I arrived in the San Francisco area late yesterday afternoon and I'm a bit sad that I'm away from Tucson (since it kind of became my home away from home over the last month and a half). But, I'm so excited about the possibilities that SF has to offer me during the next couple of weeks!
I spent a large part of last week packing up my things and preparing for my departure. Delphine and I got together for lunch a couple of times towards the end of the week, and since she's moving to Philadelphia around the middle of the month, she was also in the process of packing. Since that's the case, I was the recipient of a lot of stuff she didn't want to lug around Pennsylvania, such as a pair of Doc Martens, a tent, an umbrella, some Brita filters, a purse, and a kick ass coat that she wore when she was in high school in France. That girl has single-handedly given me almost everything I could possibly need to take on a good camping trip. She's amazing.
Anyway, on Friday night we all got together with Garrett's group of friends for dinner at a good sandwich shop / bar on 4th avenue, and I got to say most of my goodbyes. Garrett and I went back to his place to watch a movie that night, fell asleep, then woke up the next morning to do our last hike together.
Sabino Canyon's "Seven Falls" hike was probably the first hike we had discussed doing together, so it was strangely appropriate that it ended up being the most (technically) easy and final hike we did in Tucson. Notice that I say "technically" easy (not generally easy). It ended up being the hardest hike we did, in my opinion. My reasoning behind this is that we ended up going during the hottest part of the day (stupid, STUPID) and I totally got dehydrated and nearly passed out at the end by the falls. The nice thing was that there was actually some running water there, (despite the fact that Tucson is currently in the middle of its dry season), and I could soak my feet and relax for awhile. We ran out of water right at the end of the hike when we got back to the trailhead. I guess we'll know better for next time. :-/
That night, Garrett and I met up with Matt, Sarah and Casey for the "Third Annual Night of New Orleans" at Hotel Congress. They had some great live music going on outside, plus a big table set up where you could get some spicy crawfish and shrimp. Garrett got me a dirty martini with extra olives, and that one drink was enough to put me away for the night and make me eerily giddy and giggly. We all had some good (and stupidly hilarious) conversation. Man, I love martinis. Following the concert, all of us (except for Casey) went down the street to have a late late dinner at this totally cool restaurant called "The Grill." After dinner we parted ways and Garrett and I went home to get some sleep before my big road trip the next day.
I didn't get as early a start as I would have liked on Sunday morning, but since the trip was only 7 hours as opposed to 9, it didn't seem necessary to wake up much before 11. The trip to Santa Monica was fairly uneventful, and I'm glad I chose to drive into town on a Sunday night as opposed to a weekday night. That traffic is insane, and I'm almost certain I'm in no position to navigate an unfamiliar highway in a place as crazy as Los Angeles (especially during rush hour). I stayed with some nice couchsurfers who had moved to the US from Haifa, Israel two years earlier. They were very friendly, and provided me with a good dinner, a hot shower and a cozy bed to sleep in. Couchsurfing is so wonderful.
The next morning, I had to wake up early since my hosts had to make it to work. I hit the road around 10AM and did an even shorter drive on highway 5 to Oakland (6 hours?). Again, the drive was uneventful enough that it doesn't really need any explanation. The only thing I can say is that about 80% of that drive between LA and SF is boring as fuck. I mean, leaving LA is nice (mountains and a couple of lakes), and the last 60 miles before SF are nice (rolling hills, trees, wind farms). Everything in between? Complete shit. Oh well. I feel sorry for people in Bakersfield.
When Devin got home from work we immediately left for dinner. Some of his friends (Abe, Megan and Tony) picked us up and drove us all to a really nice Indian restaurant in downtown Berkely. We had a nice (and utterly hilarious) conversation, and then they drove us home afterwards. Devin and I stayed up late and attempted t0 watch the movie "Eagle vs. Shark" on the projector screen in his bedroom, but the disc had a scratch (dammit!) that prevented us from completing it. Whatever the case, you should watch it. The parts I saw were so funny, and it has one of the band members from "Flight of the Conchordes" in it.