If You’re Going to San Francisco…

“Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair. If you’re going to San Francisco, you’re going to meet some gentle people there,” or so the song goes. I guess that not much has changed since the song was written, because San Franciscoans are some of the most laid back and wonderful people.

In just two days I saw so many small acts of kindness.

A bus driver pulled up to my friends car just to say thank you for giving him space to pull out of a bus stop. The guy next to me on the train saw me reading his book over his shoulder and angled the book so I could see better. A man hopped out of his car in the middle of a street to help an elderly lady pick up a bottle of Pepsi she dropped.

Yes folks, chivalry is alive and well. It’s just been hiding in the Bay Area.

In fact, the only problem with San Francisco, is that I wasn’t supposed to like it this much. I’m a big city kind of girl, a my kind of town, Chicago, kind of girl. Maybe even a future New Yorker. But all of a sudden, I was wishing that I too, could be a California Girl.

My friend Peter, who I met exactly a year ago in Spain, and whom I’ve visited twice in Mexico since, showed me around the city. I took a classic photo in front of the Golden Gate Bridge, drove down Lombard street- the most crooked street in the world, and rode a cable car around the city, smiling like a child because I love trains or trams in any form.

As if my trip to the West Coast couldn’t get better, my host surprised me with a visit to Napa Valley.

See, Wine Country is one of the things that makes America great (aside from democracy and freedom of speech and all that jazz). Honestly, don’t let anyone ever tell you that wine tasting in Napa Valley isn’t just an adult excuse to day drink.  You basically venture from winery to winery sipping on pinots, Chardonnays and rosés of all sorts- all while looking out at the picturesque vineyards.

Between San Francisco and Napa Valley, my two days on the west coast were well spent. I’m looking forward to being back in two months, but in the meantime-Asia awaits.

Oh and, bonus points to anyone who caught the all the oldies song references, I’m on a ten hour flight at the moment so I have to amuse myself somehow.