Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Head West - Siblings Trip to California

Hi all.  It's been two weeks since I got back from a siblings trip to the San Francisco area.  I'm the oldest of three girls and we all flew out to California to attend my cousin's wedding and also spend two days in San Francisco.

I have no idea if sibling trips are a thing now, but due to all our younger cousins getting married in out of town locations, my sisters and I really enjoy meeting up and hanging out for a few days.  I'm usually the third or fifth wheel because my brother in law and my youngest sis' steady boyfriend usually join us, and ya'll I do not mind it AT ALL.  This is because both my sisters have really great taste in guys and I get along fabulously with them.

Best crew in the world.
The wedding, held near SF at a vineyard was beautiful and there's is nothing better than being surrounded by my dad's family, our family in Seattle.  As the saying goes, family always gets together for "weddings and funerals" but now that my sisters and I are full-blown adults, it's so amazing that we can travel together.  You are just surrounded by warmth, love and laughter.

I should point this out, my middle sister on the left opted for flats.  She's still 5'6".

After the wedding, we took the BART to San Francisco, dropped off our bags and took an Uber ride to the Golden Gate Bridge.  I cannot recommend enough going during the spring when all the beautiful plants are in full bloom.  It is obvious the city spends funds to maintain and keep the bridge and it's surrounding walk ways in excellent shape year round.  The attached Visitor's Center and Round House Cafe still look original to year in which they were built.

Gah, all those flowers were so stunning!

Our hotel, with it's wonderful rooftop views was actually located in the Tenderloin neighborhood.  I only mention this because it one of San Francisco's last affordable neighborhoods that hasn't been gentrified and/or sanitized and therefore you will likely see homeless people sleeping on the streets, covered by a thick blanket.  We took the BART to the Civic Center/UN Plaza station to get there and just before you emerge to witness the beautiful architecture of white and gold domed Civic Center, you must climb up the steps right by a broken escalator, lined with bits of trash and smelling strongly of piss.

Its dirty, its real,  it's life, and they do not sell souvenir postcards of Tenderloin in any SF gift shop.  And......I actually enjoyed staying there.  I did not get any pictures of the used hypodermic needles we spotted on the curb or of the cross-dressing 6' 3" black man who cheerfully walked up to us and told the little baby girl of my sister's old roommate, whom we meet for Thai food, to "never listen to the haters."  Because you know what?  He's right.

Roof-time Happy Hour!
Later, during that first night, we made the ill-advised decision to walk from the Tenderloin over to the Fillmore District for some post-dinner drinks, trudging steeply uphill three consecutive blocks, mainly because we got lost.  Eh, you live and you learn, and then you get an Uber.

When you realize you walked uphill three blocks....in the wrong direction.

More snacks, after we ate dinner.  If there's one thing you must do in SF, it's eat ALL the time.
Day Two - By a stroke of good fortune, my good friend C deduced from Instagram we were were in San Francisco, the same time she would be in city and set up a reunion of sorts,  an early lunch at 11 am in Chinatown.  I felt straight out of the police detective movie, set in the Bay Area like Bullitt, Zodiac, or Dirty Harry.   Meet me. 11 am. Chinatown. R&G Lounge.  So the squad and I walked through Union Square into Chinatown, through the Dragon's Gate.

C and I, together again.

For my first lunch of the day we had crispy duck with rice, noodles and winter-melon soup

Traveling with sisters that use Instagram is the best.
 The sisters and their guys choose not to get first lunch with me in Chinatown but rather shopped for good deals.  After reluctantly bidding C goodbye, the squad was ready to get sushi in Japantown, somewhat close-by.

Get ready, second lunch!  
I'm pretty adventurous when it comes to food, so I had to get the octopus.  Luckily my bro-in-law was game to try it too.  It was a little sweet with a barbecue like sauce, not too rubbery at all.

Bubble tea or "boba" tea with cotton candy is a thing in Japantown.
As I have mentioned, we could not stop eating, pretty much amazing food, ALL DAY.  Left and right at the wedding, everyone was recommending House of Prime Rib in San Francisco, and weirdly enough despite being a family of all girls, my family eats steak on the reg for almost every holiday.  We eat it done medium and with a horseradish sauce strong enough to strip paint off an airplane.

House of Prime Rib - you did not disappoint.

Well, now I'm back to living by myself and working a high stress job, but you know, getting to spend this time with my siblings makes it all worth it.

Also I just learned two other younger cousins just got engaged, so we will be making more sibling trips in the future.

How about you?  Do you ever travel with your adult siblings without your parents?


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