San Francisco Revisited

Hey y’all!  It’s been forever, I KNOW!  Before I get to my weekend trip to San Francisco back in 2011 (omg), let me try to explain my awful, long neglect for my blog.  First of all, I had another baby.  And while I was pregnant with that other baby, I was completely miserable.  So after a month of not writing, came another month and yet another, until the baby came, from which I was then sleep deprived and completely insane with a newborn and a toddler.  Writing a blog was very low on my priority list.  When the baby began to sleep longer and I became less crazy, I began to think about writing again.  But that’s all I did.  I thought about it.  Then came the holidays.  We all know how busy the holidays are.  After the new year and our awesome trip to Sandbridge, VA,  I thought about writing again, but I couldn’t do it.  Probably because it had been so long.  Then we moved.  Moving SUCKS.  But, I’m sure you already know that.  So, finally after 4 months of living in the Santa Cruz Mountains and actually finding some peace and solace in the state of California, an email inspired to get back to my blog.  A small website called Dwellable read my post about the Outer Banks and wanted to add me to their blog roll.  Not a big deal by any means, but it made me feel good and gave me the push I needed to get back to my outlet.  Before I started something new, I went through the numerous drafts I had saved from last year. I read the one about my trip to San Francisco with my bff and I thought it was really special.  I had almost finished it, therefore I think the restaurant reviews should still be relevant.  However, I didn’t get to E Tutto Qua, which is probably for the best.  It didn’t really leave a lasting impression and the pictures I took were terribly blurry.  It was  good, but I probably wouldn’t go out of my way to go back.  I began this post with a long, angry paragraph about my difficult pregnancy.  I laughed at the first few sentences, but I’ve decided to go ahead and publish it anyway and maybe, just maybe, I’ll bring some light to someone who has suffered with the same problem.  I had forgotten about the pain and frustration I had felt.  So here it is, from April of 2011, the ravings of a pregnant lady who loves food more than life, complete with curse words and all………….

