Tuesday, December 14, 2010

San Francisco

Last week I had the absolute pleasure of having to take a work day-trip to San Francisco. If not picked up, sarcasm intended.  Yes, I left the frigid 20 degree Boston area at 6:00am, landed in San Francisco at the local time of 10am, and returned to go back to Boston at 10:45pm (local) / 1:45am (Boston time) all in one fabulous day.  Despite all this travel non-sense, I couldn't help but think "could the San Francisco area be any nicer?"

I flew out on the direct United flight.  Being an Executive Platinum member, I was partially upgraded to the seats with 5 inches of extra leg room.  Anyone can buy this extra leg room starting at $9.

The plane was your standard 757, nothing too special.  Overhead TV's played certain shows and the movie was Eat Pray Love. Other than snoozing, I was more preoccupied with looking out over the beautiful Rockies and Sierra Nevadas.  Although the Northeast has its fair share of mountainous areas, nothing really compares to these guys.
As you prepare to land, you see these gorgeous rolling hills that make way to the bay.  If it isn't too foggy, it really is breathtaking.
I've heard that in the summer months, these hills are really more golden brown.  I'll have to take people's word for it since I've only ever seen green.  After landing, I made my way on SFO Airport's AirTrain to the rental car spot.  If you need to rent, I would give yourself some extra time to get over there because it takes a good 15 minutes (depending on when you catch the train) from the terminals.  I was quite pleased to see that Hertz hooked me up with a VW Jetta.
As I left the airport and headed northeast towards Concord, I literally almost drove off the road from trying to get better views of the beautiful hills.  It looked like I could go curl up in a blanket of grass up there right?
My meeting didn't start until 1:30pm, so I stopped into Chili's for some lunch fajitas. I spread out in a booth in the lounge with some work materials and ESPN on in the background, a very good combination in my opinion.  The waitstaff was very attentive and my Triple Play Fajitas were tasty.
After my meeting, I had to head right back to SFO airport. On my way back, I was reminded of my past few times to the area.  My first time, I flew into SFO but headed south towards San Jose.  Me and a colleague drove through the lovely Stamford campus in Palo Alto.
My next time, I was lucky enough to have an afternoon to myself to explore downtown San Fran.  After lunch at Fisherman's Wharf, I stopped at took some shots of Alcatraz out there in the Bay.
I then headed over to the Golden Gate bridge, I decided to walk through the gardens and then make my way across the bridge to the lookout spot. 
It was no small task to walk across this landmark, as it is 1.7 miles across!  It was also extremely windy.  I didn't mind the walk though because it was such a nice day out.  It was so amazing to look across to Marin County, back at the panoramic view of San Francisco as well as closer views of Alcatraz and Bay Bridge.
The next day at my meeting, I was thrilled to see that you could actually see the bay and the Golden Gate right there from my vantage point at the conference room table.  Not too shabby for a meeting background right?
My current trip ended with me grabbing a draft at the airport's Buena Vista.  I got a 22oz Lagunitas Pils in the hopes of it putting me right to sleep on the plane.
After a few random bar-side conversations with fellow business travelers, I headed off to my red eye flight and was pleased to find myself completely exhausted and satisfied by my beverage.  Although on my flight home this time it was nestled below quietly in the dark, on a daytime flight back to the East Coast you can typically spot Lake Tahoe fairly quickly after takeoff.  It's a pretty amazing site even from 35,000 ft so this spot is definitely on my to-do list in the future.


  1. gotta love SF. Your post makes me want to travel back someday

  2. I've never been to San Fran. I need to go!

    Also, Toucher & Rich is how I got that song stuck in my head too!

  3. San Fran is one of my fave cities EVER....it's amazing. In a weird way, the scale reminds me of Boston.


  4. It's funny Kirsten, but I've heard that a lot from others...that San Fran reminds them of Boston! So I guess it's not as weird as you may have thought! I've also heard them both described as the "most European" of US cities.