I just got back from a very quick 48 hours on the west coast in San Francisco. It was a whirlwind of work (some video shoots for Union) mixed with some fun side trips downtown.
When I booked the trip, I was super excited for some northern California weather – mainly sunshine and moderate temperatures. Things didn’t go as expected though and it literally rained almost the entire time I was there. And not even like light, misting rain – more like monsooning, hard rain. It definitely made for an interesting time, and I’ll never leave home without a rain coat again. 🙂
The trip out was exactly how you’d expect for a winter trip across the country – delayed. My flight from Chicago to San Francisco was delayed three hours, but it wasn’t until we’d actually already boarded the flight. So it meant chilling on the plane while they fixed maintenance issues. Bright side: they had DirectTV on that flight so I watched a LOT of TV. Seriously, I saw the second half of “Salt,” all of “The Bodyguard” (holy crap, classic Kevin Costner and Whitney!) and then two episodes of “The Americans.” I needed a serious screen detox after getting off that flight after spending seven hours just sitting in my seat watching TV. I had my first ever Nuts on Clark popcorn, and my mix of signature plain and cheesecorn was delicious (super glad I bought it too because I would’ve been starving after seven hours!)
Some highlights from San Francisco:
Seriously some of the craziest streets in any city I’ve ever seen! The hills are huge! We were driving around between video shoots and I think I repeated like 80 times about how we could never have these steep hills in New York (thanks to all of our snow). It was crazy to see the homes tucked away on the hills. Even crazier are the people jogging up these massive hills!
I’m such a nerd when it comes to tech and visiting Silicon Valley really was awesome! First off, my hotel had a robot. It would bring you whatever you wanted (bottled water, Ben and Jerry’s, etc.) Seriously. You just called up the front desk and they’d load whatever you wanted into the robot.
One of the venture capital firms we visited in downtown Palo Alto had an Elevator Pitch Room – complete with stools and a Polaroid Instax camera. They also had a kitchen loaded with food, drinks and snacks. It was the quintessential Silicon Valley company for sure and fun to see how different West Coast office culture is to us on the East Coast. It looked really fun, but I can’t be trusted around that many free Naturebox snacks!
I was super excited to meet up with my cousin Leslie! We hadn’t seen each other in a few years (seems we live on opposite sides of the country), but it was great to catch up. When I’m away from home, I always get homesick. I don’t like being away from Trevor and the girls (yes, I’m that much of a homebody), but seeing family in San Francisco was exactly what I needed! She scored us a reservation at Wayfare Tavern (one of Tyler Florence’s restaurants), which didn’t disappoint. Our dinner was amazing, and they have the most delicious doughnuts I’ve ever had. I would’ve taken photos, but it was definitely a low-light kind of place. I was great to see her and literally felt like zero time had passed catching up with her!
Like I said, it was a super fast trip in-and-out. My only regret was that I didn’t get a chance to go to In-N-Out Burger. I also saw the sun for a couple of hours just before I left for the airport to fly back to New York, but I had fun exploring a new city!