Tag Archives: San Francisco

More Reasons to Love SF: Proximity to Monterey Bay

An attempt to keep up the blogging this fair year of 2011

I promise (at least to myself) that one of these days I will post more frequently than once every 10 days or so. WordPress started a challenge for 2011, which involves either posting every day or every week in 2011. Well, it’s now January 12 and this is my second post of the year, so clearly the every day challenge ain’t gonna fly. But! I could most likely do the once a week challenge. Let’s hope I make the January 2012 Caroline proud.

Anyways, on to the post. As I’ve mentioned before, living in San Francisco is wonderful. Not only is it a beautiful city filled with some of the best tasting and freshest food on earth, but it’s also incredibly close to fantastic places. Need a taste of winter? Drive to Tahoe. Want wine? There’s Sonoma and Napa for ya. Want something a tad warmer by the sea? Hop on the beautiful Highway 1 and head to Monterey Bay, which is exactly what the other C and I did this Sunday. I should add that we spent Saturday in Chinatown being charmed by an elderly Chinese man in the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory (awesome place).

It took us about two and a half hours to drive to Monterey. Monterey itself is fairly touristy and filled with rich retirees, but the nature surrounding it is spectacular. I’ve been to a fair amount of aquariums in my day and I’d definitely say this one ranked up there with the best of them. If you’re close by and have a few hours to spare, I’d definitely recommend it. I’ve included some of my fave photos for the day. The rest can be found on my Flickr page.

Who knows where I’ll head to next.

Reason #8 Bajillion to Love Living in San Francisco

Yup, it’s Saturday again, which means time for a short little post!

Normally by November 13 I would be freezing through my very bones, wondering when I would finally cave and break out the winter coat.

But not this year! Today it was 67 degrees and sunny. What a perfect day to discover Glen Canyon Park, an area filled with eucalyptus trees and beautiful trails a mere 2 minute BART ride from where I live. Pretty flippin’ sweet.

Done!

You Can Take the Girl out of Britain but…

You certainly can’t squeeze those last drops of Britishness out of her all at once. No Writing Adventure Group post from me this week, nor book review. Forgive me, I’ve just moved continents. If you’re confused, this should catch you up to speed. There’s not too much point to this entry other than to keep the blogging up since I have a tendency to drift after a while. I’ll have to be especially persistent because I’ll no longer be writing for Londonist, not that I wrote all that much for them over the last few months.

I’ve been back in the States for a whopping 4 or 5 days and my brain is still incredibly confused. It would be hard to find two places more different than London and San Francisco. London is the place of kings and queens, tea, history, finance, double decker buses, twisty streets, queues, and nicely trimmed hedges. San Francisco is the place of America’s rebels and outcasts, hipsters, coffee, grids, burritos, start-ups, eucalyptus, and wild agave. Both cities attract me to them but abandoning one for the other is not the easiest task.

Having primarily grown up in the States, I supposed that adjusting back to American life wouldn’t be too difficult. For the most part it’s not but I’ve gradually realized just how much living in the UK over the last couple of years has affected me. It’s not the big things that get me (is it ever?) but the smaller stuff. Here everyone expects a tip but you’re expected to clear your table at a cafe- in London tips are reserved for certain situations and coffee cups can be left behind for staff to clear up. I was driving through the city yesterday, signaled to switch lanes, and someone actually let me in. That never happened to me in London, although I suppose it didn’t happen much on the East Coast either. The majority of the people I follow on Twitter are UK based so my feed goes almost dead by about 4pm. People in London actually know what the London School of Economics is. No one here is afraid to ask anyone a question and strangers are generally more considerate. Granted I haven’t gone downtown yet this trip, but I haven’t laid eyes on a single tourist (YES!). The roughest thing is hoping people aren’t offended by my fairly dry sense of humor.

It may take a little while, but I think San Francisco will one day feel like home (or at least a part time home. Dolores Park may not hold the same charm as Kensington Gardens but I’ve got the Pacific Ocean a short bike ride away. Being in a laid back city should be good for me. But please, if I ever start writing about saving the earth or not eating meat, send a virtual slap in my direction.

Heading West (and not coming back)

This post has absolutely nothing to do with books, although it may explain why the number of books I read will drop quite a bit over the next couple of months. After a tough couple of months, I have made one giant life decision: I am leaving London and moving to San Francisco.

The move will be incredibly difficult. I love London and think it’s pretty much the best city there is. Also, moving back to the States is not something I had planned on doing for many years to come-I always fear that once I’m there I’ll never be able to leave again. But the job hunt is proving to not be going all that smoothly. Yes I’ve had interviews but I always seem to be reminded that though I do hold British citizenship and have British family, I am just not British enough. I’ve made some great friends here and have gotten involved in fun activities and I’m not quite sure how I’m going to cope with giving it all up.

However, if I stay in London I must also stay at my parents’ house until I find a job. Don’t get me wrong, I love my parents, but I’ve been here for over a year and a half and I am going a bit crazy. It’s nice having the security of having somewhere to come home to, to have fresh food every day, and have people that love me around, but at this point it’s become all too easy to develop bad habits and settle into the lackluster routines of being unemployed. If I’m on my own, I’ll have to push myself harder to find a job because that security will no longer be available.

If I’m going to venture out on my own and try something new it might as well be somewhere I love. Although I have spent a fair bit of time there over the last couple of years, it’s still relatively new and exciting to me. I’ll be able to go wine tasting, learn how to sail, eat burritos every day, get into trouble with some of my best friends from all walks of life, and will have a much easier time visiting my American friends and family. My recent realization that I do, in fact, like American literature is making this all a bit easier. After a bit of time away, I think I may finally be ready to go back-not necessarily for good, but at least for now.

21 days remain until the big move. I plan to see as much of London as possible over the three weeks and to hopefully not freak myself out over all I have to get done!