Vacation from vacation?

May 3, 2012

Blogging, Eating, Shout-Outs, Travel

One of the most annoying first-world problems?  The decompression needed after one returns from a vacation.

M and G and I went to San Francisco for a week and a half, and man are our arms tired!  Wait, that isn’t how the joke goes? Picky picky.

Seriously, we’re knackered.  Not because we did anything particularly vigorous, like hike mountains or participate in a protest in Berkeley.  No, we suffer from the after-effects of The Endless Meet and Greet.  You know… it’s what you do when you visit a beloved place after a long absence.  You try to catch up with all the people you haven’t seen for years, and who are eager to see how your efforts at procreation turned out.

M and I always manage to self-sabotage on this front.  Inevitably we wait until the last minute (read: the day before leaving on a jet plane) to try to schedule times with people to meet.  This time we didn’t manage to contact anyone until AFTER we’d already landed.  And yet, this may have been one of our most successful trips in that we ended up getting to hang out with a ton of awesome friends and family who happened to be available on short notice.  Heck, we were almost TOO successful.  It’s not exaggerating to say we averaged visits with two sets of friends every day we were there.  I know that doesn’t sound like a lot.  But after a while it starts to take a toll.  A toll on me, a social-anxiety-freak for whom even meeting up with people I love dearly is a draining experience, and a toll on G who’s not really had to meet so many new people ever in his short life (let alone while also dealing with total upheaval of any sense of routine we may have had back in the good old timezone of the east).  Also a toll on M who was actually trying to get some work done during the whole escapade.

But, as is always the way, with as many people as we managed to see there were still so many that we missed.  “Well, there’s always next year…” only goes so far in making us feel better about that.

***

No surprise to you all, as you haven’t seen hide nor wordy-hair of me in a while, I took a break from absolutely all things digital while on vacation.  Including, apparently, my camera.

We have a total of two, TWO!, pictures.  One is of the shuttle Discovery mounted atop a specialized 747, taken on M’s phone while on a tram from one terminal to another at Dulles airport.  Granted, it was a pretty cool sight, but not really significant in terms of awesome memories.

The other is this one, taken while flying from Dulles to SF:

Mommy, why are these birds angry, anyway?

That’s G playing Angry Birds*, with headphones on (so his beloved swing music entertained him and not those around him).  I can’t even describe how awesome G was on the flights.  He didn’t sleep nearly as much as we expected (or hoped), but entertaining him was a mostly not-too-horrible experience.  Yay!

***

I got a bit weepy on this trip.  I always get nostalgic when visiting SF.  Mostly for the people that I miss… but also for places, and foods.

We managed to find an awesome flat to rent in Noe Valley (the SF neighborhood where I lived before moving to Beefalo — I refuse to say “stomping grounds” or make reference to my “salad days” here… why do people use those phrases anymore?).  We hit up a number of shops and restaurants that we wish we could uproot and transplant to our new neighborhood.

But back to me being weepy.  Did I cry when I saw a friend whom I haven’t seen in eight years?  Absolutely.  But that didn’t earn me a good-natured ribbing from M.

No, crying in the middle of Noe Valley Bakery is what I’m talking about.  Crying as I stood among the fresh loaves of fig bread, and real sourdough bread, and amazing croissants, and love buns, and scones, and quiches, and danish, and challa, and knish, and oh-thank-god-they’re-normal-size cupcakes**.  Not to mention the cookies, and cakes, and cinnamon twists.  I could go on and on.

It’s just that we don’t have such a bakery here at home.  We’ve got Delish who we visit more for their espresso than their sweets (since so many have tree nuts, and M is allergic), and we have Dolci who’s got a full menu and does some bread, but we mostly hit them up for their lovely gelato.  Then there’s Zillycakes, a cupcakery, but while their inventive flavors can be really awesome, they fall afoul of the ridiculously-sized-cupcake** issue.

And NVB was half a block away from my old apartment.  Here all of these various bakeries, who between them can’t provide all of what NVB did, are a much farther walk away.  Again, I could probably use the walk for exercise, but when I realize at the last minute that a loaf of fresh bread would be great with dinner, it would be great if I could just pop out and grab it in five minutes.

Buffalo, can we get it together please?  Give us a local bakery as awesome as NVB and I will never, ever leave.

***

Finally, despite the lack of ideal bakery, I am SO GLAD to be home.  I fear that when I finally open my Reader I’ll fall over at the amount of wonderful blogginess that I have to catch up on, but I know I’ll enjoying reading all about what you’ve been doing and thinking while I’ve been away.

I should warn that work has been even more hectic than usual lately, so my ability to pound out posts while on lunch or breaks has dwindled significantly.  And often, by the time I’m done with work, the LAST thing I want to do is sit longer in front of the computer.  So please be patient as my posts may be few in the coming weeks.  Then again, I bet your Readers are just as busy as mine, so I bet you could use a bit of a break, too!

***

*By “play” I mean that he understands that the point of the game is to launch birds.  Unfortunately, he doesn’t necessarily understand that the birds should be shot AT the pigs… for him it’s all about which hand he’s using.  If he’s using his left hand, he birds get launched to the right.  If he’s using his right hand, they get launched to the left.  It’s a good thing he’s figured out the “reload” level button. ;-)

**Okay, what’s with the SUPER SMALL CUPCAKES people??? Ever since being a “cupcakery” became a trend (thank you very much Food Network…) the size of cupcakes have been getting smaller in direct reverse-proportion to their price.  No, a cupcake the size that I would make at home in a normal pan is NOT a “giant” cupcake just because I buy it from a bakery.  I suppose that fact that there are smaller cupcakes is actually good in that, from a health perspective we probably shouldn’t be eating so much cupcake anyway.  But the price should be shrinking to match… not the other way around.

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