Furthur, Fog, and the Forest by Night: A San Francisco New Year

Some time in October, The Boy and I did something really impulsive. We bought tickets to a New Year’s Eve concert in San Francisco with no idea where we would stay or how we would afford airfare. We just knew that the annual Furthur NYE Show was on both of our bucket lists, and if we died without getting a chance to see it then we’d be eternally unsatisfied. And then one day in early December, just as we were getting ready to sell our concert tickets, I experienced one of those rare moments of perfect synchronicity where everything just falls into place.

Yeah, at Midnight a smoke-spewing dragon flew over the audience. As in Year of the Dragon. According to the Furthur website, their dragon was inspired by Game of Thrones, and the girl on its back is Daenerys Tagaryen. Incidentally, Game of Thrones is the reason why posting has been a bit sparse lately. These books are just so addicting, it’s hard to make myself put them down. Anyway, it was the most magical New Year’s Eve of my life, and I am so, so grateful that I made it. Here are some photos of the rest of the trip, and by the way, how perfect is my new green coat?

We were staying with an old friend in the Presidio neighborhood in the northern part of the city. It’s such a gorgeous area, so we spent a lot of time wandering around the streets, looking at all the beautiful houses (pastel Victorian alongside sleek moderns proudly displaying robot sculptures), and wandering around Presidio Park. The park is an old military base, now home to acres of lovely shady trails, the sweetest little pet cemetery, and some awesome views.

On the first day of the new year we headed out of the city to Muir Woods to hang out with the Redwoods. This meant crossing the Golden Gate, which is really such a stunning bridge. It’s just a perfect shade of red that looks so nice against the water. The Boy did a little hanging out of the car window and got some beautiful shots while we waited in traffic.

It was a beautiful day, nearly 70 degrees, and the woods were very crowded when we first arrived. But we climbed and climbed until the crowd started to thin, and pretty soon we were feeling like the last people on earth. It’s hard not to feel that way in the presence of such giants; once we separated ourselves from the crowd there was this very poignant, kind of ringing silence that was equal parts solemn and joyful. Between the show the night before and our walk in the woods, I don’t think the start to my new year could have felt any more positive.

We slightly underestimated the amount of time it would take to get out of the park, and we were still pretty deep in the woods by sunset. I’ve definitely been creeped out in the woods in the dark before, but this was different. It was so silent, there were no crickets, or peepers, or small animals in the brush. Just these black, looming trees reaching up to the moon and watching over three kids as they wound their way home.

On our way home we made a pitstop at one of the many scenic overlooks. During our stay, our host’s father said to me that San Francisco is a city of views. He’s definitely not wrong.

So one of my new favorite places in the entire world is the Ferry Building Marketplace. Just so much delicious in one place, I was completely overwhelmed. The Boy and I picked up some supplies and decided to walk through Golden Gate Park to get to Ocean Beach, where we had an awesome picnic of sourdough bread, Cowgirl Creamery cheeses, and some delicious white wine.

I grew up in Southern California, but moved to Connecticut when I was fourteen. I have vivid memories of my dismay when someone first brought me to the “beach” (Long Island Sound) after the move. There were no waves, no proper sand, the water was murky and, most importantly, did not smell like an ocean. By the time of this trip I hadn’t been back west in some time, and even though I knew in my heart that the Long Island Sound was no proper beach, I think I’d forgotten what the ocean truly looks like. When The Boy and I first stepped onto the sand and I could see the silhouettes of roaring swells through the fog, when I caught that first breath of real salt air, it was kind of an emotional moment. The Boy was taking his time, snapping pictures, but I took off my shoes and walked straight for the water.

It was such a beautiful trip, and we were so sad to go. The Boy and I both fell head-over-heels in love with the city, and hope to some day call it home. It may not be in the cards for this year, or even the next, but during my stay there I could feel something sliding perfectly into place into my mind, and I just knew. Major thanks to my great friend Daniel and his awesome family for helping us make a crazy, half-baked idea into a reality. It was an intensely meaningful vacation, and it wouldn’t have been possible without you guys.

As is so often the case, some of these photos are courtesy of The Boy, but I couldn’t be bothered to go through and pick out which ones. Check out more of his work here. All photos of Furthur’s New Year’s Eve show are courtesy of the band, check out their website and Facebook page for more media and information.


2 thoughts on “Furthur, Fog, and the Forest by Night: A San Francisco New Year

  1. Pingback: A Very Purple New Year! | The Purplest House

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