Final Days in San Francisco

February 23rd, 2015. California
The Conservatory of Flowers

The Conservatory of Flowers

After calling San Francisco home for exactly 5 years and 2 weeks, Nik and I left the Pacific Coast City by the Bay for the final time on Saturday, February 21st, 2015. We moved there during the low upswing of the Great Recession which made finding work difficult but finding an affordable apartment in the (currently) most expensive city in our country easy. For that, I am grateful.

Picnic in the Park

Picnic in the Park

Nik selling the scooter

Nik selling the scooter

I’m going to miss…

  • The year-long spring
  • Driving the Vespa through the city and along the coast
  • California Family, Friends, Coworkers and Clients
  • Opportunities to camp in every direction
  • The Pacific Ocean
  • Sunsets over the Pacific Ocean
  • Karl the Fog blanketing the city
  • Everyone having an idea to start a business, and the gumption to do it
  • Free and amazing panoramic views from every hilltop
  • Walking less than 10 minutes north to The Presidio, 5 minutes south to Golden Gate Park, and 25 minutes west to Ocean Beach
  • A grocery store at the corner of our street
  • The best Asian food in the US
  • Pizzetta 211…our favorite little restaurant
  • Wine made with grapes grown less than 30 minutes away
  • Friends from near and far wanting to, and sometimes actually, visiting
Walking away from our beloved apartment

Walking away from our beloved apartment

Flying away for the final time

Flying away for the final time

This is Happening

February 3rd, 2015. California, Europe
The Coastal Trail

From The Coastal Trail

This is happening. This is really happening. For a couple years I didn’t think it would, but it is. It is really happening.

Nik and I are giving ourselves the gift of time. Time to travel. Time to be together. Time to see the world. Time to wander. Time to do nothing. Time to dream.

To prepare, we are giving away a few items, selling a few items, and packing the rest into cardboard. We are leaving our jobs, saying goodbye to the friends we have made, saying a brief hello to our families, and then jet setting to the European continent.

We have found the perfect bags and picked out which shoes we want to wear while walking along cobblestones. We have our passports renewed, and international drivers permits in hand. We have credit cards that won’t charge us $$ to use them, and we have a plan for our cell phones. We have our cameras and our computers, and our websites have been refreshed.

We have a route we think we want to take, a few dates we want to have with friends and family along the way, and our first month of accommodations and transportation arranged. We will figure the rest out later.

We do not know where we will live once it is time to live somewhere, and that is one of my favorite parts. We will be traveling without the burden of home, but with the dream of a home. I am certain that we will have a slightly different perspective on life once we get back, so there is no point in making a decision that will impact our lives for the next 5-10 years now.

We are also taking advantage of our last few weeks in San Francisco. We are going on our favorite hikes, eating at our favorite restaurants, and seeing our favorite people. I am thinking a lot about what I have accomplished here, and it is quite a bit. San Francisco has been good to me, and I am grateful for that. But I am also grateful to know that it is time to go.

Crissy Field

From Crissy Field

From the Golden Gate Bridge

From the Golden Gate Bridge

20150203_SanFrancisco_1501_114

2014

January 1st, 2015. Random

On this first day of 2015, I offer a list of 80 thoughts, actions and memories of 2014…

