Wednesday, September 5, 2012

San Francisco by the Cookies, Day 1

If you were reading back in June, you will recall that my boyfriend was job hunting and was contemplating leaving me for a state named California. He ultimately chose to stay here ...for now... but in the last week of freedom before starting his new job in DC, he wanted to take a trip out to the West Coast to see what he was giving up. Well, I thought that was a terrible idea (right up there with moving away from me!) but I came with him to see what I might have to face if he changed his mind later.

While I was in San Francisco, I really outdid myself in the Giant Cookie department, buying 5 whoppers throughout the 4-day trip. And so, in keeping with my concerns aired in last post, I think this is a lovely opportunity to tell you a good old-fashioned narrative while still satisfying my compulsion to blog about giant cookies. It may have to happen in installments, because 4 days and 5 Giant Cookie Reviews are a lot to digest (get it!?) at once.

Day 1

On Saturday, my boyfriend cruelly dragged me out of bed shortly after 5 AM in order to catch our 7:05 flight. Even with this obscenely early wake-up, we still almost missed our plane; thus, my record of harrowing near-misses (and complete misses) every trip I take by air remains unbroken. I also lost yet another pocket knife to the sticky fingers of the TSA. It's a good thing I don't look like a terrorist, because I sure do carry around a lot of weaponry.

Thanks to the magic of time zones, we arrived in San Francisco only 2 hours after we left DC, leaving us with an entire day to entertain ourselves! And we weren't sure how to do it, especially since we were starving to death and incapable of coherent thought. Our hotel check-in clerk suggested we rectify this at a local establishment called The Grove, where we found a cute coffee-shop-like atmosphere, a really good grilled cheese sandwich, and Giant Cookie #1!

Giant Cookie from the Grove

Having eaten this cookie under the influence of a stuffy nose, I'm not sure how good it actually tasted, but the texture wasn't anything to jump up and down over. Cute and gigantic though it was (I wish I had gotten a picture of all the cookies sitting in the case, cause they looked pretty picturesque!), it was just any other cookie once it reached my mouth. It tasted like your standard Tollhouse cookie with just a little bit of softness and a little bit of crunch and a sort of chewy, sort of cakey texture. In other words, not really distinctive in any way. It weighed 120 grams, but I forgot to check the price, so I can't speak to its value. But as for the other criteria...
The Bottom Line:
Taste: 3 stars
Texture: 3 stars

The rest of Day 1 passed in sort of a haze of exploring and shopping, during which we discovered 2 truths about San Francisco:
  1. All the streets smell like pee (Ok, maybe just the streets downtown, but that was all we'd seen of SF so far, so it didn't make for a very good first impression)
  2. It has the worst climate imaginable.
Do you want to try to imagine it? I'll help.

San Francisco has no summer. I'm not even going to bother with the infamous quote about summer in San Francisco, because if you haven't heard it, you will, and shortly thereafter, you will have heard it enough times to never want to hear it again. I had heard the aforementioned quote years back, so I was somewhat prepared, and, like any responsible traveler, I had also read the weather forecasts before departing.

But no second-hand account by hyperbolizing writers nor thorough academic study of meteorology (which reveals, in case you were curious, that, at the warmest part of the year - right now in fact - the average highs in San Francisco are something like 74 F - barely warm enough to keep my nose from running - and the lows are a miserable upper 50's) could prepare me for the dreadful weather that I was about to experience

When we arrived at the city shortly after 9 am, the air was so cold, all I could do was complain about it. In a slightly more proactive gesture, I also donned my arm warmers, and soon followed them with my jacket. By the time we left our room for the second time, after lunch, it was warm enough that I left my jacket there. At some points during the day (lasting about 5 minutes each, while walking in the direct sun), it was even warm enough that I could take off my arm warmers and wear just my T-shirt! But come sunset, the bitter cold set in, and me without my jacket was a pitiful sight indeed. The next day, having learned my lesson, I wore my jacket, and my arm warmers, and added to the collection a winter headband, all of which I was then forced to carry around in my arms throughout the warm part of the afternoon. What kind of a place requires you to dress for winter in the morning and summer in the afternoon, every day? For the entire year!? Not the kind of place I'd want to live, that's for sure! Count me among the ranks of the hyperbolizing writers!

In summary, by Day 1, I had acquired one Giant Cookie and firmly made up my mind as to the (un)desirability of San Francisco as a permanent home.

Stay tuned for more Giant Cookies and more touristic adventures!


Geoff said...

Arm warmers!?!?!

I never even knew these existed, let alone be something you would need in San Fran-freaking-cisco!