Before I begin talking about the wonderful farm I have now spent 2 weeks at, I’d like to tell you about one of the best weekends I’ve had in the longest time- a trip into the city of San Francisco.
San Francisco is about 50 miles from Sebastopol, making it the perfect weekend getaway with beautiful parks, lively streets and a thriving night-life. Excuse me for sounding like an advertisement. Anyway, the five of us WWOOFers on the farm decided to make a budget trip to San Francisco starting with saving on the $11 bus trip by -yes, that’s right- hitch-hiking. And after the trip, I highly recommend hitch-hiking, of course, while keeping in mind everything your parents ever told you about strangers. No, really, I’m not just saying this because my parents are reading this too (hi mom, dad!). It’s quite the experience. It’ll make you wiser and definitely well versed with a strangers thoughts on life and their story so far. Our strategy was quite simple. Being 5 people with reasonably sized backpacks, we divided into teams of 2 and 3 and decided to race to San Francisco. There’s no bigger motivation than a win. And I’ll proudly declare that our team won. Though I’m not ashamed to admit that after an hour of moving about, flashing banners and sticking out our thumbs on the side of the road only to laughed at and judged, we were almost ready to give up and take the bus. One man even stopped, gave us 5 dollars and said “help yourselves”. Talk about rejection. Sonoma County, as it turns out, isn’t exactly the land of hitch-hikers. Actually, quite the opposite with rich vineyards and expensive cars. I wouldn’t be surprised if the local radio station had gotten the whiff of our scheme and people were driving down just to take a look at the first ever hitch-hikers in the County. But eventually, our smiles, which had frozen into our faces, along with our signs which attempted to tempt passer-bys with cookies (really rich mint chocolate chip ones, might I add?) worked!
A lovely lady on her way to Berkeley stopped and said “You know what? You guys are crazy to be doing this, that’s why I’m going to take you’ll”. Talk about awesome. 45 minutes and a conversation about almost everything under the sun later, we were across the Golden Gate Bridge and in San Francisco. Thank you, Josephine, for going out of your way to drop us and, also, not being an axe-murderer. We had a great time. The other team, though, didn’t manage such an easy ride. They had three different drivers who took them about 10 miles each. A wonky man on his way to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting who kept asking whether they were drunk, a hippie who gave them a music CD and lady with no seemingly particular eccentricity. While looking for a fourth ride, the San Rafael police decided to use their loudspeakers to announce that hitch-hiking wasn’t permitted so close to the freeway so they decided to take the bus out of the fear of being arrested in a foreign country. Fair enough. They made it to SF too. Our team did the long walk from the Golden Gate to Fisherman’s Wharf which was fuelled by the free Lindors which were being distributed on account of it being Lindt day along with the scenic view of the coast and the Alcatraz and we were reunited with the rest of the party. 11 dollars saved, 5 dollars earned (which we gave to a homeless man because we’re nice like that), a once in a lifetime experience gained- what more could I have asked for?
Burrito bowls and beers on the grass was followed by an impromptu game of amateur football.
After filling our stomachs, we decided to look for a place to spend the the night since crashing in the park in our sleeping bags with chilly winds blowing all around us wasn’t exactly the most appealing idea. And thankfully, a motel came our way. We also found a Japanese place down the street and ate a not-so-budget dinner of sushi and donburi but it was worth every bite. And after that, well, what do you do at 10pm on a Saturday night in SF? You hop from pub to pub and do stupid things. Jump, hug and take selfies with strangers, tell someone they smell like flowers, randomly break into a dance in the middle of the street and even do some dumpster diving. Because, you know, why not?
And one of the best cures of a hangover? American diner breakfasts.
Follow that up with some swing dancing at the park and you know you’ve had a complete weekend.
Before you ask, no, we didn’t hitch-hike home. Not even some In N Out burgers and shakes could energise us to that extent. A two hour bus ride later, we were back at the farm with a week of weeding in the blueberry field in front of us. But the best two days ever? I think so.
Life is good. Until next time