One of our stops on our way North was the great city of San Francisco. Having heard a tonne about it (and having watched Full House while growing up), we stopped and stayed at a friend's place in Silicon Valley. They lived at a lovely place, on a street with many beautiful dogs. They also happened to own a Chowtriever (Chow x Golden Retriver), who was quite the alpha female. Very fluffy, would 10/10 steal*.
Meet the floofy Taiyoga (and my freshly washed face).
We felt super short in the flat - they had 4 flatmates of which the shortest was 6 foot 3. Things in this house were perched where no average man (or woman) would be able to reach.
Two of the flatmates at the house worked for Boosted Boards. For those of you who don't know, Boosted Boards began life as a start-up company. Their popularity continues to increase - and well deserved too! We squeezed in a visit to their Silicon Valley factory and was offered a tour after snagging one of their vegan lunches. Like many start-ups, Boosted really try to cater to an employee's happiness, so they provide employees with lunches. Very good lunches I might add.
For a person that relies on gravity to gain speed, zipping around on flat land at about 40km/h was a new sensation. As was the ability to brake effectively without putting my feet down. We zipped by the many start-ups in Silicon Valley and came across security robots.
No laser beam capabilities....that I knew of anyway.
There were about 4 of them patrolling the perimeter of a large carpark, and this one stopped when I approached it. Cool huh?
We headed home and as we did, the friend who worked in the San Francisco hub of Boosted Boards asked us if we wanted to come downtown, skate and have some photos taken for Boosted Boards? WHY OF COURSE!
The next 2-ish hours consisted of us touring downtown San Francisco on a Boosted Board. I'll let the pictures do the talking.
Cutting through traffic with Rachel, uphill! Dodging through pedestrians, all without taking a foot off the board.
Surfing the San Francisco alleyways.
It looks like we were trying to be cool, but really we were managing our hair. San Francisco is superbly windy, much like Wellington.
We skating all along the water front and made it to the pier. What a grand view it was.
To top it off, there was a man at the end of the pier with his daughter. He turned out to be an amateur magician who flipped dollar bills into $100 bills and back again. All with his sleeves pushed up. Super cool.
We went back to the headquarters and went for beersies. It was a bar where dogs were allowed and they were EVERYWHERE. What a great end to the day.
Honourable mentions in San Francisco:
The Oakland Skatehouse where we stayed at was surrounded by 2m high fences. That did set the tone for our stay. This was a place where you really needed to empty your car of everything valuable. The fried chicken was banger though which conforms with my theory - quality of fried chicken correlates negatively to socio-economic wealth.
Our friend took us to listen to the wave organs at night. Wave organs are pipes that produce sound when waves crash onto them. The wave organs were placed randomly around concrete seats situated on a rocky outcrop, so we busied ourselves finding them.
View of the jetty at night, en route to the wave organs.
We also saw the Golden Gate Bridge from its base at night, which made for quite a different perspective.
One other thing off my bucket list. Gorgeous isn't it?
Lovely house with so much character (approximately 111 years old). The neighbourhood was chill, reminding me of Newtown, a suburb I lived in while in Wellington. We skated and then played Heroes of the Storm until the early hours of the morning. On a side note, if you play Heroes of the Storm hit me up. We should play together!
Really loved the vibes of this house.
I also tried some kava.
Interesting earthy aftertaste, but that was tempered (geddit?) with chocolate! No complaints here.
10/10 would revisit San Francisco, and would highly recommend it if you are thinking of visiting!
*I would, if there were no actual consequences - ranging from criminal charges to being chased down by the 6' 3" owner. I don't think I could outrun that leg span.