29.08.2010 - 29.08.2010 23 °C
Today I met up with one of my cousins who is living out on the West Coast. I was disappointed that I haven't been able to get out to San Francisco's wine country (the Napa and Sonoma Valleys are only about three-quarters of an hour away) - this is mostly because of a realisation that money is short and when there aren't any shuttles, hiring a car just isn't an option. When my cousin and her boyfriend suggested we visit Sonoma Valley I jumped at the chance. At this time of year the California countryside is coloured a burnt orange, giving it its name The Golden State. The vine yards line the routes north and we stopped off a few to sample many glasses of wine. After quite sometime without wine it hit me hard to say the least! I think I just about kept my composure! We ate lunch at one of the vine yards, chasing it with some more wine (I could easily get used to life in California!).
That evening I headed out to their place in a neighbourhood called The Misson, which is a young and stylish area and also happens to be the home of San Francisco's lesbian population. I pretty much fell in love with their apartment as soon as I walked into it and it occurred to me, once I was told how much they're paying for it, that my standards for finding a place for myself back home might be somewhat unrealistic. We walked around The Mission for a little bit, popping into a cool park where people were relaxing in the evening sun, and went to pick up pizza from the very popular Pizzeria Delfina. The pizza was excellent.
It was great to meet another relative who although I've met before, I was much younger to remember. I thought it funny that her main memory of my family's last visit was my brother running endlessly around her parents' dining room table. "Has he changed?" "Not really." They're going to be moving back to Boston soon and they plan to road trip back, so I hoped I was in someway helpful in impartingsome of what I've experienced in America and places they might particuarly enjoy.
I got to Tenderloin late and I braved and, yes, survived the ten minute walk in San Francisco's dodgiest area back to the hostel. All in all it was a very enjoyable last day in California.