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SAN FRANCISCO, CA DEC. 2022
I woke up bright and early on a Sunday morning to get to the lab. We drove the passenger van to SLC airport and met with other team members there. It was quite a security point when half of the team had to chug their Starbucks within minutes to make it through security! Plus there were 30 film photographers who needed their film hand-checked. It was a wild time but we made it through to our terminal.
Arriving in California, we found our rental vans and our other team member, Amy, who flew in from Oklahoma. We drove out to the Palace of Fine Arts first, it was a lovely day in San Fran! An hour was spent wandering the park, taking some of our first photos of the trip.
We made our way to Tony's Pizza Napoletana for lunch and it was popping in that area! There was a nice park across the street with a beautiful church. We also met a great man named Edgar who was out walking his dog in a stroller.
Next up was the glorious Golden Gate Bridge herself. We were lucky to find decent parking for two passenger vans. This was my first time in San Fran, and actually California technically too. The Golden Gate just seemed like the epitome of what to see in California, and I can now say I've driven across it.
After, we went to the painted ladies, what I refer to as the Full House homes. The sun was starting to set as we got there, we made a fun Full House-related reel and carried on to ice cream!
Eventually we drove to our Airbnb to unload our van and get people's sleeping situations figured out. After a bit of rest we left again to get dinner at a local Mexican restaurant called La Taqueria. It had insanely good food and we even got serenaded by a singer! The unfortunate part was that we experienced a true San Fran moment. A smash-and-grab. While we were at dinner, one of our passenger vans was broken into because someone left their duffle bag in the van. They had to drive the rest of the trip with a taped up window.
Back at the Airbnb, people got comfortable and hung around. We started a game called "the bowl game", kind of a charade type game. It was a hoot and a half!
The next day, we started our morning on the coast. We found a nice beach and walked around photographing the waves, It was a nice way to wake up and start the day. For breakfast we hit up this delectable bakery called Tartine. Their croissants are to die for!
This day was dedicated to Chinatown. The vans loaded, we made a quick drive over to the area. The first stop most of us made was at a camera shop. Then we all kind of dispersed and went in separate directions. Chinatown was so fun! It had so much character and was a cool area to walk around. For lunch the lab met at a place called Sam Wo's where we took up their entire upstairs. We had a huge buffet style lunch and packed on the food for our walk to the MOMA. I always love taking time to walk around the downtown areas of places that I visit so I found our walk pleasant. The MOMA was just beautiful! They had a great history of studio photography on display along with an insightful exhibit of Joan Brown's works. We had a good couple of hours to go through and walk around but boy were my feet tired by the end! Plus we still had to walk all the way back to our van, but it was worth it for a night time stroll through the city.
Back at the Airbnb we took some time to relax and spent time in all different areas of the house. For dinner we tried out a Filipino restaurant and had planned to take night shots after, but most people were too tired and not interested enough so we went back to our lodging.
Our last morning there, we packed up our stuff into the vans and ended up going to Tartine again for breakfast! We made our way to Lombard Street where we started at the top of the hill and walked on down. We got a big group photo at the bottom and then started our journey back up the hill.
Our flight was in a couple hours but we made one last stop before going to the airport. Legion of Honors was a quick trip. I walked around the outside for a bit while most people actually went inside. By the time I went over to the building I had about 2 minutes to go in and look before they were gathering up at the vans. I decided to not go inside and finish my roll of film on the architecture instead. I heard there was a Monet inside though, which I was bummed I missed. Off to the airport we went, and our adventure to San Francisco was over. It was a fast but jam-packed couple of days! I would definitely like to go back some day.
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