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June 26, 2006

San Francisco gay pride weekend!

Grunderskolen SF'06

Weekend once again, and this time it is the San Francisco gay pride weekend! This of course means that we had to go to downtown SF to check out the parties and watch all the crazies, and not to mention to take in the big Pride Parade on sunday morning!

Since my plan to go swimming every weekday before work has failed miserably, I decided to start saturday morning by going jogging instead. Not that I've ever liked jogging very much, but we did a lot of it in the military and I did get in a lot better shape from it back then. However that was 6 years ago, and this time around I couldn't even do a single kilometer(!), so I ended up walking most of the distance from Park Place to the San Antonio shopping center and back. Well at least I worked up a good sweat thanks to the sun and took a nice cold shower before Øystein, Carina and I headed for downtown SF around noon.

Once we got into the city we drove down to the piers and found a good spot for the car so that we had a nice walk down to Pier 39 and the Fishermans Wharf. With no fog at all it was a really nice day to be out and about, so we had some fish&chips for lunch outside and went to visit the Aquarium of the Bay and the Ghirardelli Chocolate Shop. I was also looking for the place where I bought belgian waffles the last time I visited San Francisco in 1995, but sadly it was nowhere to be found so I guess they must have closed down since then :-(
When the afternoon started turning into evening we got a rickshaw back to our car and drove up the steepest hills and the windiest road in the city to look for the Norwegian Seamens Church, which sadly was closed when we got there just a few minutes too late, so instead we headed directly towards Alex's apartment as we were going out with him later, but we ended up spending the better part of an hour just looking for parking before we could find a garage! Definatly not the area to have a car with you.. but at least the apartment was really nice, and it also had access to the roof so we got a great 360 panorama shot from there!

To get ready for the night out we started by just having some beers in the apartment, before we went to Calzones, a great italian resturant where we had a quick dinner. There Jessie caught up with us before we continued down to Castro, the gay area of SF, to meet Martin and his blonde danish girlfriend who was in fact real :-) Then all of us had some drinks together at the Expansion Bar before we went roaming the streets to look at all the crazy people. This gay-thingie is just completely wild! Also the police were very lenient so when they started clearing out the streets at 2a.m they only required us to move over to the sidewalks and didn't even take our drinks! We were happy to comply and caught a taxi back to the apartment to have a short nachspiel before crashing there for the night.

On sunday morning we had to get up early to go downtown and watch the Gay Pride Parade. When we got there we just barely found a parking spot in the Embarcadero center garage so we missed the start of the parade with the Dykes on Bikes up front, but since the entire thing lasted more than 4 hours that didn't matter much. The streets were filled with people dancing and walking, both on foot and in cars and many with festive costumes or just gay outfits. There were also quite a few crazy people among the onlookers, including midget S&M slaves, some naked oiled up dude jacking off, a free-the-boobies girl and heaps of others all along Market Street. Sometime after noon we bumped into Christos and Samir and a bunch of their friends as well, and walked together along the parade up to the Civic Center square where most people were gathering, and then over to Santorini resturant to have a mediterranean lunch before heading back towards Mountain View. Once there Øystein, Carina, Ivar-Andreas and myself were invited to join Tom from PeerMe for dinner at Tied House, supposedly a very famous resturant in Silicon Valley that are a mandatory visit if you have ever lived here. I can understand why as all of the food was really good, especially the wild game buffalo burgers(!) that I and Øystein had, and the service was excellent. We'll probably go back there sometime as well, as the place is just down the street from where we live. As usual time flies way too fast, so once we got back from dinner it was just about time to call it a night after a long and weary weekend. And it was good that we did, for monday morning only brought a long day at work and then a project meeting for the business plan we are writing... *yawn*

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