San Francisco

San Francisco
San Francisco

Laugh With Me

Laugh With Me
Laugh With Me

The Quarter Life Crisis

I'm sitting here, an hour away from 25*, chuckling because: 

1) I discovered twenty minutes ago that we have access to the Disney Channel, and am legitimately finding this Wizards of Waverly Place episode to be hysterical. God, I miss the Golden Age of the Disney Channel.

2) Yesterday, we started off my birthday celebration with Andre in blue Solo cups and ended it with frozen burritos. At what age do these become unacceptable?
This year, the birthday tradition for our little squad has been for the rest of the group to plan a day of small surprises and activities with the birthday girl in mind.

For Hanna's birthday, we drove to Tomales Bay to purchase a sack of 70 oysters and then we picnicked at Stinson Beach with cevapi, a selection of pies, and YouTube oyster-shucking videos. I still need to share pictures from this day with you guys because it was THE BEST.

Cassandra's birthday started out with an indulgent brunch at Absinthe where we ordered far too many goodies, a peek at the Civic Center - her very favorite building in San Francisco - then a detour to the batting cages, and finally an afternoon enjoying the sunshine down at Stanford with cupcakes and coffee with Bailey's.

Leah's... well Leah's still a baby for another month, so I'll get back to you on this one.


Cassandra and Hanna ignored my cries for more sleep, blasted The Greatest Showman songs from two different sources, wafted the scent of cinnamon rolls baking in the oven into my room, and placed a giant (yes, blue Solo) cup of mimosa in my hand.

I'm up, I'm here for this.

Once Leah showed up, we filled up water bottles with more mimosas and ran out into the street...

...only to be confronted by cops who playfully called out, "what's in those containers?!" 

Perhaps it was the mustaches or the birthday hats or the sunshine, but they declined to interrogate us any further and sent us off with a laugh.
Our first stop was Flora Grubb Gardens, a plant nursery / Instagram hotspot with an espresso bar. Here's the killer though: this spot is like 15 minutes away from my place... and I've never even heard about it! Truly impressive move by my friends because I really don't do much else with my time except search for cutesy spots like this one around town.

I made them go around the table and tell me all the things they love most about me as we enjoyed our coffees - I'm definitely the low-maintenance friend if you couldn't tell.

Once I was satisfied with their answers, we proceeded to wander around the property, taking pictures to my heart's content.

Why can't it be my birthday every day.

After admiring our fair share of greenery, we went across the street for something decidedly less green: c a r b s at All Good Pizza, the most aesthetically pleasing pizza truck set-up I've seen yet.

And though we claimed that we "weren't very hungry" and also that "these pizzas are too massive," two pizzas were still mysteriously demolished in record speed.
 Definitely not the culprits:
Still in our full mustachioed disguise, we arrived at our next destination:
Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park!

The four of us clambered into a paddle boat, which coincidentally required only two paddlers. I immediately tap-tapped one of the non-paddle seats and then leaned back to enjoy the ride.

I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard.

Leah and Cassandra volunteered to paddle first - little did we know, we were going against the current for the first twenty minutes of our journey. Red-faced and sweaty, Cassandra was yelling "DOES IT GET ANY EASIER" to all the other paddleboats that we came across. We got stuck in prickly bushes, trapped in wind tunnels, threatened by ballsy ducks, and even managed to switch seats without capsizing.
It was a novel way to tour one of San Francisco's most famous sights, and a brilliantly beautiful day to do so! Our disguises did attract quite a bit of attention though, with passersby shouting out their well wishes and unable to contain their laughter.

Tourists, that is.

San Franciscans did not bat an eye at the strangeness of it all; we see much crazier things even on a typical morning commute to work.
Important takeaway from nearly seven years of adventuring together: always keep a group-approved snack on you because the hanger comes in quick and strong.
Once we returned the boat, we explored a bit of the park on foot to see the sections we couldn't get to because the current pushed these idiots halfway, and retraced our route back we weren't able to see - that meant more Canadian geese and unidentifiable birds, a gorgeous pagoda, and picturesque bridges.

A blonde toddler approached us with wide-eyes, staring in awe at our upper lips.

Cassandra handed her an extra mustache. She put it on almost reverently. Her mom turned to us and grinned, saying "her biggest obsession is mustaches!" We ran into kind strangers who took the time to direct our little photo shoot - testing the light, moving us from one side of a bridge to the other. There was a group of Russian strangers who sneakily took pictures of us - we were extra thankful for our huge sunglasses. At a stoplight, a girl rolled down her window and called out to us: aaaand so she became the recipient of another mustache.

These aren't particularly interesting tidbits, I'm aware; but in my mind, they belonged to this day's adventure as much as we did.

I was going to talk about what I thought 25 looked like at 21.

I was going to talk about what 21 looks like in hindsight, now.

I was going to talk about moments when it's all felt very full circle.

I was going to talk about 24: what it meant, and all that I learned this year.

But those all seem like stories for another day. Instead, today's lesson: I never thought that in my first week of being 25, I'd be marching around San Francisco wearing a mustache and a birthday hat, or watching (and ENJOYING!) the Disney Channel.

But, verdict? It's been pretty freaking fantastic.

*Okay so I STARTED writing this an hour before 25; I am now a day and a half into being 25 and finishing this because some things never change. #foreveraprocrastinator

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xx Caroline