12 December 2010

French Toast, The Forest & Football

20 September 2010
Of all the sites seen, facts learned and food eaten, the one thing exciting Adam most about his trip to San Francisco was football. We had tickets to the 49ers season opener against the Saints. Imagine, if you will, that this blog were not horribly behind on updates. Imagine we didn't already know the 49ers are among the worst NFL teams. this season. Imagine it's still September and that fans have a reason to have hope. Remember the promises and the pontification that had the 49ers going all the way this year.

Now, if you can, imagine growing up a Jerry Rice fan in Vikings country. Imagine getting tickets to the game dedicated to Rice, accidentally buying your way into the ceremony during which his number was to be retired. Can you reader? Can you tap into the excitement that was pouring through Adam that Monday in September? Don't worry. I couldn't either. But I like football. And I had never been to a 49ers game. So I was pretty excited in my own right the night of the home opener. But there was a lot to be done before kickoff, and we got up Monday determined to make awesome things happen quickly. We started with breakfast.

Brenda's French Soul Food
Brenda's is a place you'll likely read about in a good San Francisco guide book. It's not large. It's not even medium. It's not in the safest area. And there is usually a long line of people waiting outside for a table. I brought Adam and Amber there by accident actually. I meant to go to Dottie's True Blue Cafe, which also meets the above undesirable criteria, but I couldn't remember the name. Easily the best mistake I've ever made.

The menu is simple, containing all the major breakfast food groups: syrup, eggs, and meat. Everything is cooked in such a way as to be decadent but not heavy. I ordered the butter pecan french toast, even though I was worried it would be too rich. Even I have a limit when it comes to sweets at breakfast time. I mean I was still going to eat it, but I had a moment of pause. And that was a moment wasted. The french toast was perfection. I had the right amount of everything and I honestly almost forgot about my side of hash. It was too much food and I shouldn't have eaten it all but I did. And I don't regret one moment of it. We finished, paid and left in under 45 minutes, beating the meter. Clearly everything was as it should have been. Onward we traveled.

I wish you could smell it.

The hash & the egg & bacon tartine.

As it was a car day, we drove across the Golden Gate to Muir Woods. I don't remember if it was on their list or if XBFJ & I said it was a must see, but it was on the agenda. I've been there a few times and I still get excited to go. And since I was with Adam, I learned a few things. First of all John Muir was an original conservationist, which explains why so much in the Bay Area is named for him.

We walked through the trees (staying on the path) and chose a small hike to take. We wanted the experience, but we didn't have a lot of time. It was almost like a different set of woods from when we hiked with Angie. I remember there being a lot of dust on the plants in August of 2009. But in September of 201o, everything was damp and lush - which is just how I like my forests. We saw some like, like this banana slug I named Barry. I found him fascinating. He was on his way somewhere, actually moving while people took his picture. I wondered how long he had been en route, and if it was really worth the trip. I'll never know. But I wished him all the best.

I think he was posing.

The rest of our walk through the woods was uneventful, which is good when in the wilderness. We had a good jaunt, got the blood flowing, and were ready to the tailgating party started, after just three more stops.

We had to stop near the Golden Gate Bridge, because it was the first time Adam and Amber had seen it without the fog. Their awesome tour stopped in it, and they took pictures. But, well, the results were less than desirable.

The difference a few days can make. I love living here.

We had to stop at the grocery store. We were a few burgers, buns and beer short or tailgating. By then I was starting to get excited. We saw a lot of jerseys, mostly on Saints fans, which was just disrespectful. We saw them in the woods, on the bridge, and in the grocery store. We shook our heads, grabbed our snacks and hit the road.

We had to stop back home, to get the chairs, the grill, some booze and Adam's proper 49er jersey. I wish you could have seen us. We were a little more than two hours from kickoff , but were moving as if we had missed the entire first half. Two hours just did not seem like enough time. We hit the road, and the traffic. I don't know why I always think driving will be easy once I get out of the city. It never is. We inched our way to the stadium. You could almost feel Adam's giddiness. It was precious.

Of course we arrived. We parked. Adam grilled. We ate. We drank. We relaxed. We took pictures. We went to watch football.

I had a great time. I love sporting events. First of all, hot pretzels are my favorite. And I only get them at games. Secondly, people are so united. They cheer together, they cuss together, they shoulder disappointment together. Camaraderie makes me happy. And there was a lot of that at the home opener. XBFJ met us there after he got out of work. He & I sat on opposite sides Adam & Amber and didn't really interact. I was okay with that.

The game ended with what would be the first of many loses for that poor football team. Once we got back to the car, XBFJ took over hosting. I think I meant to be part of it all, but I fell asleep as soon as I hit the seat. I have no idea how long it took to get out of the parking lot, or how long it took XBFJ to find a parking spot. I know he & Adam found an actual Delorian in North Beach. They even donated to its maintenance fund.

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