While walking the streets of San Francisco, you can turn the corner and experience a 10-degree temperature drop. True story.
The wind tunnels, shady areas and proximity to the water can make one neighborhood seem like a totally different climate from the other. That’s why locals are adamant about layering clothing every single time you step out of the house. We’ve adapted to layering, but the practice of taking a sweater on and off as you walk around on a day outside is still somewhat annoying. Sweat, shiver, sweat, shiver. Repeat.
This weekend brought clear, sunny skies and 60-degree temperatures, so Dave and I tried to be outside as much as we could.
On Saturday, with no major plans on the horizon, we had a long outdoor lunch at MoMo’s restaurant across from AT&T Park, where we enjoyed good food and drinks and basked in the bright sunshine from our table. After that, we walked all the way down the Embarcadero (the pathway that takes you along the Bay coastline) and got some treats at the Ferry Building. We arrived after the Farmer’s Market was already over, but surprisingly, there was still a large crowd. Dave stood in a long line for a cappuccino from the popular Bay Area-founded Blue Bottle Coffee, and I picked up a Pellegrino from a market and a decadent carrot-cake cupcake from Miette Patisserie.
On Sunday, we ventured back outside in the City sunshine to experience the annual Bay to Breakers race from afar. While we had considered participating in the event, we just didn’t get it all together and ended up taking it in from the periphery. This annual race has been going on more than 100 years in San Francisco and features a walk/run from one end of the City to the other — the “Bay” side to the “Breakers” side. The event started at 7 a.m. in the Financial District, so we awoke to bands, voices and craziness in the wee hours of the morning on Sunday, where people were already partying just a few blocks from our doorstep. Although there are serious runners in the race, most participants and spectators are fun-loving groups who go all out in their costumes. For this event the people of San Francisco also go to new levels of public drunkenness (spoken by a Lady who grew up tailgating at the University of Florida and isn’t one to judge).
We had heard over and over that Bay to Breakers is one of the craziest days in the City. And, crazy it was. Locals, and those who come into the City for the festivities, take this event seriously. In fact, on Saturday afternoon we saw some groups doing “pre-runs” in their costumes, which was pretty amazing to see on an afternoon stroll. Have you ever seen someone running in a brown t-shirt and over-sized cardboard box cut-out costume that said McDonald’s on the outside alluding to the fact that this person was a breakfast hash brown? What about a group of girls in flesh-toned naked suits? And those are just the innocent and identifiable get-ups we came across …
To get a good dose of sunshine and do some more people watching, we headed out mid-day on Sunday to the Marina neighborhood, where we saw huge groups of drunk, costumed revelers partying it up inside and outside bars. We also saw a few lone costumed individuals, who looked sweaty, tired, forlorn and absolutely pitiful when walking by themselves in broad daylight.
After strolling through town, armed with our usual picnic spread, Dave and I found a spot on the grass at Fort Mason park and relaxed there for a few hours, getting a good taste of the post-Bay to Breakers happenings. Quite a few costumed characters had made their way to this park, even though the main after-party takes place closer to finish line near the “Breakers” side.
I just don’t think we were truly ready to wear a full-fledged costume and stumble seven miles across the City with hidden backpacks of booze this year, but we sure did enjoy watching the rest of the City amble around and recover from this local tradition a little later in the day.
San Francisco has constantly changing weather, amazing restaurants and a population of quirky, fun-loving people who are eager to participate in activities like Bay to Breakers, which bring people together for a good time. We’re on board with so many local aspects that maybe we will be ready to suit up and go for it next year.
This weekend we fly to Florida for a week-and-a-half of relaxing, two weddings and our one-year anniversary. I can’t wait to soak in the sunshine, humidity and high-temperatures and not worry one second about wearing layers.