Earlier this year, I decided to book a surprise trip to visit my friend (who is definitely more like my sister) for her birthday. I’ve never been to California prior to that and it’s been on my bucket list for so long. On the contrary, she has been on the East Coast numerous times just to visit me.
There was that one time that she flew to Kentucky when I married my best friend. Nine months later, she flew to Georgia where we were stationed and stayed for a month to be there when I delivered my son.
Good Friends are Hard to Come By
My husband is in the military, so he’s not always home for important life events and we’re often far away from family. He was due to deploy for training and knowing that I didn’t have any family close by at the time, made the journey of giving birth to my son terrifying.
I didn’t have to ask her to come. She already knew that I needed her support.
Those moments are priceless, and I could never repay her for being there for me during those times. But, I think I came pretty close when I booked my first flight from Denver to San Francisco!
FROM DEN TO SFO
So, I’m a horrible liar. Don’t tell me your secrets because if someone asks – I just might let them know. But I held onto this secret surprise for a long time.
I contacted her mother and told her what I planned to do. Then we had to coordinate with her aunt and her boyfriend. Basically, everyone knew but her.
Until she looked at my Snapchat.
But once I realized that she viewed my snap, I assumed that she figured it out. So, I texted her using my free in-flight wifi via Virgin Airlines and T-Mobile (for the win). She asked me where I was heading to and then I ….. I told her! *facepalm*
She literally had no clue! I ruined my own surprise.
Oh, well. Ha ha. I told her that she had to pretend like that conversation never happened when she sees me at the airport. And she did. She’s the real MVP.
Of course, I couldn’t visit San Francisco without a visit to Brenda’s French Soul Food because I heard it was BOMB. And it was!! Despite the fact that the area of Downtown San Francisco where the restaurant is located reeked of urine and marijuana, I thoroughly enjoyed myself INSIDE of the restaurant. It was also pretty late when we got there, so next time I visit San Fran I’ll be sure to visit early enough to try out their brunch menu.
From there, we drove around to sightsee before we went to Sacramento which is her hometown. I met her family that helped me pull off the surprise (even though I ruined it) and we laughed the night away.
GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE & ALCATRAZ
My absolute favorite part of the trip was visiting Pier 39 and seeing the sea lions on the deck. They were fighting each other for attention yet they looked so at peace while they sunbathed and posed for us tourists.
We took a boat ride tour that led us past Alcatraz and under the Golden Gate Bridge. I really wanted to take a tour of Alcatraz prison but someone said it was haunted – so yeah, I’ll pass. It was also super windy, but it was a beautiful experience.
But I wanted to see more.
So we drove to the visitor center to catch a glimpse of the bridge as the sunset. Climbed up a ladder and realized we were at the edge of a cliff. The views though! Another one checked off the bucket list.
Last, but not least – my first In-N-Out Burger trip was well worth the wait. I had an animal style burger. As inhumane as that sounds, and although I am currently transitioning to vegeterian, that will be a guilty pleasure that I won’t pass up on the next visit.
Okay, maybe I’ll just take a little bite.