I’ve lived in Toronto for 25 years and I feel like I’ve experienced everything that this city has to offer. ...
It’s been a week since Lisa and I returned from our mini-vacation to San Francisco. As I get back into the regular routine of life this week, the trip seems to be well back in the rear view mirror. But there’s still wonderful memories of a wonderful week.
First off, why San Francisco? Well, at the end of last year, we were starting to get a bit antsy that we needed to break up our routine. We love what we do, but sometimes life does require a change of scenery, if just for a short time. We knew that it would be nice to have a little winter escape, but we’re not beach people. So we thought how about San Francisco?? The temperature would be warm enough that we could spend extended time outdoors and it would also give us an opportunity to discover one of the world’s most iconic cities.
So we cashed in all of our air miles compiled on various cards over the years and just did it! (this is as spontaneous we get:))
It was nice to be a tourist for a change. For the past bunch of years, travelling has been a very regular part of our routine in leading this artistic life. But it was nice to visit somewhere where there were no concerts to play, adjudicating, meetings or conferences…just have fun!
San Francisco lived up to everything I had heard about it over the years. The topography was so interesting (very hilly…I always enjoy a little bit of a physical challenge:)). The architecture was so varied (some buildings felt like I was in NYC!). Vibrant arts scene. Beautiful green space – there’s Golden Gate Park which has to be one of the most expansive city parks in the world other than Central Park in NYC and Hyde Park in London. The closeness to the ocean and lookouts were quite breathtaking – I’ve never seen waves so high. An nearby Muir Woods cannot be described in words.
Even though the city has it’s hustle and bustle, it still has an overriding feeling of laid-back-ness which is interesting. It’s very progressive politically and sustainability-wise. There’s a lot of money there being the epicentre for the world’s tech sector. Because of this, it’s expensive. So much wealth yet so sad to also see so much homelessness and poverty. Living in Toronto and having visited other cities in the world, I’m used to seeing first-hand the plight of the homeless, but San Francisco has got quite a concentrated population. Like many things, the dichotomy is glaring and cannot be avoided.
Despite it’s socio-economic challenges, Lisa and I had a great time. I have a tendency to always feel guilty when I treat myself to something. But I’m happy we went. Beautiful memories that I will cherish with the love of my life forever.