Taking the long way.

As I drove south from Arcata towards San Francisco, my gps and I were not the best friends. I wanted to drive highway 1 that goes right next to the Pacific, but my gps thought I was being unreasonable and suggested I turn around at every opportunity until I finally decided to just shut if off, a very good choice. But I had not really realized just how small and winding the roads on hwy 1 is, as driving down to SF took me almost 10 hours (a 500 km trip) and I think my speed was mostly around 25-35 mph. That’s 40-55 km/h to the rest of us. But oh, so beautiful. It was definitely worth it.

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There were so incrdibly many cyclist though, braving the wind and the insane hills and small road with heavy traffic. Once again, not jealous. I don’t think I saw a single stretch of the road that even resembled a flat surface. I pulled over next to a guy with his fully loaded bike taking a break, and he just stared at me while I stopped and got out. For some reason I got the feeling he thought I was going to yell at him or something… instead I did the usual and offered him everything from water to beer to snacks which he accepted. Yay, finally I get to pay it forward a little! He said I was the first one stopping for a week to offer him anything. Come on people, be nice to the bicycle tourists! If you have something to offer, and it’s safe to stop, pull over and do so. I know first hand how incredibly nice that is.

As I got closer to San Francisco I finally realized my mistake, as I was heading into the city at the worst rush hour. My gps jumped from telling me I had 20 minutes left to my destination, to telling me I had 1 hour and 15 minutes to go. Ugh. But we slowly, slowly moved forward and soon I was rewarded with this sight.
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I was completely spent when I got to the hotel, but since I’m now a Hilton honor gold member I got to skip the line to check in, the woman at the front desk told me that I was being upgraded to a better room and I got free wifi and breakfast. I mean how can you be tired when you get to admire this view? I ordered room service for the first time in my life and spent all night just looking at the city from the 39th floor.
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The next day I slept in, before heading out to Macy’s to meet my friend at the Cheesecake factory. It’s a tradition of ours, since we lived right next to the Cheesecake factory in Marina del Rey 8 years ago. Their chicken madeira is to die for… and the salted caramel cheesecake wasn’t too bad either!

Later that afternoon it was time to get back in the car and head south to Santa Clara and Levi’s Stadium. The night before I watched the news and they filmed the stadium as Taylor Swift was playing there that night too. I was so surprised to find out it was actually a huge outdoor stadium! I have only seen her at indoor venues before with 15 000 in the audience at most. Here it was somewhere between 50-65 000, I haven’t been able to find out for sure. Woah.
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The concert itself was brilliant. The atmosphere was insane and she was really on top of her game. Someone described going to a Taylor Swift concert that it feels like she’s talking just to you and playing just for you, and it’s so true. She really knows how to connect with her audience and I think a lot of it comes from just how much fun she seems to have up on stage, and the sincerity when she tells stories about her life and the songs. We also got two guest performances, first out was a group called Little Mix who she sang their song Black Magic with. I’ve never heard of them or the song before but it was fun.
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And then during my favorite song Style she called out “Let’s welcome Joan Baez and academy award winner Julia Roberts out on stage” and I just turned to my friend and screamed “OH MY GOD!!!” I love how Taylor invites the most random but inspiring women to join her on tour, this type of thing happens a lot during her concerts. When I saw her in London last year it was Ed Sheeran who came out to sing with her. But Julia Roberts, wow. Such a legend.
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I was on such a high when the concert finished, I was just bouncing around. It was fun to get to share the experience with someone for the first time as well. But the happiness didn’t last too long as it was complete chaos trying to get out of the parking lot. We stood still for an hour and basically nothing happened at all. So frustrating! I can’t believe how such a big stadium has such a absolutely crappy handling of the traffic.

We got back to SF at around 1 in the morning and I was still on an adrenaline rush so I had a hard time falling asleep. That and you know, watching Taylor’s performances that I had filmed over and over again probably didn’t help. Can’t wait for the LA concert on the 26th, when I’ll be in the pit right next to the stage.

The morning after I got up and drove out of San Francisco towards Madera, where my insurance company had told me to go check up my hand again. I had to go to the emergency room and had expected this to take all day, but I was the only other person there. I got checked in and put in the waiting room, when a police officer and a woman came out through the doors. He looked devastated and she was crying so hard. I have never seen anyone be in more emotional pain in my life than she was in that moment. She sat down and alternated between crying, screaming and just clutching at her chest. I was almost in tears because it was so upsetting to be witness to. It didn’t take more than a minute for a nurse to come get me though, and apologized that I had to see that.
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They asked me a bunch of questions, everything from if I’ve had suicidal thoughts (NO) to if I’ve been to west Africa lately before I was sent to have an x-ray. Seriously though, as far as hospital visits go this was so pleasant. Everyone was really nice and friendly, I sat next to nurses station and we talked and joked around while I waited. Soon after that a doctor came to get me and we looked at the x-rays. She told me that there was no trauma to the bones, but that the muscles and soft tissue in the hand had gotten a pretty rough beating. She gave me a brace to wear to help keep my hand from moving too much, as this will hopefully help the healing process. But still, she said it can take months. I wish there was a more concrete cure, that it could just be FIXED and FINE but as I’ve said before it could be so much worse.
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Unfortunately most braces are made for wrists, not hands, that is why it’s such a huge thing. Now it looks like I’ve broken my arm, but it will have to do. I kept it on all evening yesterday and after a while I realized that I had felt none of the shooting pains in my hand I usually get at night, so it clearly helps. As soon as I take it off to sleep, I felt that very familiar pain. So the brace will stay on for the time being, and I really hope my hand will heal faster now.

And now I’m in Yosemite, and have three fulls days here. Well, four really but today I’m spending by the pool because I’m still absolutely exhausted.

Life is intense but amazing. Lucky to be alive and living life to the fullest!

Comments

  1. Saskia says

    you are one lucky girl. that’s what probably sums it all up.

    those views from that highway1 is phenomenal. meeting your friend in SF is also so great. and sharing such a beautiful day, evening and memory is probably one of the best things (even though you enjoy traveling alone). Can’t wait to hear and see what awesome things you do when your parents come to visit.

    and the fact that your hand is not fractured is also great to hear. hopefully that brace will help you to get rid of the pain and have a fully functioned hand again.

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