I have a friend in town this week visiting from Ireland. It’s always interesting to see our town from an outsider’s perspective. He is well traveled, has lived in various American cities before, including New York, Chicago and San Francisco, and so he is aware that there is life outside his little green island. But when we were talking about what he wanted to do when he was here, I thought I had better take him to San Francisco or else he’ll be bored; it won’t be chic enough in the South Bay and there won’t be enough to do.
Well, much to my surprise, he wanted sun (it has been raining in Ireland biblically for about 40 days and 40 nights) and everything else was second on the list. Considering that San Francisco in the summer is about as bleak as Ireland in the winter, I thought the weather might throw him into a state of depression he would not recover from. So instead, I decided to take him to some of the many beautiful and fun places outside of San Francisco that I like.
The first stop was Santana Row. He commented on the diversity of the crowd there. We take it for granted that people are from all walks of life, but while in Ireland, all he sees are, well, Irish people. The second stop was the wine country of Morgan Hill and Gilroy and he was amazed at the houses, the land and the beauty of the countryside. And since he is from Ireland, one of the most picturesque landscapes anywhere, that is really saying something. We have been hanging out in Santa Cruz for a few days, where he has been riding his beach cruiser along the water, having margaritas by the sea and swimming in what seems like tropical water (to him). California really does have its own lifestyle and the Bay Area has more to offer than we sometimes realize.
Now if I could just get him to actually leave….