This past week I was in Norcal for the BlogHer conference in San Jose, CA. I attended the the conference as a Happiness Engineer to help staff the Happiness Bar. It was my first time manning a Happiness Bar, and I must say, it was really fun! Finally being able to look at our users in the eye and help them in person was an amazing feeling. Getting real life hugs definitely beats online #hugs! And of course, meeting my fellow Automatticians was one of the highlights of my trip. Can’t wait to see them again in September for the Grand Meetup in Park City, Utah!
After the conference I spent an extra two days in San Francisco. I spent four amazing years attending UC Berkeley and living in the Bay Area, but I never really experienced what SF really had to offer besides shopping at Union Square and that stupid wharf! Looking back at my undergraduate years, SF was mainly about shopping, taking visitors to Fisherman’s Wharf and riding the Bart to Powell Station and back. Luckily, I had the lovely Matt who showed me all the little gems of SF this time around.
First, I met up with some of Matt’s lovely newlywed friends who were probably one of the nicest people I have ever met. After a nice, long chat we went on a nice 5 minute hike up to the Twin Peaks. Whether 5 minutes constitutes a hike – I don’t care (and it’s a hike to me! – I’m in real great shape, btw), but it led to an amazing view of SF. I personally like the fog overlooking the city – but don’t get me wrong, I don’t like living in fog. I like looking at it from above.
The next day was spent biking all the way to Sausalito on Dylan’s Tours bikes! What was supposed to be a nice joyful ride across the Golden Gate bridge turned somber fairly quickly when a man jumped to his death right before our eyes. I’ll never forget standing and watching helplessly as the coast guard came to pick up that man’s body. The feeling was incredibly strange. It was a mixture of feelings – wondering what led this man to jump, feeling shock and sadness that a life ended so abruptly right in front of me, and watching people go about their day without knowing a man had just died a few minutes ago. I didn’t really feel anything looking at the Golden Gate bridge before, but I’ll never be able to look at it the same again.
After reaching Sausalito we inhaled some pizza, salt water taffies, root beer floats, and date shakes before getting back on our bikes to go into the city. Biking back wasn’t initially the plan as we had hoped to take the ferry, but the nearly hour and half long wait led us to just ride our bikes back, which was great considering all the food we had just consumed. The night was spent more or less eating and hanging out with SF folks.
The next and final day started off on a wonderful note eating at Louis SF overlooking the Sutro Baths. This has got to be one of the best views in SF. After a bit of work it was time to head back to the City of Angels. Thank you to my wonderful host, Matt, who showed me that SF is indeed a great number 2 to Los Angeles in terms of cities in California. 😉 I had a lovely time and glad to know that SF was more than just Union Square!