April 2011:  If you’re irritated by pregnant women complaining, then skip this paragraph, I will not be offended.   If you’re curious, or can simply relate, read on……….  This second pregnancy has been challenging, to say the least.  I never reached my second trimester “burst of energy” or relief from nausea and encountered another problem very early on.  It’s called  Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction.   In a nutshell, this “dysfunction” causes the ligament that holds your pelvis bone together to loosen and sometimes completely detach from the bone itself, meaning your pelvis is out of alignment.  It causes pain in the hips, lower back, legs and pubic region.   Hormones are probably the main culprit of this problem, but the midwife that diagnosed me seems to think that the birth of my first child, who was a whopping 9 pounds, may also have had something to do with it.  It will heal after giving birth, however, breastfeeding prolongs the healing process due to the continued production of these hormones.   Now, here’s what really grinds my gears….I started having symptoms of SPD in my fourth month of pregnancy, in fact, while I was gallivanting around San Francisco.  When it worsened, I told my doctor and she blew me off, saying this was just another “ache and pain” of pregnancy.  So, I took matters into my own hands and diagnosed myself by doing research on the internet.   Upon figuring out what was causing the pain, that got worse with every passing week, I read somewhere that most obstetricians do not recognize the condition, literally calling it an “ache and pain of pregnancy”, but that most midwives do acknowledge the problem and will prescribe ways of managing it.  I was SO pissed when I read this, because #1) the obvious reason, my doctor blew me off with this “ache and pain” bullshit and #2) during my first pregnancy, my caregiver was a midwife and she was AWESOME and I knew she would have taken care of me properly.  As if I needed another reason to be bitter about moving to California.  For my next visit to the doctor, I was rehearsing what I was going to say to make her listen.  I wasn’t going to tell her what I thought it was, I wanted her to figure it out, because hello, she’s a fucking doctor.  I know I shouldn’t have played this silly game, but I did, out of sheer spite.  AGAIN, she blew me off, this time literally cutting me off mid sentence to say that it was an “ache and pain” and would get worse with subsequent pregnancies.  I said “Ok, well, it’s preventing me from exercising.  Is lack of exercise making it worse or should I try to exercise?  I was a runner before I got pregnant.”  She actually said this, I can’t freaking believe it, she actually said “Maybe.”   Maybe what?  Maybe I should exercise?  Maybe I shouldn’t exercise?  I was in tears when I left and I still don’t understand why I wasn’t more aggressive with her.  It’s probably because I was raised by a nurse who taught me that “your doctor knows best”…….For my next appointment, I scheduled with a midwife (the only redeeming experience with Kaiser thus far). By this point, the pain was so bad, it would stop me mid step.  The pain was mostly in my lower back, inner thigh and pelvis area, and predominately on my right side.  One night, it became so terrible, that my husband had to walk behind me as I went up the stairs, supporting my lower back as I walked, asking if he should carry me.  Then, he had to pull my legs in and out of the bed because using the muscles to do it myself was excruciating.  He was so mad at the whole situation and kept telling me what I needed to say to make them understand. The appointment with the midwife finally came and as soon as I began to explain to her the pain I was experiencing, she said “Oh, I think you have SPD, in fact, I think the ligament has completely detached from the bone.  You will need to see a physical therapist right away and buy yourself a support band…today.”  I started to cry, I’m sure you can guess why.  I bought a support band that day and the difference I felt was almost immediate.  Then, I saw the physical therapist, who did some awesome leg pulling and hip adjusting on my right side (among other PT stuff), making me feel better instantly AND gave me more insight into my pain.  I mentioned that I broke my pinky toe on my right side about 6 weeks before (yup, that was a real sundae topper!) and she laughed and said “Well, that certainly didn’t do you any favors, considering you couldn’t put any weight on it for a while.”  Eureka!!!!!  No wonder it hurt so bad on my right side.  I was given a few exercises as well as a long list of things not to do while suffering from this condition.  I have to get in and out of the car and bed a certain way, I have to take smaller steps, I cannot move things on the floor with my feet, cross my legs, or sit in a position where my hips are lower than my knees.  Basically, my knees should be at hips width apart and straight in front of me at all times. After taking these measures for only 2 days, I felt better!  Finally, although, the pain has not gone away completely and I don’t expect it to.  I’m just so glad someone knew what the hell they were talking about and was able to help.  Oh, and exercising?  Walking and running is out of the question, however, swimming is a good alternative.  I hope to never see that doctor again and when this experience is all over, I’ll be finding a place to write a terrible review about her.

Moving on………After the slightly disappointing crab cake dinner back in January, I took Sarah to the city for some sight-seeing and good eatin’!  We took the long way to the city so we could stop at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and drive across the great bridge itself.  Here’s a pic.   It was a beautiful day!