  1. I took Nik to his first ever football game because my college class decided to meet up 10 years after graduation
  2. I found out that a college professor is working at the San Francisco Planning department…I should get in touch
  3. My hair is short. I mean SHORT.
  4. My nieces rode bikes with me, their parents and Nik through Golden Gate Park
  5. We hosted our first sleep over for those nieces and served mac & cheese for dinner
  6. Nik and I beat my parents in Rummy once
  7. My parents beat us in Rummy at least 8 times
  8. Nik redesigned my blog
  9. We went to the top of the Knoxville Sun Sphere…I lived there for 5 years, and never went
  10. We made an origami star for the Christmas tree
  11. Alex came to visit and we ate really really well while chatting about everything
  12. We had dinner with Katie and my cousin Emily weeks before they both moved to New York City
  13. We bought road bikes and saw small towns in the Bay Area that I never knew existed
  14. We rode an informal century (100 miles in a day)
  15. I fell off my bike twice because I could not clip out of my pedals quick enough
  16. We swam in an infinity pool overlooking rice terraces in Ubud, Bali
  17. Dominic & Charinee were wed in Borneo, and we were there
  18. I contributed to at least 4 successful construction projects
  19. My sewing machine is collecting dust because I haven’t had the gusto to sew
  20. We missed another opportunity to move across the hall into my dream apartment
  21. I was given a pretty fantastic art print by my bosses
  22. My health has been exceptionally good, and I am thankful for that
  23. Christy came to visit and I took her around to my favorite places, and then we had dinner with our guys
  24. We went to visit Christy and she took us around to her favorite places
  25. Chris & Keisha facilitated our first ever family shrimp boil on the porch of a coastal South Carolina vacation home
  26. Lindsey made her famous cinnamon rolls
  27. Mom & Dad took us all out for dinner, mini-golf and ice cream
  28. Nik & I made raspberry sorbet from the America’s Test Kitchen recipe
  29. The Sinz family took turns swinging in the hammock
  30. Nik swam in the Atlantic Ocean for the first time
  31. We went stand-up paddle boarding for the first time
  32. We stayed at a fire-lookout cabin in Mendocino National Forest
  33. We almost stayed at a fire-lookout cabin in Tahoe National Forest, but wimped out because it had snowed the week before
  34. I rode my bicycle in a charity ride with Jonas
  35. The Vespa served as my commuting vehicle to work most days
  36. California continued the 3-year drought for most of the year, and then nearly shut down because of rain storms in December
  37. The Giants won the world series again, and I watched most of the games from bars I had never been to before
  38. The Johnke family celebrated 100 years on the Ranch in Montana, and I got food poisoning
  39. Donna & Mark hosted us poolside for a few summer evenings
  40. We sat ringside under the big top for Kurios
  41. We watched America’s Test Kitchen, Parks & Recreation or Anthony Bourdain’s Places Unknown during dinner
  42. Mom & Dad gave us a coffee maker, and our morning meal has been 1000x better ever since
  43. We acquired very nice desk chairs…with head rests
  44. We rode the Tilden Park steam train for the second time
  45. We saw a pod of whales off the coast from Sutro Heights Park
  46. Matt & Olivia hosted us for happy hour in Atlanta
  47. Keith & Lindsey joined me for breakfast
  48. The most beautiful black wool dress hangs in my closet, and I haven’t found a place to wear it to
  49. We talked a lot about our future
  50. I let the year slip away without asking for a raise
  51. I learned a lot about how to lead a team
  52. We called the cops on our neighbor for trying to break into his own apartment, and then he gave us a cheesecake as an apology
  53. I soaked in a mineral spring spa for the first time (in Santa Fe)
  54. We met up with an old friend from high school that also went to architecture school, rowed crew, and moved to San Francisco
  55. I stumbled across the largest neighborhood of Eichler homes on a day where I circumnavigated the San Francisco Bay in a Zipcar
  56. At Hardly Strictly Bluegrass I shared my huge bag of ice and a 6-pack of beer with a few other couples sitting near by
  57. I left work early one day to have a cocktail at the Palace Hotel
  58. We walked along the new east span of the Bay Bridge to see the old span being dismantled and over run by birds
  59. Mom & Dad joined us for wine tasting
  60. The first project I ever worked on after college completed its final phase in October
  61. We went scooter camping in Samuel P Taylor State Park
  62. One cousin got married while another cousin got engaged
  63. I worked on a quilt made up of 100s of 1”x1” squares
  64. We built a Lego VW Bus on Nik’s Birthday before and after having dinner at Aziza
  65. I was the target of an attempted robbery in Kuala Lumpur, but they didn’t get anything and they did ruin my favorite purse
  66. Nik continued to do sporadic freelance work while I did the 9-5 (really…8:30-6) every day
  67. I started compiling books of photos from 2006-2008, but haven’t finished
  68. We had a better time with my college classmates than I ever could have expected
  69. A friend hosted a successful kickstarter campaign which means I get to have an awesome shelf very soon
  70. My nephew has this back and forth with my brother all the time…”Dad?” “Yes, Aaden.” “I love you.” “I love you too, buddy.”
  71. Our stag horn ferns are getting bigger and bigger
  72. I paid for a very expensive professional organization membership, and did not use my benefits once all year. Not gonna do it next year.
  73. I slid down a concrete slide in Cole Valley
  74. We hiked around Point Lobos for the first time
  75. I chatted with a B&B owner over a glass of wine about how I want to be like him one day
  76. A Malaysia Airlines flight that left from Kuala Lumpur was lost the day after we took a Malaysia Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur
  77. Day dreams of big travel began again
  78. We started looking at real estate websites with a true interest in investing, and decided that San Francisco is way too expensive
  79. We talk more and more about what we will do with the home we own one day…part of getting older I suppose
  80. I turned 33 and worked on my birthday