Here I am, back in San Francisco for a weekend of personal time before a geothermal conference at Stanford on Monday. I'm staying at the same hostel that Dawn and I stayed in last March because it's so affordable and in such a great location, right near Union Square. My own room, own bathroom, free wi-fi, free coffee and oatmeal in the morning, friendly people - what more could I ask for? I love spending time in this city. It's nice to be back to familiar territory and hardly even need a map.
I was afraid the rain would get me down but since I arrived yesterday afternoon everything cleared up. Did you know that the sun always shines when I come to San Francisco? If you take me camping you are guaranteed to have a near-tornado experience with lightning and maybe even some hail, but if you take me to San Fran the forecast is for sun :)
So far everyone has been SO nice, which is a relief because I am traveling alone. My friend from work was supposed to join me, but he ate some bad peanuts in a trail mix and is stuck back in DC with salmonella eating bananas :( I was slightly distressed about this as I left the airport, but it feels good to move to my own beat. This weekend is a lot less busy and scheduled than my erstwhile trips - since I've done most of the touristy things already I'm just planning to enjoy myself. I went down to the Embarcadero to the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, walked to Pier 39, hiked up to Coit Tower (never did this before!), strolled through the little Italian cafes in North Beach, and cut through Chinatown on my way back. This weekend they are celebrating the Chinese New Year, so the whole place was packed. I was feeling a little claustrophobic so I didn't hang around too long, but stopped for sushi on my way back. This is the second time I've had sushi since arriving yesterday and it might be the only thing I eat while I am here this weekend! I've hardly had any these past few months so I'm going to get my fill while I can. I haven't really felt like taking pictures but I'll post a few here from my walk just for some visual effects.