San Francisco – a love letter

Coming up on nine months living in The Golden City and it feels like the right time to do a little reflecting. June, 2016 really doesn’t seem like that long ago but I don’t think I can get away with telling people “I just moved here” much longer.

What I love about San Francisco (nine things for nine months)

  1. There’s an app for everything and you can get anything delivered – sometimes same day, usually overnight.
  2. The sunrises and the sunsets. I don’t know what it is but I just can’t get enough of them. Admittedly I’m not a morning person so I’ve seen more sunsets than sunrises, but the sunrises I have seen have been incredible and the sunsets … the cityscape and the bridges silhouetted against the pinky orange sky is nothing less than stunning.
  3. The Presidio. I can wander through it happily for hours (and I do). It never gets old.
  4. The sea lions at Pier 39. Yes it’s touristy but come on, how can these goofy guys not put a smile on your face?
  5. Angel Island.
  6. How picturesque the city is. For me walking is the ultimate stress reliever and a time for me to think and reflect. I can pop in my headphones, hit play on a podcast and just go, knowing that no matter what direction or path I take it will be beautiful.
  7. The tourists. I get a kick out of having a cable car full of snap-happy travellers go by me as I carry my groceries home and saying to them in my head “Yep, I live here. It’s pretty awesome.”
  8. Yoga at Grace Cathedral.
  9. Dogs at the office.

What I don’t love

  1. The hills.
  2. Rush hour. I don’t even have to drive but walking home from work is super stressful because so many pedestrians, drivers, bus drivers, and cyclists are acting like they’re trying to outrun a fireball. It’s not bad in the mornings but something about trying to get home at the end of a long day brings out the crazy in people.

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What I miss about Vancouver

  1. My “places”: the quirky but amazing nail salon, a hair stylist that knows where I last went on vacation and where I went the time before that too, my usual places to get gifts and greeting cards, my favourite spots to eat out, knowing where to order great sushi for pick-up and where to go for happy-hour. The feeling when I  walked into those places that they were mine and I belonged there.
  2. Feeling like I’ve got it together at work and I’m one of my boss’s go-to people. Need to be patient on this one, I’ll get there.
  3. Goes without saying that I miss my family very much but we’ve been pretty good about staying in touch and visiting.
  4. My dear friends …. terribly. No matter what new ones I make there’s no replacing them. I’m not great at online communicating so staying in touch by phone, text, etc. is better than nothing but it’s just not the same.

One thing that stands out for me about moving to a new place that I hadn’t really thought about before doing it was the feeling of being totally anonymous. Not so much now but for a while there I could walk down the street and know the chances of running into someone I knew were basically zero. It was a weird feeling. Sometimes freeing. Sometimes sad.

Part of this city really becoming home is knowing when I’m out and about that it wouldn’t be that surprising to run into someone familiar. I’m starting to feel that more and more. Looks like I’m gonna make it after all [tosses hat].

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