Settled in San Francisco

Well, “settled” is a relative term.

I arrived 8 days ago, and let me tell you all about those 8 crazy nights.

Day 1

I arrive ~3pm, and promptly rent a baggage cart at the airport, making me look very similar to the homeless people you see pushing shopping carts around.

Southwest is aggressive with boxes

I arrive at the apartment of the very sweet woman I have agreed to sublet a room from, during November; that’s right, I am not homeless (until Dec 1)!!! GO me, being responsible and grown-up, finding a place to live.

She helps me lug my baggage up the ridiculous amount of steps all SF apartments seem to have, and introduces me to her very fat cat, Gigi.

Gigi was very cute until she pooped in the bathtub.

I unpack for an hour, meet Whitney for dinner (and don’t get lost! Another GO ME moment…okay, the restaurant was ~8 blocks away), and then I do something magical…I go OUT. Like, to party. Me! I went downtown to scope out the gay girl scene, took public transportation to get there, DIDN’T get lost, and had a kickass time! Who is SO proud of me!? *Foreshadowing* The getting lost part will come very very soon…multiple times.

First night out in SF!

Day 2

The next day, I hang out with my new lezbro…this involves a 4 hour trip to pick up my bike at the bike shop, as we made brunch and awesome park detours.

Bueno Vista Park

After picking up my bike, we have dinner at my favorite type of restaurant, a hole-in-the-wall. This was perhaps the most legit hole-in-the-wall place I’ve ever been to. The entire restaurant is a few bar stools set around a kitchen, with three very unamused cooks, who ask you what you want, plop it down in front of you, and collect payment (cash only!). No conversation necessary. It was perfect.

We then head to the Mission district for the Dias de los Muertos festival!

Dias de los Muertos!

I peace out early, because a) I haven’t slept in a couple days and b) I know tomorrow is going to be INTENSE.

Day 3

Since I now have my bike, what better activity than to go for a bike ride?! I know the morning has started off on the wrong foot when, while riding to the  start location, I fall over at a stop sign…oops, forgot I was clipped in! My chain then falls off. My phone then falls off my bike mount, and I wildly fishtail down a grade 10 hill, in an attempt to snatch my phone before it gets run over.

I finally make it to the bike shop, to await the ride start. As the minutes pass, a few serious looking guys with serious looking bikes trickle in, but no women. As the start time nears ever closer and the only woman that enters promptly leaves after receiving her coffee (no!! come back!!), I realize I’m going to be the only one representing the species with these hardcore looking guys. Good thing I ate my Wheaties. Oh, wait…nope, I had no food at the apartment.

Stating the ride will “have a few hills, but no big deal”, the ride leader commences the ride. I very quickly fall behind, but the guys graciously wait for me at the major intersections. After a very long grade ~7 hill, we reach a point where we climb another mountain. We then climb another. By the 4th hill of the 2nd mountain, I legit look like a drunk person, turning in circles to catch a break before completing the hill, and generally zig-zagging all over the place.

Celebrating the top of one of the many hills

Worth it

2,800 feet and 3.5 hours later, we make it back to the city, where I see the looming grade 10 hill a few blocks ahead. The friendly cyclist next to me quips “after this hill, we’re back at the shop!”, to which I guffaw and generally refuse. Turns out he was joking…phew!

After lunch at the bike shop, I set up my phone’s GPS, and begin following the map, home. After 2 blocks, I come to the base of that grade 10 hill….the way home. My leg muscles were visibly pulsating outside my skin, by the time I got home. Cycling in SF….complete.

After recovering, I meet Whitney for dinner, and we paint the town red in her neck of the woods. By the time we walked home at 3AM (again, who is freakin impressed I stayed awake until 3AM??), it was just us and the prostitutes. Lovely.

Day 4

I don’t remember. Night 3 was pretty intense.

Days 5-8: I’m a Noogler!!

Noogler, the affectionate term for a New Googler, was bestowed upon myself and ~150 fellow new Google employees. Highlights of my first week at Google include:

  • Hearing Larry Page talk about TOP SECRET projects.
  • Meeting my awesome and brilliant colleagues!
  • Running into Sved, my friend from the dorms my freshman year of college! He works for Google!
  • Eating. So Much. The rule of thumb at Google is you are never more than 150 feet from (free) food!
  • Getting so lost at the Googleplex, but trying everything, including but not limited to, a bootcamp class, a sand volleyball game, laundry services, baristas, bicycling across campus….
  • A deja-vu feeling of my first day at college. From cafes to coffee shops to bicycles to gyms, the Googleplex is like being back on UT’s forty acre campus. An incredible feeling.
  • Learning….like, a lot.
  • Taking a painting class for our team’s off-site!

Getting creative

The Final Product!

As I sit here writing this post, reflecting on the last week, and looking forward to not only the weekend, but returning to work on Monday morning, I know I’ve made the right decision. Although I haven’t had a moment to catch my breathe and fully miss my life back in Dallas, I’ve already had such amazing experiences. Although there are times when I’m frustrated by all the pieces involved with moving somewhere new, I am nothing but excited for the future.

To making big life changes, and throwing yourself whole-heartedly in them….Cheers!

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2 thoughts on “Settled in San Francisco

  1. Joy says:

    I am so proud of you trace! i concur with the frustrations of moving to a new place but I know you made the right decision for yourself, too! Plus, with all the new and old friends, the amazing girl crowd, and the BEAUTIFUL scenery, you are going to love it more and more every day. Love you so much and can’t wait to hear more!!!!! xoxo

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