Coffeeshop for Daring and Open Minds

Yesterday I was wrapping up an impromptu weekend in the Bay Area and happened upon a most unique coffeeshop. One that is not for the closed minded or faint of heart. One where you must be 18 or older to enter. Ladies and gentleman, a kink coffeeshop and erotic boutique called Wicked Grounds.

I was low bloodsugar and short on time when I stumbled upon this place, and my need for food thankfully brought me in. Lucky for me, they had a food menu! I admit to being a bit intimidated to walk through the doors, not being a member of a scene and not oozing aloof awesomeness from every pore. Thankfully, once inside there was the relaxing warmth of a neighborhood cafe, just with more interesting art on the walls. I felt like I could actually sit, relax and not worry about social pretentions. (Crazy enough, I used to have that feeling in the Chicago goth scene, and haven’t found a good replacement on this coast.)

I had to grab my sandwich (and souvenir t-shirt) and run, unfortunately.

Not even a cup of coffee this time.

Next trip, I’ll definitely try to stop in again. I’ll repeat that the shop isn’t for everybody, however, it is one of the many reasons the crazy California vibe has ensnared me. Seriously, all the many permutations of humanity seem to have a home in this state, and I appreciate the beautiful juxtaposition between the polarities.

Pajamas on the Go: Ex Officio

Last night a generous friend of mine gave me the opportunity to be her guest at a Google holiday party in Mountain View, CA. I ran to the airport, and just as I got there, realized I forgot my pajamas.

Pajamas are important to a traveler, especially when staying at another person’s house (of course, exceptions being when you and the other person are a-ok to sleep in the buff, or pass out in the party clothes you were wearing!) The choices for pajamas at Sea-Tac were dismal. I could have bought the ubiquitous Sleepless in Seattle sleep shirt (do people still watch this movie?) I could have bought the syrup-sweet “Life is Good” pajamas. Or, I could buy the questionably attractive, technologically interesting and always functional Ex Officio Give-N-Go Sleep Capri. Thank goodness Sea-Tac has a Ex Officio store! They weren’t much to look at, and at the particular store, had the choices of black or a bamboo print. I went for the black, and paired them with the Ex Officio Give-N-Go Moisture-Wick Tank Top, also in black.

Both the capri and tank were true to size, so keep that in mind if you want a bit of room. The fabric is supportive, with a bit of give, which I find quite comfortable. After one night sleeping in these pajamas, I can only say I wish I had these to sleep in all the time. They’re just that comfortable!

The packaging promises that these pajamas will be moisture wicking, odor-resistant, quick drying and light weight. They promise the same for their more under-underwear, which I’ve always been skeptical of. I can only tell you that I’m willing to give them a try!

Back in Seattle

I am pleased to report that I have made it back to Seattle alive and well. We spent about four days in the fantastic Bay Area. Our host lives in the Mission, so we spent a lot of time in and around there. I got to visit 826 Valencia, where Dave Egger’s tutoring empire all began. I was mopped while I was there. (Please go there to find out more about mopping. There are helpful signs to give you the story.) I got to care for an extremely drunk woman who we randomly met at a club (and found her friend, and got her into a cab home!) We ate Mission burritos, drank local beer, co-hosted a beer tasting and pizza dinner, had great times with friends (wrote saucy status updates for them), visited the Googleplex… it was quite amazing.

California is a special, weird place. It is America in all it’s America-ness. It’s got that frontier spunk and boob-job exterior. I really appreciate the multicultural aspects of San Francisco, juxtaposed to the Seattle monoculture. I am not as keen on the car necessity, however the BART may make it worth living there anyway.

The great thing about vacation is passing through that threshold into a world of infinite possibilities. It’s broadening your understanding, broadening your choices of personality and place. I still hate flying – but leaving Seattle for a long weekend has me thirsting for more.

The End of Week 2

I’m in Chicago right now on a bit of a vacation. I completed my week 2 of this Walk to Run plan. I’m wiped out. I will continue with this week’s level next week to hope to be less winded before I move to the next level. Running in the midday in Chicago is HARD. I’m sensitive to heat, so I think I’ll try to limit myself to early morning. The lakefront trail has asphalt and gravel, which made my knees and joints happy. A new arch brace is helping my plantar fasciitis tendency. I’m enjoying my new running clothes that I got bargain shopping at REI last week. And most of all, while I’m still loving my Nike+ SportBand, I’m loving Trail Runner, which Jon found for me, and syncs to the Nike+ website. It does what I wish the Nike site did – gives me a better play-by-play of my varying speeds throughout the workout, on a timeline, where I can think about what was going on that was impacting my pace.

Anyhow – this is my new life of leisure. Hanging out in Chicago – talking about my dipping my toe into running, and wishing that Seattle and Chicago weren’t so far apart. If I could pick and choose between the two, I’d have my perfect city.