SF or Bust

Trip Start Sep 07, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , California
Monday, January 29, 2007

Flight, Burritos, Tortillas, Amoeba, Family Reunion, Drivers License, Thanksgiving in Feb, Family Photo, Meeting my new little cousins, friend reunions in SF

Yes the flight was long and both of us were stressed out, but it was so nice to be in the States again speaking English and seeing the ones we love.

We excitedly made lists of all the different things we wanted to see and do during our three weeks in the bay area. The longest list of course was of restaurants! We had so many favorites in our old SF neighborhood. We managed to hit the important ones and even went to a new one (Thanks Jan and Raf!). Between Dim Sum on Clement, soft tacos from Panchos, and Burma Super Star, not too mention Best of Thai Noodle, Tawans and Sushi, I am pretty sure I gained a good ten pounds.

In any case, we landed in SF after a fairly easy flight. It was long, but we were well cared for and I sat next to the sweetest older gentleman. He was busy picking out a necklace for his wife in the Inflight catalog. He explained that he had been in Jordan visiting relatives for a few weeks and always liked to bring something nice home, even though he knew she would get mad at him for spending the money. But that didn't stop him! He picked out a necklace with a large crystal pendant in the shape of a heart. He is such a hopeless romantic. I hope she wears it anyway.

Martys mom kindly took the day off to pick us up from the airport. It was so nice to see her! We picked up our luggage and slowly made our way to the car. FYI - BIG difference in temperature. When we left Hannover there had been freezing rain the night before, SF on the other hand was in the 70s coming off a heat wave in February. Go Figure! The first thing I noticed was how BIG the cars are in America. On the freeway every other car is an SUV. The exact opposite here in the EU. I am not saying everyone drives hybrids, but many drive itty bitty gas savers.

First stop on the way was the tortilla factory. Its really not that far off the path, just a little dip in the mission, plus it gave us an excuse to go around the corner and eat lunch at Panchitas #2. I could eat pupusas every day. Pupusa revuelta y queso. Oh man. And then of course we hit Amoeba. Marty had gone a whole 2 1/2 years with out Amoeba and did not want to wait a second longer. Ivania and I let him relish in the moment while we headed next door to the coffee shop and had a capuccino.

After a few hours we made our way back to Petaluma and met up at my parents house. This would be our home base for the next week or so, we would then be in the city for a week and then finish of the trip with Marty's family. Let me tell you, my family planned this out well. The first weekend I am home and we had two parties, a family picture and party as well as Thanksgiving in Feb! Woohoo I hit the jackpot.

However, before I could party, I had to take care of some business. During my stay in Germany, my drivers license had expired, and because it was my third renewal they wanted a new picture and for me to be there in person. So, I wasn't actually able to do that until a year after expiration which means I had to take the written test again. I had been studying for the past couple of months (Mom had sent me the DMV handbook)and luckily I did very well except for one question which was a typical DMV confusing question. Everyone I have showed it to is also confused. But since it was the only one I got wrong, I am not complaining. Most importantly I have my license and I don't have to worry about it for another couple of years. Now all my jury duty notices will be coming to my parents! Sorry!

Some highlights from our trip:

-Spending a few days with Nia and my godson Miles who is now 6!!!! Where did the time go!
- Driving Marty's mom's wonderfully comfortable and powerful (with buttwarming seats!) car for almost the whole trip. It was wonderful!
- Taking fantastic pictures with both sides of the family. I especially like the "Ninja" cousin shots!
- A sunset view from our friend's balcony in SF that looked directly on the old tree that is in front of our old apartment.
- Gratiam Prik Thai and phad woon sen at Tawans on 8th and Geary.
- Shopping with Mom (and seeing the cute little German girl dancing in front of the mirror, so interesting to hear German being spoken in Petaluma!)
- Eating Tortillas on the first day back.
- The smell of Green Apple Book Store (I love that old book smell but mixed with the smell of Clement street makes me feel at home.).
- Tortillas
- Not getting past the entryway of 222 Club for at least an hour :) SO good to see everyone!
- Meeting my little cousin Hannah for the first time.
- Lunch at Burma SuperStar with Mary and Dales and then checking out the new DeYoung with Mary (it was still unfinished when I left in 2005 - wow what a beautiful piece of architecture, I totally recommend it - I just wish they hadn't put in a parking lot).
- Going to the beach.
- Spending the day with Gina.
- Trader Joes (bought nonfat Greek Yogurt immediately)
- Tortillas
- Hanging and going to BOTN with Scott
- Telling my brother bedtime stories in German
- Seeing all the friends at Houseplant
- Dinner with Julia
- playing with my sweet hound Lucky
- I found li hing mui in Japantown.(Honolulu spice that I can't go without)
- Seeing Justin even if for a brief lunch.
- Tortillas
- Tea Party in Rosette's garden. (My plants that she so wonderfully adopted look fantastic and healthy as she has a natural green thumb and lots of love, and plants thrive on love.)
- Pedicures with Rosette and then off to Sushi dinner with her Jan and Raf.

Unfortunately by the end of the trip, exhaustion had set in and we caught some sort of bug from one of the many people we hugged and kissed over the weeks. Marty had to cancel his last gig in SF and when we got back home to Germany we both were sick for another two weeks. But how do you avoid it? Honestly? When one only has so much time and wants to do it all, I can't see anyway around it. All I know is that I will gladly do it again. But I think I need 3 months not 3 weeks!
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