Holly and I have been talking lately about being open to opportunities, and saying “Yes” when an opportunity arises. Having been in California for two weeks, and not knowing when I’ll be able to come back (either for work or otherwise), I’ve been contemplating this conversation a lot.

I’m 32 years old, and most of the time, I don’t feel it. (Also all the time I act like a grown man baby.) There are days when I’ll come home from work and feel like crashing. I’ve been taking in a lot of information at work while I’ve been here, and some nights, I will want to just turn on the television, order Pizza Hut (because, let’s face it, I have no excuse ordering Pizza Hut living in New York City, but since I’m here, where all pizza is bad pizza, I may as well order my favorite bad pizza), and shortly after, hating myself for eating Pizza Hut and falling asleep. Thankfully, I’ve only done this twice since I got here!

Saying “Yes” has put me in some unbelievably awesome places here. I’ve been to two breweries so far, and seen some of the gorgeous scenery that the Bay Area has to offer. It hasn’t really been warm, and it hasn’t really been sunny (I think I brought the rain from New York, but I hear that California is in a drought, so I can’t really be mad about it, because without water, there is no beer…), but we’ve made the best of our time.

This past Saturday, some of my new buddies and I went to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco.  It was raining, but it didn’t really impede us.  We found a metered parking spot in front of a little chocolate shop, and our friends pulled into a spot behind us (after my roommate Ali spent about 10 minutes shooing away people who tried to park behind us). Ali is Persian, and has just the friendliest face you’ll ever see, so it was hilarious to see him jump out of the car every few minutes to chat with the presumably (and rightfully so, we were parked like a-holes) angry drivers, flashing a smile and lying right to their faces, telling them we already payed for both spots.  As it turns out, the spot we were in didn’t have a meter.  We asked a passing traffic cop if it was ok to park there, because there was white paint on the curb, and the lady in the chocolate shop told us it was for deliveries.  Traffic cop tells us that in San Francisco, they only go off what they can clearly read, and since whatever was painted on that curb was all faded, we were good to go.  Boom!  Parked right in the heart of San Francisco!  (I’ve been told multiple times by Kat, one of my classmates who is a local, to never call it “San Fran”.  I’m trying so hard.). Maybe the traffic cop was lying to us.  (In New York, that would definitely be the case).  We didn’t really care at that point.  We didn’t want to waste anymore time.  Thankfully, he wasn’t lying, and we got a free parking spot for 4 hours.  Again, boom.

Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco

It looks like a movie set.  Not pictured, all the panhandlers, Ripley’s Believe it Or Not, or Madame Toussaud’s Wax Museum.  It’s still way nicer (and less crowded) than Times Square.

For lunch, we hit up The Franciscan.  And, my dear sweet lord, we filled our bellies with the freshest seafood you’ll find.  Basically jumping (do Mussels jump?  I think shrimp would probably jump, if ever given the opportunity) right off the docks and into our gullets.  Also, you have the opportunity to dine overlooking the San Francisco Bay and Alcatraz, so the ghosts of all the dead murderers and Sean Connery (not a ghost, and don’t you even think about it, 2016…) can watch you eat!

Can you guess how many of these crabs are haunted by the ghosts of prisoners of Alcatraz (pictured in the background)?  I can guarantee at least one of these things winked at me.

I had Steamed Mussels and Shrimp with drawn butter (is there a better phrase in the English language than “drawn butter”?)

We walked around the Wharf (a much needed walk) after our amazing lunch.  We explored some unbelievably gorgeous old (read: Haunted) Ships at the Maritime National Park.

I stood up on this anchor and a Park Ranger down on the dock shouted “YOU GOTTA DO THE SAILOR’S POINT!  LOOK IN ONE DIRECTION AND POINT IN ANOTHER.”  I’m so thankful for him.

After our jaunt at Fisherman’s Wharf, we drove a mile or so and headed to meet Kat at Southern Pacific Brewing Company.  This is a relatively new brewery, and the joint was jumping on a Saturday afternoon!

Southern Pacific Brewing Company
Like I said…  The joint?  She was a’jumpin’!

A bunch of us got flights, so we could all sample a bit of everything they had to offer.

I tasted a bit of all of the house beers.  The highlights were:

Their Barrel Aged Blend, which was a blend of their California Blonde and Saison, aged in Pinot Blanc barrels.  It smelled like hay, citrus, and funk (I love a beer that has some funk to it).  Taste was sour lemon, grass, white wine, ginger.  What a way to start!  It was an amazing beer to be drinking with my new friends, out on the front porch of the brewery. If this is how San Francisco tastes, I don’t wanna leave. 

A ton of awesome people.

Other highlights:

Hefeweizen, a Bavarian wheat beer, which was totally unfiltered and looked like a beautiful glass of pineapple juice, and tasted like ripe bananas and clove.  Gorgeous brew.  Wish I had a nice soft Bavarian pretzel to go with it.

Pale Ale, brewed with some classic hops (Cascade, Centennial, and Summit) was absolutely crushable at 5.2%ABV, but packed a punch with smells and flavors of daaaaaank pine and citrus.  (All those extra A’s were on purpose)

IPA, brewed with Columbus, Tomahawk, and Zythos hops, smelled and tasted just as sticky icky as the Pale Ale, and clocked in at only 5.8%ABV.  

So yeah, they’ve got some beers that smell like weed.  I had originally heard that Humulus Lupulus (hops) and Cannabis Sativa (marijuana) were relatives, but according to this article, there is no scientific proof.  I’ve always been fascinated when I smell a hop forward beer, the nose can evoke such interesting aromas, like pine, citrus (tropical or otherwise), black tea, grass, floral notes, herbs, spice, or, in this case, front row center at a Phish concert.  (Editor’s note: I’ve never been to a Phish Concert.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  I like pretty much all their songs that clock in under 5 minutes, also, I’m tickled by the fact that their drummer’s last name is Fishman.)

Packed house at Southern Pacific Brewing Company on a Saturday afternoon. I’m 99% sure there’s something delicious inside that tank.Gorgeous view from inside the brewery!

As I sit here in my hotel room, my exhausted Holly (she’s here!) is asleep after a long travel day, I reflect on all the great experiences I’ve had since I got here nearly two weeks ago.  I can’t fit them all into one post, so in a few days, I’ll post up again with my adventure to Half Moon Bay, a local brewery that we almost couldn’t find, and a farewell to one of my favorite bands.

Thank you all so much for taking the time to check out this blog!  You’re all wonderful!

Cheers!  See you in a few days!

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