So it's a good thing and a bad thing that I decided to come to San Francisco (Well, technically Oakland, although we did go to SF, and Berkeley today).
The good part is that it's like a nice segue between leaving Portland and moving to a foreign country. I got to test out my whole luggage situation for example. I had thought I could get everything in my pink luggage set, one large suit case, one medium, a carry on and my laptop case. But it just wasn't working... so I ended using a big suitcase I had in college rather than the medium pink one. The problem was that my old suitcase wasn't really a rolling one... well, it was the kind that would roll if I had a strap to pull it with... but I forgot to bring the strap. And it was hella heavy! OMG heavy! HEA-VY !! I managed to take my suitcases one at a time up the stairs to the cab that took me to the airport, but all together I couldn't quite make it across the street into the terminal without taking a break. I did eventually get it all to the ticket counter... but once we landed the two of us struggled quite a bit to get all of it onto the BART and then from the BART 3 blocks to her apartment. This was clearly NOT going to work in Thailand.
The first step was to pare down the stuff I was bringing. We weighed my suitcases and each big suitcase was close to 40lbs. Now, I'm reasonably strong, but 80lbs plus my carry ons was just too much. I managed to get each down closer to 30-35lbs. But I knew that still wasn't going to cut it, so we went down to Ross today and I bought another rolling suitcase. It's all still really heavy... but hopefully it'll be manageable now. Plus J. is giving me a backpack that I can use instead of my laptop case. The laptop wasn't really heavy, but it hung from my shoulder in a not at all steady way so if I leaned over it would you know lean over then I'd have to readjust everthing again. A backpack's going to be a lot easier to deal with. So all of that is the good part of coming to the bay area. It's a good testing ground for the big trip.
The bad part... if you can even call it bad is that I LOVE it here, and now I don't want to go to Thailand, I just want to move here. =P I'm sure most of that has to do with the fact that I'm hanging out with J again and we crack each other up. But it's also because I used to live in California and there are parts of it that just feel so familiar - like the smell of eucalyptus trees and the warm brown hills. The bay area is such a great place. J. lives in the Rockridge neighborhood of Oakland, and it's so awesome. She's just a few blocks from the BART and a really fun shopping street. There's a mix of independent bookstores, restaurants, recycled clothes boutiques and fancy chi-chi shops. We had awesome burgers at this place where they made their own mayonnaise the other day. I love mayonnaise, and I wish more restaurants would serve it with their burgers... so this was a real treat, there was regular mayonnaise, chipotle, and aoli... soooo much awesome. Beyond the mayonnaise, the BART is all kinds of comfy, the seats are like little couches. And there are just so many little neighborhoods with different personalities. We went to a very hip bar in Berkeley and sat outside in the courtyard drinking pomegranate cider & listening to a really good DJ. Then we came back to Rockridge and hung out at a pub - Ben & Nicks.
But really, I am ready to get to Thailand already... I'm finally starting to get impatient. I've been wanting to do this for a while, now that I've made the break from my old job & my old life & my old city... I'm ready for my new life to start in my new city with my new job.