Once we got into town, we checked into our hotel in Union Square, threw our bags down and headed out for a little shopping before dinner.   Once we got our shopping fix, is was time to get ready for dinner at First Crush.  We decided to walk, since it was only a block from the hotel.  At this time in my pregnancy, I was still able to look relatively hot and strap on my heels, holding my skinny jeans up with a rubber band.   I’ll quickly go through what we had and why I would definitely go back to this place, sorry, no pics! Forgot my camera!  First of all, the restaurant is small and intimate and a little loud, which I love, although I definitely did not appreciate our smug neighbor who was so impressed with himself being a journalist and used the f* bomb in every other sentence.  Not that I don’t cuss like a sailor, it’s just so tacky to be so loud about it in public.  Have some damn class!  Anywho……  Our server was lovely and extremely helpful.   First Crush is a wine bar with a very impressive (and very expensive) wine list, so we ordered a delicious half bottle (I can have just a bit, you see) of the Steele Pinot Nior………a whopping $27, the least expensive of the half bottles.  Ouch.   We decided to start with the cheese plate and a few “First Courses” and if we were still hungry, we’d venture on to the main courses.  The cheese plate was the mother effing cat’s pajamas people.  4 Cheeses: Marin French Cheese Co. Triple Creme, Redwood Hills Farm Goats’ Milk Cheddar, Bellwether Farms San Andreas Goats Milk Cheese, and Shaft  Blue.  4 accompaniments:  Port Pear, Fig Cake, Honeycomb,and Grilled Toast Points. I am probably not supposed to have half of what was on that plate, with all the cheese restrictions that are put on the pregnant, but I lapped it up with cheese lover enthusiasm.  My FAVORITE part was the honeycomb.  I paired it with every cheese and it was delicious.  Sarah’s favorite was the fig cake, also delicious.  After taking our sweet time enjoying cheese and wine, it was time to move on.  Sarah ordered a Truffle Mushroom Ravioli, no longer on the menu, which is too bad as it was amazing.  Very truffley!  I ordered a spinach salad with walnuts and gorgonzola (I think)……… Then we decided that we really wanted to enjoy dessert, instead of stuffing ourselves with an entrée.  So, I ordered the chocolate souffle with raspberries and Sarah ordered a dessert that I can’t remember, except that it had peanut butter in it and I don’t do peanut butter in my deserts.  We took these deserts to go and enjoyed them in the comfort of our hotel room (and pajamas) while watching a guy very unwillingly be arrested on the street below.  To sit cross-legged on the desk, peering down onto Mason Street watching a young man lie face down on the street in cuffs and scream “See where your tax dollars are going! SEE! This is bullshit! I didn’t do anything!” while savoring the rich chocolate was superb……….I could not have asked for better.  Thank you San Francisco.  Our first night was a success.

The next morning we woke up and decided to order room service.  I wish I could have taken that back and gone here.  Our breakfast was terrible.  Then, we grabbed some Starbucks and headed towards the trolleys.  Sarah and I were both Trolley virgins.  I thought my belly would conjure a little sympathy, but I was wrong, the trolley operators yelled at me anyway for not getting on the trolley quick enough, or facing the right way.  Sarah and I are from Richmond, Virginia y’all, we don’t have that big city stuff out there, ya hear?  We just don’t know how to act.  There I was, hanging onto a trolley pole, going UP Powell Street, trying not to touch my neighbor with any part of my body.  Finally, someone got off and Sarah and I were able to sit next to each other on a seat and the operators ended up being totally hilarious and cracking us up the whole way to Fisherman’s Wharf.   We spent a little time at Hyde Street Pier, walked into a tourist shop and purchased some magnets and I was ready for lunch.  Fisherman’s Wharf is a tourist trap, but a necessity if you’ve never been to the city I suppose.  If you know me, you know how I feel about eating in a place like Fisherman’s Wharf.  In case you forgot, read my post about Monterey.  BUT, Sarah is waaaaaaay more laid back than I and being pregnant and starving, there simply was no time to do my research and find a place that met my standards, so we basically picked the first spot we saw as we started to walk down the Wharf.  Pompeii’s Grotto it was.

I was more willing this time to give a place like this a chance.  Sarah ordered a cocktail.  I was jealous.

I heart cosmos. I went with a daily lunch special, spaghetti with fresh salmon, tomatoes and basil.  It was really good!!!!  Very fresh, although it could have used more flavor.  I was expecting larger basil leaves and tomatoes, however, it really was delish.  I was very happy with my choice.

Sarah had the tuna sandwich and I don’t think she was as thrilled as I was with her own lunch.  I said “Friend?  How’s your sandwich?”  She simply replied “It’s ok, I mean, it’s good.”  Sorry friend 😦

After lunch, we continued down the Wharf.  I supposed I should have taken Sarah to get clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl somewhere or dungenous crab from a street vendor.   BOO dungenous, BOO!

We stumbled upon the Musee Mecanique, a privately owned collection of antique arcade machines.  It’s completely weird.

Hooray for San Francisco!  Since this trip in January 2011, my bff and I have been back to the city and enjoyed another fabulous restaurant.  More on that soon!

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