“Hi daughter; I’m in San Francisco!” my dad exclaimed over the phone on Friday. This weekend is the 9th Annual San Francisco Salsa Congress, and being the salsa lover that he is, my dad drove up to dance all weekend. He took Saturday off from workshops to hang out with me in my new city.
Before the adventures officially began, I insisted that we go back to his hotel in Oakland — not to dance, but to get him in some proper city-exploring clothes instead of the comfy sweats he had been wearing. This was my first time in Oakland, and boy am I glad that I don’t have to go there often. It gets a bad rap for being ghetto and dangerous, which I thought was maybe overplayed by San Francisco snobs, but even at 11 a.m. it seemed sketchy and rundown to me. I definitely won’t be walking around there alone if I can help it.
Once we drove back across the Bay Bridge into the city and found ridiculously overpriced parking, we argued about the pros and cons of Indian food for breakfast (I won) and walked to Union Square for a delicious late breakfast at Sears, which had such a classy feel and thankfully has no connection to the department store. We walked around for a bit, trying to think of what to do and almost rented a GPS-guided GoCar to drive around the city. We ended up taking a cable car to Pier 39 — so San Francisco. This was my first time there and I loved it! It’s fun being a tourist, and kind of funny to see what tourists flock to when they come here instead of the places where “locals” like me go. Pier 39 is great! I saw a sea lion, got some ice cream, and found a store that changed my life forever: Lefty’s, the store for left-handed people. Needless to say I was very excited and stocked up on left-handed items, including a notebook and pen. End the discrimination! Equality for lefties!
After we said our goodbyes and he went back across the bay, I enjoyed the biggest storm of the decade in the parlor. Lightning every few minutes, thunder clapping so loud that it shook the house, and a puddle outside so big that the car parked there was tire-deep in water. It was a good end to a good day.