Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I left my heart (and my toiletries) in San Francisco

Best way to travel: People with whom you have common interests.

Which is pretty much why we ate our way from one end of the city to the other and back again.

I still remember when things were up in the air with The Boy and I was discussing them with a friend..."He's a chef," this friend said. "Nobody talks about food more than you do. The only person in doubt about this working out is you."

Fine. I am a shallow human being, and I love to eat. And yes, I am in love. That being said, I offer the following travelogue.

We got in Friday night. I had threatened Ricky on at least four separate occasions that if he checked a bag I would actually skewer him; we were trying to make The Boy's restaurant before close so we could all adjourn from the same place with A Plan In Place. That being said, immediately upon setting foot in the airplane I was informed that they had run out of overhead space, and I would have to check my carryon bag. Kill me now.

I am not sure what Delta's thought pattern is, but for future reference, if ever they tell you to check a bag which by rights you had packed as a carryon, MAKE SURE YOU GET THE NUMBER FOR THE BAGGAGE CLAIM. When I disembarked I looked at my ticket and discovered that they had listed my flight number. Nice. I knew what flight I was on, what I needed to know is which luggage claim was the one where I could retrieve my carry-on-now-checked luggage. You will be pleased to know that it was eventually located on an unlit, unmoving, and unmarked baggage thingie. Which only took me 45 minutes and a stream of epithets normally used by Sigourney Weaver in Aliens 3 to locate. During the interim of which Ricky's plane landed and we started the Marco-Polo game of trying to find each other in the San Francisco International Airport.

By 10:00 p.m. we had found each other and a taxi, although it had become close and at one point Ricky had already observed that this airport had become our Waterloo.

Made it to the restaurant, made it to the B&B, made it home to fall into a deep and abiding coma.


We had brunch at a place called Stackers. I went for the bacon waffles, which were *exceptional*. They were crispy all the way through, with a delicious helping of bacon in each savory bite. Then we went to the Farmer's Market, where we ate our way through...twice. Of particular note was the prosciutto and cheese sandwich with dijon mustard, and the apricot conserves (which Ricky promptly bought and we later figured out would have to be shipped to him owing to the magic of 9/11 airport security. More on this later.), and the cheeses. Apparently the salmon candy was lovely as well, but I was having no part of that.

We then moved on to Union Square and got to play dress up with The Boy, which was fun. Ricky needed to do a little shopping, and at one point in Ben Sherman while slumped on the dressing room waiting chair we suddenly heard a lot of yelling going on in the dressing room. "What did he say?" I asked.
"Something about Chinese finger traps," Jed responded.
"No he didn't."
When Ricky finally emerged, he had a tale of woe; apparently the shirt he had tried on had sleeves too small for his biceps, and in trying to remove it he had become trapped with his arms behind his back. And was, apparently, yelling about Chinese torture traps.

I hate losing.

Then on to Jed's restaurant. We had reservations and because we were In The Know with a Very Important Sous Chef got the coveted #32 table...apparently this is coveted because it has a window and you can look out and comment on all the jackasses walking past. Which, naturally, appealed to us. So, on to dinner...what can I say, except this was exactly the moment where I left my heart and replaced it with ten pounds of extra fat? And that it was completely and totally worth it? Absolutely incredible meal, there is no going back from food like that. I had the tri-tip with port-red wine sauce, blue cheese mashed potatoes, and grilled beans. Jed had the jumbalaya, which Ricky couldn't stop eating, and Ricky had the wild mushroom ravioli with truffled mascarpone. I threatened to stab him with my fork if he didn't quit eating my mashed potatoes. It didn't stop him. *I* didn't stop him; I would have had to get another fork and that might have taken too long for me to pause in shoveling food into my mouth. The wait staff spoiled us senseless, and I have to say it was one of my favorite parts of the entire trip.

We will not discuss one of the more popular gay bars in the disco, except when I leaned close to Jed and shrieked into his ear "I am pretty sure this is violating the fire code!"
"Absolutely!" he roared back. "This many flamers in one room?"

(Interesting side note: a large and burly guy there took umbrage that an openly heterosexual couple would dare to show themselves being publicly affectionate there. Ah, irony, apparently a straight couple snuggled into each other was in fact the black fly in his chardonnay. He sat there making snide comments and being outraged that we were putting our arms around each other and kissing one another IN PUBLIC LIKE THAT. "Why didn't you say something to him?" I asked Jed, who said "Because he was bigger than Ricky and I combined, and I figured jail would seriously cut into our weekend time together." Point, set, and match.)

Sunday was a less exciting brunch. I can't remember the name of the restaurant. Jed and I had croque monsieurs, for which we both have a passion. It was...okay. Not great. Just okay. I didn't hate it, but also didn't want to weep with joy over it either. Then we walked through the park in the rain, which was fun--the rain had driven off all the hippies and the entire drum circle, which was something of a Christmas miracle. Yes, I ran from the dive-bombing circling pigeons. Yes, I was mocked for my fear of having a pigeon poo on me from above. And yes, I whined nonstop about how many stairs we were going to have to take in order to cross the park to make it to the museum.

In the course of the museum, at one point Ricky became disgusted. "Oh, there would be an awkward pause in conversation, but let's kiss and that will make up for it," he sneered. "You two make me sick. I'm going to go be installation art." Whereupon he started posing in one of the upper windows for the benefit of the milling masses below.

It was in front of a John Singer Sargent painting that things really fell apart. I got started on modern art and my philistine opinions thereof. "Now THIS," I said, gesturing at it, "Has got to be harder and require more talent and discipline than somebody painting three stripes, gluing a spoon to it, and adding a handful of the artist's shit and calling it 'Untitled'."
"Stripe, stripe, glitter, FLING!" Jed suddenly volunteered, demonstrating the modern artist's development of a painting. Which is when he and I completely lost it, and laughed for probably ten minutes, to Ricky's intent disgust. Nobody finds this as funny as we do. I don't care. Every time I see a Rothko now I will just picture 'Stripe, stripe, glitter, poo-FLING!' and feel better about it. And probably snicker.

Ricky flew out Sunday afternoon; after we had said our goodbyes, Jed and I wandered around Haight-Ashbury loathing the hippies and everyone there, then went downtown to establish our hatred of those people, too. Then back to his place to watch a movie and talk all night, and then home.

It was one of the better weekends of my life, I must admit. Food, fun, laughter, attack moths, showers in a claw-footed tub so far off the floor it was trying to kill me (or at the very least cause me to strain a groin muscle), shopping, friends, dancing, movies, some actual sleep, holding hands, nature in a man-made construction way, running from pigeons, fat tourists, Nike runners, caffeine, and general mayhem. I need more of those kinds of vacations.

*The "more on this" portion: in going through security they confiscated my lotion because it was 4 oz. and not 3.5. However, my 15-inch solid steel wicked sharp knitting needles didn't do so much as cause a raised eyebrow. Please explain this to me. .5 oz of lotion cannot possibly be allowed, but something that could run two people through at once and they are fine with it? Also, I can take scissors with a wicked sharp point if they are under 3.5 inches, but a contained thread cutter is not allowed? Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining--I am glad they will let me bring knitting. But...really? REALLY? 4 oz. of lotion might be terrorist driven but 15 inches of pointed steel isn't dangerous in the slightest?