Sunday, March 2, 2014

San Francisco - The Official Selfie Tour

Diana's work paid off again recently with a trip to the San Francisco area. Of course I had to tag along to be the supportive husband. It wasn't until we got back to Barcelona, though, that I realized more than half our photos were selfies so I decided to use exclusively selfie photos for this entire story.

Diana and I en route (note how empty the plane was - it was like this both ways, which made for some nice lay-down-on-four-seats sleeping going home!):

Our obsession with taking self portraits started on the first night we met when Diana asked me to take a photo of the two of us. We've kept at it ever since, including during our wedding. I really didn't appreciate them at first but they grew on me when I was looking through a bunch of old photos to use in our wedding album. Almost all of my favorite pictures were ones we had taken of ourselves over time. Chalk another one up to Diana's persistence.

Anyway, there were a few things I absolutely needed to do during our very brief visit to San Francisco. One was eating as much Mexican food as I could, which we managed to do the first night we were there and I did twice more while she was working. Another thing I wanted to do was go out to breakfast each morning. Well, here we were doing just that on our first full day in the Bay Area (breakfast selfie):

According to the never-wrong-and-always-to-be-trusted wikipedia, the first selfie was taken in 1839 but the first recorded use of the word itself was by a drunken Australian in 2002. Hmm...yeah. Sounds about right. Like I said, seflies have grown on us to the point where we prefer to take our own photos even if someone offers to take one for us. Just about to board a California Street cable car in the financial district:

...and about five minutes later as we passed by Chinatown:

Our trip lasted just three full days and four nights but we were only able to visit the city for one day because of Diana's commitments. The day we spent in SF was typical winter stuff - rainy and windy - well, actually, that could pretty much be any time there. When we got over to the Golden Gate, it was completely fogged in and raining pretty hard. But, there were a few minutes here and there when you could see the towers and even the other side. Golden-Gate selfie during one of the breaks in the weather:

We decided to walk out on the bridge in spite of the high winds and rain. If you've met me, you know that my hair is fairly course and doesn't move around a lot. Well, looking at this photo might give you an indicator of just how windy it was:

This next photo reminds me in some ways of the Beatles Please Please Me album my parents had when I was a kid, except that it's a selfie and it's damn cold, damn windy, and, of course, damn foggy!

Our "whistle-stop tour", as the folks in Dublin say, was as complete as it could be for having maybe eight hours or so to see all of San Francisco. We took a cable car, we walked on the Golden Gate, we ate chocolate at a very wet Ghirardelli square:

...and watched the cable cars be manually turned around at the end of Hyde street:

What visit to San Francisco would be complete without eating over-priced, under-flavored, and previously-frozen clam chowder out of a made-in-a-factory sourdough-bread bowl at Fisherman's Wharf? Not this one! Welcome to paradise!

One of the last times I was in San Francisco was a bunch of years ago when I met my mom and dad there for a quick weekend visit. My mom decided to buy a flight in a small sea plane for my dad and me. I remember that flight like it was yesterday because we flew over all of San Francisco, Alcatraz, and on our way back to where we started, the center of the Golden Gate.

One of the other things I remember vividly from that trip was hanging with my folks at Pier 39 watching the sea lions resting on the docks and even on some boats. The docks and a couple of the smaller boats were partially submerged with the weight of the sea lions. I guess they've removed the boats and made some special docks for them as it looks different now. One thing that hasn't changed though is the smell - yummy... Pier 39 sea lion selfie:

One of the other things I had planned was a trip to Trader Joe's to buy all kinds of TJ's snacks and a few bottles of California Pinot Noir to bring back to Spain. Yes, we brought empty suitcase with us to California exclusively to fill it with TJ's booty!

It was a great trip made even greater by the fact that most of it was paid for. What a treat! A few days in the Bay Area, some great Mexican and Chinese food, good California wines, and Trader Joe's. What's not to love? Oh, and it spelled the end of my eight-week beard experiment as well. Here were are at U.C. Berkeley on our last morning in town with my freshly cleaned up face (and, of course, with spring-like weather just in time for our last couple of hours):

Thanks for the memories and great selfie-taking opportunities San Francisco and Berkeley. Hope to see you in our lovely self portraits again soon...and definitely for more than a couple days!


  1. Hello Darren!
    I was looking for "cal├žotada poble sec" pictures and I just came across your blog. Needless to say is great!
    Have fun and enjoy! Regards from els Castellers del Poble Sec :)!

    1. Thanks Ernest! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for stopping by and see you soon.


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