Thursday, February 23, 2012

San Fran...Take Two

Last year I had a horrific trip to San Francisco with my Salsa performance group. After that trip and catching the west coast crud I was less than enthused about returning to the west coast this year for the annual salsa festival. I agreed when we promised to make a list of 'things to do' and tackle a few everyday.

This trip was much, much better! The weather was good, the dancing was good and the bands were awesome! We arrived on Thursday morning (west coast time) and had time to grab lunch/dinner at Daddy O's, a soul food restaurant close to the hotel. A few of us had fried chicken and waffles but me, I tried to stay close to my Shut Up and Train routine and went with their version of Okra and Tomato. I was leery when I read it had potato, corn and a few other veggies but man, was it good! Demolished that and sat there like a gluttonous tick! Great way to start a trip.

After I dived in...YUM!

We rounded out our first day with a trip to one of the spots on the Beer Week tour. The Noc Noc bar was very eclectic and had great beer. We loved our visit until the smell of medicinal (or we think it was medicinal) weed made us flee, LOL!

A shot of the funky chairs at the bar.

After a brief encounter with the transit authority and almost each receiving a $100 fine, we continued our trip the next day with unlimited 3 day transit passes. After we remembered SF has Scout Mob, we scored a great breakfast for 50% a person and then continued on our way to Fisherman's Wharf and the infamous SF bridge! Yep! I can cross off my bucket list having my photo taken in front of the SF bridge. I was a happy camper after that and the sun was still shining.

That night (we were exhausted) but had a fantastic performance. The next day we heard from the director of the band who sings the song (awesomeness) and said what great things he heard about us. This is the song we performed to...great band and great people :-)

Followed that with another great breakfast and more touring the city. We hit up one of the 'best things I ever ate' Dynamo Donuts and learned the maple bacon donuts really are THAT good. I don't get down with the swine but that sticky bun is worth it's weight in gold.

When the lady at the register found out we were visiting and in town for a salsa festival she offered to give us free donuts if we danced. Did we take the offer? ABSOLUTELY!!! We danced for free donuts! The customers loved it and we have the video courtesy of one of the bakers. Our reward was another box of great gourmet donuts. Let me tell you, Sublime Donuts here ain't got NOTHING on Dynamo!!! They even gave us their made only twice a year breakfast donut. Made with cheese, bits of bacon and has an egg inside that runs when you break it open. Shaking my head at the memory.

That day we trekked through more of the city and took in the neighborhoods as they have more mom and pop shops and very little (if any) major restaurant chains. We stopped in the belly dance studio Fat Chance and one of my fellow dancers met her belly dance guru. Of course we also had to stop in next door since it was a Salsa studio and was elated as they practically screamed our group's name as we walked up the stairs! Telling us what a fabulous job we did and how much they loved our performance from the night before. *cheesy grin*

We ended that night at 21st-Amendment, another stop on the Beer Week tour where I had the BEST veggie burger of my life (or maybe it was the beer that helped) but we had a blast in that place! I had to take this photo as we were leaving. I read the first beer offering and was immediately reminded I was NOT in the south anymore!

With a name like that, it must be a heck of a beer!

I could go on and on as this was a very good trip (including how we ran into Candlestick park by mistake - SCORE!) but I think you get the point. This west coast trip was awesome! The random murals and great architecture of SF is something you have to see at least once. Oh yeah...there is also KRUA, a small Thai spot that had me drooling over their interior design. It was crisp, clean and modern with just the right touch of warmth. They used every inch of that place but it did not feel crowded at all. We found it on Scout Mob and man, we were so stuffed I forgot to take photos. The web site does not do it justice. Even the restroom was well put together!

I am so happy the weather co-operated with us this year. After spending five days together, our group was still laughing and enjoying each other's company on the plane ride back, which is rare with a group of 6 women. Will we return next year? Who knows...we may not want to tempt fate.

Here is the entire album from the band, it is definitely worth the download.

Until Next Time,
Peace & Blessings...


  1. Yay! Where's the video of you dancing for donuts?

  2. You look GORGEOUS! I had a good time i SF a few years ago. That City by the Bay has been beckoning ever since!

    Cheers to YOU!

  3. Glad you had a great time!!!!

    Check out my blog, comment, and follow if you like!
    Confessions Of A City Girl

  4. I'm glad this year's trip was better.

  5. I can imagine your facial expression after opening and the egg ran out. Lol. I would've been like...what in the world...

    Sounds like you enjoyed a wonderful trip, this year, and I love how you appreciate veggie dishes and good food, in general. One of the best things I've experienced during out of town trips.

    Still beautiful as ever, Kendra. And still loving your passion, I see. Good deal.

  6. Monique,
    My group posted that video and the "explanation of the breakfast donut" on FB. I was elated when I looked up and saw the employee taping, LOL! The little things make the best memories.

    Thank you! After a few days the city lost it's luster. The homeless population there is very bold.

    Welcome to the Storm and thanks! Please stop by again.

    I'm glad this trip was better too! Not sure when I will return though. It is not a cheap trip.

    Thank you! I have video of a fellow dancer explaining and cutting into the donut. Best part of the video is another dancer proclaiming "And I'm done" as the yolk spills out, LOL! I was done as well but they swear it was delicious. All of the other donuts were quite tasty so I would be inclined to agree that it was as well.