As we were walking down Height St to meet up with Alex the brother of a fellow overlander who had been following us on our trip we realised we didn't really know what he looked like. It was no bother though we found Alex straight away and he immediately brought us a martini like we were old friends. We wished him a happy birthday then spent the evening getting to know some of his friends who were all interesting characters with a story to tell. Alex and his wife Jessica wanted to move the party back to their place so we stopped in at a liquor store before six of us piled into the Dodge, his three hilarious gay friends ending up on our bed! I drove us up the hill to their apartment which had a stunning panoramic night vista of the city. As for the rest of the night you'll have to ask us yourself if you want to know what happened... It was wild fun that's for sure and after a few hours sleep in the Dodge we headed back to Ewan and MJ's a little, ok no A LOT worse for wear.
MJ had suspected this may happen when we mentioned the bar was on Height St so when we returned to their empty house in the morning their was a note saying "two pot pie's in the fridge for you, call me on this number..." and next to the TV their was another note with instructions on how to turn it on. MJ you legend!!! We crashed out for a few hours then spent a few more hours in front of the TV eating our pies. The pies were great but we still craved the meat pies we have in New Zealand. I think it was later that day or it could have been the next day Will and I took two bikes from the garage and biked down to the nearby beach. It was meant to be the middle of winter but the weather was hot and sunny. We took Scout for a swim at the first beach then rode over to the next bay for an ice cream. It felt so good to have the sand between our toes and writing this from Cold Canada I look back with envy to the day we had.
On the weekend Will convinced Ewan to help him replace our totally worn out upper front ball joints while I went for a walk along the beach with MJ. We returned to find them cleaning up with the new ball joints in and I was shocked to see the terrible condition of our old ones. The left one looked close to failure. We hoped our tires would now stop wearing so badly on the inside and even tried to get a wheel alignment for the first time on the trip. But they said we still had so many other steering issues that they could only do so much. The steering wheel did go back to having the correct centre for a while but it's quite far off again now…
On Sunday January 19th we went down to the local bar with Ewan, MJ and Erin to watch the San Francisco 49er's battle it out against the Seattle Sea Hawks for a Super Bowl position. Unfortunately for the 49er's the game didn't go their way so after a close 23-17 defeat we left the suddenly solemn pub and headed over to a neighbours house where we had been invited to share a massive bowl of delicious Chili. There were dogs and kids and people coming and going at the house and we could see what a cool little community they had going on.
Just as the time had come to leave San Francisco we got an offer of a place to stay just north in Petaluma through the online overlanding community. David had promised to cook us some home grown bacon and eggs and we were interested to see how he and his wife Ann had their lifestyle block set up. David even took us to a brewery tour at the nearby Lagunitas brewery. I stupidly forgot my ID but still managed to sneak a few sips of Wills beers. We really enjoyed the beer as well as the tour though David swore the other tour host was better at telling all the stories about how the beers got their names. For example were told the "Lagunitas Sucks" beer was developed when everyone criticised the company after a new beer vat got damaged so they couldn't fulfil their special winter beer orders. In the end they repaired the vat and came up with a new beer that matured very quickly and they were able to get it out on time as their winter special so they named it "Laganitas Sucks" and it was a huge hit.
Rochelle & Will