My all-time favourite Belle and Sebastian song is “Piazza New York Catcher”, mainly because I love San Francisco and I fucking love the line “San Francisco’s calling us”. It reminds me of when I first met my boyfriend, the year I went to San Francisco twice. Smoking cigarettes out of his bedroom window, staring at Norwich Cathedral, listening to his tales of Fog City, dreaming of my upcoming trip and falling a little bit in love.
The first trip to San Francisco happened just two weeks after we met, although I’d arranged it months before. My brother and I had actually booked it the previous autumn. We each picked an American city; I picked New Orleans, we both agreed on Seattle to visit family, and Henry picked San Francisco.
The photos from Yosemite don’t look real to me any more. Like, I can’t believe I was standing in front of that scenery. The vastness of it all, the grandness of the landscape. We saw a bear, for fuck’s sake. I was so scared, I couldn’t take a photo or enjoy the sight. I just gripped my brother’s arm and quietly freaked out whilst parents lifted their children to their shoulders for a better look.
For Christmas, a friend of mine from California (who now lives in San Francisco and has an awesome vegan blog somewhere on the net) gave me a list of things to do in San Francisco, along with a guide book and a map of the city marked with glittery gold feet. On his list, he included “Soup from Boudin.”
Thick, steaming tomato soup served in a sourdough bread bowl? Abso-fucking-lutely. Nestled on Fisherman’s Warf, we went for a quick lunch between Alcatraz and visiting the sea lions of Pier 39.
I will just say that eating the soup-sodden bread at the end was kind of like a mouth-disco where the DJ just played “Stayin’ Alive” on repeat whilst everyone danced like John Travolta.