Posts in sf
SF MoMA

I feel like my San Francisco bucket list is a mile long and ever-growing. It's still so bizarre to me that I live in a place where there is SO much to do. I wasn't expecting to, but after a year I've found that I'm quite happy living in the East Bay — we floated the idea of moving to the city on our recent house hunt, but honestly, I like our little slice of the Bay Area right where we are. The only disadvantage is that we do tend to talk ourselves out of making the trek into the city quite a bit. There are quite a few sights in San Francisco worth seeing, but it's hard to know what's actually worth the trip.

That being said, I went to the recently remodeled SF MoMA two weeks ago, and I have to say it's absolutely worth it. I'm by no means an art expert or even enthusiast, but with 7 floors and even more styles, I'd say that there's something for everyone there.

I went in without knowing what to expect or how much time it would take, but we were basically there from open to close. They have styles ranging from sculptures to modern to product showcases, and they even have a few non-typical Warhols on display! They were featuring a "Made in California" exhibit which featured innovations of note from the state.

There are a few restaurants and cafes located throughout, so we had a lovely lunch outdoors to soak up some sunshine and revive ourselves for more art lookin'. It was definitely tiring, on my eyes more than anything else. We also walked a lot, but it was the slow art-perusing walk that wasn't exhaustive.

Overall, I left feeling more cultured than before, learned quite a bit about different art styles, and got inspired for more creative endeavors. Even without being an art expert, I highly recommend taking the trip — or at least going to one of there Thursday night adults-only events!

Commuting: A Survival Guide

IMG_1451 I'm coming to understand that commuting is a "normal adult" thing to do, but that doesn't mean I enjoy it. In Chattanooga, I lived a simple, 15 minute drive from my office. There was rarely traffic, my parking spot was less than a block from the front door, and the entire thing was temperature-controlled.

Now I'm learning how to commute like a ~city gal~, and trying to figure out how to not hate it. I will say that compared to a lot of people who live here I actually have a great commute. I walk about 5 blocks to the subway station, take a 15 minute subway ride, and walk a block to my office. I know some people who have 20 block walks walks or have to use 3 different busses, so really I have no room to complain.

When I first moved here, I thought the subway would be like the monorail at Disney World. It even goes above ground in some places, how neat! That was until I had to start taking it every day at peak commute hours, however. It's always hot, I'm sure it's very dirty, and occasionally I get plagued with the fear that we'll get in a violent crash or an earthquake will occur while we're under the bay.

I'm determined to not start each day with thoughts like this, so I've been trying to find ways to distract myself and maybe hate my commute a little less!


Headphones // I'm wouldn't say I love music. I like music and listening to new albums, but I'm certainly not the person who always has music on. I enjoy the Discover Weekly feature on Spotify, but I'm just as content listening to old favorites most of the time. That being said, for commuting headphones are essential! The subway is loud, people are loud, and having your headphones in give you a great degree of separation from everyone else. I will confess I've only been using my Apple Earpods as opposed to my Beats (so I can hear if the train operator informs us we're all going to die), but I like to think it's a similar effect. Lately I've been loving Lorde's new album and all Taylor Swift since she's back on Spotify!

Books // This is the most recent development, and goodness I am glad I started doing this! My cell phone service is terrible in SF, and things barely load for me while I'm on the train. Instead of trying to will my timeline to load, I've started reading. It's a little cumbersome to commit to holding a book when there's no hope for a seat, but it's a great way to start and end the day so it's worth it! I just finished #GirlBoss (I'm obsessed) and started Yes Please. Nothing like some female empowerment to start your day!

Sunglasses // Yes, everyone hates the "sunglasses inside" guy, but I think "sunglasses on the subway" guy is totally legitimate. Subway trains are lit with the harshest fluorescent lights money can buy, which cannot be good for your eyes. It also prevents any awkward eye contact, which is a huge bonus for me.


Using this three-tiered approach, I've designed a commute that I at least doesn't make me want to cry every morning (which is huge progress, believe me). I'm just hoping that one day I'll be brave enough to wear my noise canceling headphones again!

 

A Day in San Francisco: Survival Guide

Being able to explore San Francisco has been wonderful. With so much around every corner, there's no shortage of things to be amazed by. However, I've found it super important to be prepared when it comes to all-day adventures! Between the hills, the weather changes, and the sheer amount of things I want to see and do, there's a lot to take into account before setting out for the day.

For me, I think the biggest thing to prepare for is the weather. The city has a "microclimate"; not only is the weather here different from the rest of California, but the various areas of town have weather patterns independent of one another. In regular terms, that basically means you can be sweating and freezing in the same mile. Harley and I have a running joke that it doesn't matter how we dress because we'll be uncomfortable at some point regardless!

I'm an extra big baby when it comes to being uncomfortable, so I've made a "daily packing list" of sorts to make sure I've extra prepared and have a good time!
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1. Comfortable Shoes :: This is probably the single most important thing. We've been here for a little over a month now, and we've averaged 9 miles of walking every Saturday and Sunday that we've gone out in the city. This is not the time for the shoes that are pretty comfortable but kind of rub your heel that weird way sometimes. This is the time for the shoe that has never let you down. For me, that's typically my Chacos (I have both the classics and a leather pair) or sneakers depending on the weather. I've also had success out of my winter boots, but I reserve those for days that are more in the 3-5 mile range just in case!
2. Hair ties :: In Tennessee, you'd occasionally see that wind emoji on the Weather app and know it was going to be breezy. When the wind emoji happens here, be prepared for strong gusts. I almost got pushed off of my bike one time. I hate the way I look with my hair up so I always try to suffer through it, but once I give up I'm always glad that I did! Don't be me, just put your hair in a bun.
3. Granola bars :: If you get hangry like I do, these are vital. Nine miles of walking isn't easy on the metabolism, but buying a snack every time you get hungry isn't easy on the wallet. Absolutely stop for super tasty things when you get the chance (like ice cream cookie sandwiches!), but going into a Walgreens when you're ravenous should be avoided at all costs.
4. Water bottle :: A strong must! Because of the continuous drought, restaurants don't serve water unless you ask for it and most grab-and-go places charge for cups. Make sure to bring a bottle with you and keep an eye out for water fountains. They're everywhere once you start looking!
5. Down Coat :: Before our snowboarding trip in March, Harley bought me the most wonderful Patagonia coat. I love it, and when we decided California was our next move I was pretty bummed that I wouldn't get to wear it much. Surprisingly, it has come in handy a TON. It's packable enough to fit in my big purse, and each time I've left the house without it I've regretted it. When it gets cold here, it gets really cold so this coat is a life saver.
6. Adaptability :: I know this sounds a little weird, but trust me! Things do not go as planned here more often than not. This past weekend, we had to reorganize our entire day because of a parade that shut down a large portion of the city. This made it impossible for us to take the bus we needed, but we saw a beautiful parade and a part of town we hadn't been to yet! It would have been really easy to take this as a bummer, but being adaptable to the situation was so much better!
7. Lyft app :: Public transportation here is fantastic. It's pretty straightforward to get around and it's an overall reliable system. However, when you've walked 9 miles and you're across town from where you need to be, you aren't going to want to walk 6 extra blocks to the bus stop and that's ok! Cut yourself some slack and just get a ride. The drivers here have such interesting stories, it's kind of an experience in itself!
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So these are some of my survival tips! The city can be brutal at times, but if you're prepared and flexible it will all work out okay. Just go with the flow, and it'll be impossible to not have a blast!