Monday, July 23, 2012

Greetings from San Francisco

View of GG bridge atop Fort Point

We have now been in San Francisco for a little over two weeks, and things are finally normalizing, so I thought I'd take some time for a quick update. I've been meaning to post sooner, but things have been crazy since we arrived trying to find a permanent home and catching up with friends. The quick summary is that we love it, especially now that we found a place.

Cross Country Trip: We (i.e. Jason and Steve) drove 3,846 over 7 days, through 12 states and 4 time zones. The views were amazing, and it was the experience of a lifetime. We powered through for the first 2 days to Denver, then the fun began. Some of the sights we saw include: Red Rocks, Arches National Park, Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Hoover Dam, Death Valley, and Yosemite. I'll probably make a separate post about all these places at a later time with all the photos we took.

Apartment Hunt: It took us 2 full weeks of non-stop searching and viewings but we finally signed a lease last Friday for a lovely 1 bedroom place in the Marina. This also is a topic for another post, but I'll just say this was a very stressful time and rentals in SF are insane! It felt like dating, and I'm happy we finally found the right candidate. We love the neighborhood and have some great running options within a mile, including Crissy Field and we're not too far away from the Golden Gate Bridge. We rode our bikes to all the apartment viewings, which really helped us get a sense of the neighborhoods and made the whole process a lot less stressful and much more fun.

Car-less Transportation: One of the things that I love most about living here as that getting around without a car is truly possible. Not only is it possible, but is most desirable. We had a rental car for one day in the city, and after one quick trip we vowed to never drive here again. It was madness. I was a little apprehensive at first of riding my bike, but I put all my Cycling Savvy knowledge into practice and it was a snap. As soon as I got on my bike, the stress melted away because it was so easy. Of course, I now have ridiculous hills in my way, which do pose a challenge, but I'm already getting used to it and have learned to use and love the granny gears on my bike :) The amount of walking I do has also gone way up and I love it. We've yet to use the bus or bart, even though we already bought clipper cards, but we really haven't found it necessary. Every place we need to go is easily accessible on foot or bike. Because parking is such a nightmare, cycling is often faster than driving a car anyway, and can be faster than public transit too.

Weather: July in San Francisco is actually fairly cool; the hottest months here are September and October. But we keep hearing we are on a heat wave and it's usually even colder than this because the sun doesn't usually come out this much. The temps have been in the mid-50s to low 70s (which is warm for SF). It's pretty great. I am still getting used to dressing in the correct layers, especially when I run, but I'm getting the hang of it. I think knee high socks will finally be part of every running outfit :)

Running: I've been able to keep up with my running even while driving across the country. We ran twice on the road: once in Morrison, Colorado and the other at the Grand Canyon. They were both amazing, specially since I got to run them with Jason. Last Monday I went for my last long run before my upcoming Half Marathon this weekend. It was 17.5 glorious miles through some of the most picturesque parts of the city. I ran the 1st 8-9 miles of the race course as an out and back, which goes along the Embercadero, Fisherman's Warf, Fort Mason, the Marina, Crissy Field and across the Golden Gate Bridge. Read more details of this run on dailymile and see photos on flickr. This Sunday is the big day, and I can't wait. I'll post later with details on how you can track me.

So that's all for now. I'm taking a little breather now that the apartment hunt is over, but soon our stuff will arrive and it will be time to put the new place together and then the job hunt begins! So who's coming to visit me first? ;)
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