Chocolate, waffles, and awesome times were ALL had!

So I spent the last couple days on the other coast.  I haven’t spent any time in California since maybe a decade ago (ish?), so it was good to go back and see the sights that I’d enjoyed as a kid.

Alcatraz.  In Arabic it means..."The Catraz". (Not really.)

Alcatraz. In Arabic it means..."The Catraz". (Not really.)

I had a flight from Reagan at 6am last Thursday.  I took a cab to the airport, waited around for a bit, then got on an MD-90 to Atlanta.  The flight was a little bumpy at first, but it settled out after about half an hour.  Then a flight from Atlanta to SFO on a 757, and I was there!  Got there at around 11 am Pacific Time.

SFO tarmac, viewed from the inter-terminal tram

SFO tarmac, viewed from the inter-terminal tram

When leaving the airport, I hopped onto Google Chat and messaged my brother Dave, telling him I was famished and I asked him for a place to eat.  He sent me to his old haunt, the Mission district, for a burrito from Taqueria El Farolito.  It was easily the best burrito I’ve ever eaten.  As proof, I didn’t take any pictures of it because I was so enthralled by it.  But click the above link, and you’ll see that many others agree.

I ended up walking around San Francisco after that.  I took the BART to Embarcadero, not for an intelligent reason…just because I remembered the name.

The hills in San Fran are so awesome to look at.  I bet they're awful to bike/run up though...

The hills in San Fran are so awesome to look at. I bet they're hell to bike/run up though...

I then made my way to Fisherman’s Wharf, another place that I remembered.

Mmmmm...Ghirardelli square.

Mmmmm...Ghirardelli square.

I picked up a few bars of chocolate as presents, but I was still stuffed from El Farolito, so I didn’t need to get any chocolate for myself.  A stupid idea in hindsight as their chocolate is so good…

I kept walking around the Fisherman’s Wharf area – click the photos for a larger version of each!

Ship propellersimg_0864

View from the dockWish today's highways were like this.

Saw this in a storefront window.  Myaw.The Golden Gate Bridge!

After milling around Fisherman’s Wharf, I headed back to Embarcadero to sit down for a bit before heading to meet Dan in Oakland.  Still full from lunch, I sat at the Bank of America charging my cellphone.  Then the guys at the bank told me that there would be a riot starting soon, so I should get on the BART before it closed down.  I hopped onto the BART and sat at the West Oakland BART station until Dan got there.

That night, I settled in…and again, still didn’t eat. I was SO stuffed from lunch.  Seriously, I ate one meal per day most days that I was there.

The next day, we went to a sake tasting at the Takara sake brewery – $5 got us 6 or 7 samples of sake.  I learned about a couple different kinds of sake, and I think I might pick some up for a dinner party – some of them are great with meals, and a few were great as dessert drinks.

After the tasting, Dan showed me a few sights from high above Oakland:

Above Oakland

We also went to one of the greatest stores …ever.

BevMo!  Related to WaMu?

BevMo! Related to WaMu?

Oh no. Not like WaMu at all.

Oh no. Not like WaMu at all.

BevMo.  So awesome.  A veritable cornucopia of awesome.  Didn’t pick anything up, but if I were to move out there, I know I’d be there a fair bit.

We had Tapas for dinner, and saw a Capoeira show that night – it was a little long (2 hours), but it’s at least an entertaining show.  The tapas could have been better, but perhaps we ordered the wrong things.  Also I was extremely tired that night so maybe that’s why I was ‘eh’ about that night’s activities.

The next day, Dan and I drove to Los Angeles to see Jayson.


Along route 5. Snow became pretty prevalent for about 40 minutes in those mountains.

We met up with Jaysn and Cecilia (his girlfriend) after we got there.  Jayson took us out to a taco place (whose name I have forgotten!) and then to a bar for some drinking and pool.  We had a Belgian trappist ale and played pool for a few hours:

img_0901Game #1.img_0904

Good luck Dan.

Good luck Dan.

We kicked Jayson’s and Cecilia’s ASSES.

By that I mean they scratched the 8-ball in all three games.

Whatever.  We won.

The next day, Jayson took us to the BEST BREAKFAST EVER – chicken and waffles.





Oh man.  The waffles just soaked the syrup up perfectly, and the gravy was buttery and thick and full of onions.  The waiter told us the syrup (shots in the pictures) was Tequila.  It was much more awesome.

Dan and I drove back the next day.  And by “Dan and I” I mean Dan drove back and I sat there again.

Thanks dude.  Seriously.

The next morning, I got to the airport at about 9:00 am for my 1:00 pm flight, expecting to sit around for a while, but I had enough to do that I wouldn’t be bored out of my skull (LSAT practice, PTO work, etc).

However, my flight to Atlanta was going to be slightly delayed due to rain (it was drizzling a bit in San Francisco), and I would have missed my flight from Atlanta to Reagan.  So Delta moved my first flight to Cincinnati on a 737 (I got an exit-row seat!!!).  My second flight was from Cincinnati to Reagan on a Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen (again, I had an exit row window seat :-) ).

I was originally a little miffed, but then I realiszed that originally I was slated to get into DC around 11:15 pm, and was now getting in just after 9:30 pm.  This rocked!  Plus I was able to say “I’ve been to Ohio”!  (Although, as I’m finding out right now, I was actually in Kentucky.  Whoops!)

Cincinnati Airport. Cute little airport, very modern.

Cincinnati Airport. Cute little airport, very modern.

My flight from Cincinnati to Reagan was short and uneventful.  It was a cute little plane and it was a very short flight – just under an hour.

Fueling up the CRJ900

Fueling up the CRJ900. You really get an idea of how small this plane is by how close it is to the ground.

Nikhil picked me up and I made it home.  It was a great trip, and I’m hoping that I’ll get to move there one day, at least for a little while.  It’s so beautiful, so warm, and just…fun!

But for now, it’s time to go back to work.  Ah well.



  1. John Filippini says:

    Dude, what was that riot about? Or do they just do that for fun when they get bored in SF?

  2. Chris Johns says:

    I don’t know. It didn’t end up materializing, but it was either:

    • a reaction to the BART shooting some time ago
    • a vegetarian protest
    • something else

    They said what it was, but I just don’t remember. There were about 60 cops on the way to the BART station (100 feet away from the bank)…

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