In other words a full moon and a fancy sunset.

I’m not sure if you heard….but there was a big full, blood, moon eclipse that was supposed to usher in all new energy. From our location, the clouds obscured the red part of the show but we were able to get an unobstructed view of the bright orb later from Kenneth’s front yard. It really was cool, now if it only brings all the positivity that it promised. LOL. I didn’t get to watch much of the moon or socialize that evening because I had to be at the Burbank airport for a 7:30am flight.

I’ve always been a fan of early flights because they allow you so much more time in the city that you are visiting. I was scheduled to land in San Francisco by 8:15am. Unfortunately, the blood moon had other energy directed toward my flight. Upon take-off, I put my earplugs in and planned to doze off for a few minutes. I can fall asleep on a plane really easily. Not long after I shut my eyes, the pilot announced that the cargo hold light had come on. This could mean that the hatch was open, or it could be a faulty switch. Either way, it meant that we had to land for it to be checked out. I’m not sure why, but we landed at LAX for the service. It took about 45 minutes before we were able to get the problem fixed and back in the air. I landed around 11:00am. Not too much of a delay but it did allow a little more time to nap!

My destination for the day was Pacifica. My dear friend Kitty and her daughter Ava live in a home perched on a hillside overlooking the Pacific ocean. I had never been to this part of California and it was truly breathtaking! I must have looked tired because Kitty offered me a quick. A few minutes of rest was exactly what I needed to allow for the afternoon’s activities.

I haven’t had much quality dog time since this trip started. Luckily enough, Kitty has 2 lovely senior dogs that are full of love. As it happens, I am full of scratches….so we were a good match. The four of us took a stroll along the coast at Sharp Park. The waves are much larger than any on the east coast and definitely bigger than the ones in Santa Monica (the only other west coast beach that I’ve seen). The rocky coast was as impressive as the dark gray color of the sand as well. The sunset was truly breathtaking. I haven’t ever noticed how quickly the sun actually sets.

When we returned to their home, Ava gave me a crash course in Game of Thrones. We binge watched a few episodes and I might be hooked! I’ll definitely add it to my list when I settle in after the trip. I was honored to have Ava give me a tarot reading. It was consistent with the one I got right before my trip began. It’s cool to feel like the universe is conspiring with me.

The following morning I got up at a decent hour and made plans Kitty & Ava to meet me in the afternoon for some fun in the city. The transportation gods smiled down upon me with a friendly (and attractive) driver. Lucas is originally from Brazil and came to San Francisco to pursue his music career. He played one of his songs for me. I thought that it was good despite me not understanding any of the Portuguese lyrics (he said that it was a love song). Before getting out of the car, I handed him my phone and asked that he pull up the video. You never know who might stumble across this post and like his music. If he does get famous, you heard it here first! LOL.

My first stop was at Pica Pica Arepa Kitchen, a 100% gluten-free Venezuelan restaurant. Arepas are their claim to fame and one of the dishes that I seek out. Arepas are a type of cornmeal flatbread only here they are similar to a pita pocket. I chose a spicy chicken version with mozzarella and a side of coleslaw. The food was exactly the fuel that I needed for an extended walking tour.

It was apropos that I stumbled into a shop in the Mission District called Often Wander. First, I love candles…and more importantly, I am often wandering. Sarah, the owner of this cool boutique was in the store making candles when I walked in. She opened a storefront in San Diego before branching out to the San Francisco market. The shop was full of hand-made jewelry and accessories as well. I didn’t have a bag to carry anything that day but I’ve ordered several candles that might make it back to Winston-Salem before I do.

San Francisco is not short on public art. You would be hard pressed to walk one block without seeing a mural somewhere. Clarion Alley is a 1 block cut through between Valencia & Mission Streets. Every surface on each side is covered with bright murals, many of which have a political theme.

I visited Dandelion Chocolate for a caffeinated pickup in the form of chocolate & coffee. They have figured out a way to brew them together which is not easy to do. The resulting drink has the body of coffee with the depth of cocoa. It’s not a sweet drink, which I found perfect to go with my cocoa nib cookie. They were making bars during my visit. I got to take a peek and be envious of their chocolate making equipment.

I continued my strenuous hiking trend by heading uphill, then further uphill all the while shedding layers. The chilly morning turned into a gorgeous cool/borderline warm day. I found myself at the top of the Saturn Street Steps which was a perfect spot to rest. It was so peaceful in that spot that I took off my boots, curled up my legs, and recited my favorite metta mediation before heading down the hill. It wasn’t until I reached the Lower Haight neighborhood that I caught my first glimpse of the downtown skyline. Continuing on, I came across the famous Painted Ladies houses (shown in the credits to Full House). They were not as vibrant as I had expected but still full of Victorian architectural goodies. I made it all the way down to City Hall before 3:30pm. The day was filled with walking, observing, & absorbing….which is a perfect day for me in any city.

I met Kitty & Ava at the San Francisco Botanical Garden at Golden Gate Park. They are members and treated me to an awesome stroll. I was in awe at the diversity represented in the gardens. They had sections from all over the world. My favorites sections were the Andean Cloud Forest and the Ancient Plants. I’d say that my favorite plant was the Monkey Puzzle Tree.

My mom asked me to send her a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge. So we hopped in the car and drove down to the Presidio and Crissy Field right before sunset. The tones of the bridge were set off by the golden light. It’s truly humbling to see something iconic for the first time. Despite this, I fell into the trap of portrait mode. I took several pictures with the Bridge fuzzed out in the background. I know that it’s completely self-absorbed, but it made a for a dynamic backdrop. We watched the sun shift below the horizon and I was surprised how quickly it dropped out of sight.

The visit with Kitty & Ava was short but sweet and I appreciate them allowing me to intrude in their space. Being able to reconnect and to continue friendships was exactly the point of this trip.

Up next, Matt & Joshua.

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