Every six months or so I find an excuse to travel back to San Francisco. Sometimes the excuse is work, sometimes it’s family or friends, sometimes it’s holidays, and sometimes it’s something that brings together any number of those elements.
It’s been nine months since I was last in San Francisco. That’s the longest I’ve ever been away from the City by the Bay.
While I’ve done my fair share of traveling in the interim, there’s nothing quite like landing at SFO. That’s not least because the runway goes right out into the water and I always feel like the 747 is going to magically grow pontoons and glide right into the bay. But more than that, I love landing at SFO because it’s home. The golden hills in the distance, the beautiful and highly underrated Bay Bridge to the east, and the city skyline all start to pull at my heart, reminding me that all this time I had left it in San Francisco.
As the plane descends, I realize that I even miss the ugly “South San Francisco the Industrial City” sign that’s so big it can be seen from ten thousand feet up. And the B of A building, where I spent two long years chained to a desk on the 44th floor. And the Port of Oakland, that ugly mass of buildings on the other side of the bay that makes driving across the Bay Bridge less inspiring than driving across its International Orange rival to the north. It’s good to be home.
Every year on my birthday my aunt and uncle send me a card. This year they sent one with a black and white photograph of rolling hills dotted with giant oak trees. Without having to read the description, I knew that the picture was of California. It made me homesick.
Being back in California this week made me want to see some of that beautiful land outside of San Francisco. Yesterday my boyfriend and I drove across the Golden Gate Bridge and headed up to wine country to take in the scenery and taste some of our state’s famous Pinot Noirs.