve never been to that inn! We’re going back next month to visit my in-laws, and I’m so stinkin’ excited!