day 1 // a golden state of mind

The day started early. Too early. 3:30AM, to be exact. In a mild rush we left the house to speed along the ghost town parkways that eventually took us to the airport.
Once we were there, we headed over to TSA to get it over with ahead hour-ish early so we found ourselves in a line at Starbucks with a couple of flight attendants who were talking about how they “just made it to work” and I started to wonder what the life of a flight attendant might look like. I personally think I’d like it because you get to travel all over, but then J said you’d probably have to spend more time than you’d like on planes and at airports. I’m gonna wait until I find/read an honest blog about the flight attendant life style before I make a verdict (;
We ended up bending the rules a bit when we started boarding– J’s mom had all our tickets so we ended up in the same boarding group regardless. As we got our tickets scanned I made a swift mood towards the boarding dock. There’s a part of me that is a strict rule follower and likes everything to be in order. We’re allowed a certain sized suitcase for a carry on and then a smaller bag to keep with us at our feet so naturally I hard-core measured my wheel-y suitcase to make sure I was within United guidelines. I was, barely.
As they called us to board I heard a woman say “can someone please check her bag…?”
But I just uh
Kept walking because I was not about to pay to check my luggage.
We got on the plane and not gonna lie, fitting everything above us [esp. my bag–whatever–] was a mild struggle. But it worked out in the end. I’ve honestly never ridden a plane for longer than 2 hours [in my adult life] so the 5 hour flight took me a bit by surprise. If you’re not by the window, sleeping is hard. But J and I tried anyway, in every sitting position you could think of.
Once we landed [around 8:30ish AM], I saw my phone’s clock jump back 3 hours. We left the airport with the intention of going to J’s mom’s cousin’s house, however we had to take some mild detours because you can’t just land in San Francisco and not see San Francisco. XD
We put the pedal to the metal up the legendary hills of this crazy city [I don’t understand how people PARK on the side of MOUNTAINS like omg] and cruised up to the Twin Peaks. Couldn’t resist because apparently it was a super clear day and they’re normally covered in fog otherwise.

We drove pretty far up and stopped for pictures– I was not, however, prepared for the huge gusts of wind and FIFTY DEGREE FARENHEIT weather, esp. after hitting the upper 90’s back home in the past couple days.

Needless to say, the view was… astonishing. Breathtaking. I’ll let the pics speak for themselves:

We then took a drive over the Golden Gate bridge and stopped off to admire it at one of the lookout points just beyond.

Again, speechless.

Because we hadn’t really eaten anything since a brownie J and I shared at the airport, we were kinda starving so we met up with J’s extended fam [owners of the place we’d be staying at for a couple nights] at Mary’s Pizza Shack in Santa Rosa. We ordered BBQ chicken [J’s fave!] and it was *heavenly*.

When we arrived at J’s mom’s cousins, we started the hunt for new rental properties, as the wildfires near Yosemite have only seemed to intensify [the fire jumped TWO HIGHWAYS like what????]
After what seems like hours of surfing AirBnB, we found a place up in Truckee, near Tahoe, so we’ll probably be adventuring up there the day after next if the smoke isn’t too bad.

To relieve ourselves from searching and to fuel some hunger, we made a trip to Paradise Ridge Vineyards for wine tasting and chic food truck food. We also scored some home-made artisan cookies, so there’s that.

The atmosphere was probably the coolest part about this place, though. Upon entering, you saw a sign saying “Welcome to Paradise” [ha, get it] and I didn’t really believe it until the sun started to set over the vineyard. There were great scenic overlooks, rails to lean against and tables that granted us a spectacular view of the mountains in the distance and the vineyards below. There was even a platform where a small, jazzy band of mostly elderly members were playing older classics [that also managed to give me some PTSD from working at the Italian restaurant] like a jazzy rendition of “Route 66” [when we first walked in] “Try a Little Tenderness”, and “Save the Last Dance for Me”. There were people old and young dancing, and one elderly couple in particular was KILLING IT on the dance floor. It was so sweet.

“A flask of wine, a book of verse, and thou beside me singing in the wilderness – Ah wilderness, were Paradise enow!”

After eating and soaking up the sunset [these pics can’t even begin to convey it] we visited the sculpture garden nearby. We found some sculptures AND some llamas- dunno if they were wild or not… We tried to get close to them to take pics and try to pet them but they kept galloping away. Oh well, next time.

We then stopped to take pictures with the “L O V E” letters and pet a multi-poo on the way out. The radio was cranked up and “Brighter than the Sun” by Colbie Caillat was blasting, followed by “Roller Coaster” by Bon Jovi.

We’re currently fighting off being completely consumed by tiredness, but it was a fantastic first day.

Til next time,
xx
steph

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