Thursday, June 2, 2011

San Francisco Staycation!

Who: VegNews Managing Editor Elizabeth Castoria
What: An evening's vacation in my hometown
Where: San Francisco, Calif.
When: Thursday, May 5, 2011
Why: Why not take an hours-long vacation at home?

The Scoop: So, some people would call going out for the evening just a regular old outing, not so much a "vacation." Well, I say vacay is all in how you think about it. On a recent Thursday night, I took a little time off (that just happened to fall between the close of business and bedtime), and toured San Francsico. Along with my adventuresome roommates, I headed for the Sutro Baths, which, insanely, I'd never really visited despite having lived in the Bay Area nearly my entire life. Really, you might as well play tourist when your city happens to house a number of places that are frequented by actual tourists. 

The Sutro Baths ruins and flowers
We got to the Baths shortly before sunset, and the view was completely stunning. The ruins of the Baths are totally enchanting, as they are partially overtaken by the tide rushing in, and partially covered in a sandy beach. There are caves, swampy lagoons, jutting rocks, and basically everything you need to feel like you've happened upon the end of the world. (Just don't turn away from the ocean and face the parking lot—that kind of ruins the magical whimsy.) 

A duck and her ducklings in the lagoon right after sunset
Our need for scenery sated, we turned to another necessary element of any good vacation: food! One of my favorite far-away vacation destinations is New Mexico, where my dad grew up. Our family used to drive out there every few years, and I could never get enough of the sun, the history, or the food. I'm 99-percent certain that as soon as I hit retirement age, I'm headed straight for a tiny house in the middle of nowhere (potentially Truth or Consequences, but we'll see if I'm feeling heady at age 70) to bake away the rest of my days in the sun, wearing my own shriveled weight in turquoise jewelry. Suffice it to say, The Land of Enchantment has a permanent spell cast on this gal. So, after our non-desert beach foray, I was eager to try Green Chile Kitchen, a newish New Mexican restaurant here in town.

Green Chile Kitchen, photo via SF Weekly
Any menu that includes sopapillas (little fried bread triangles ubiquitous in NM) is OK by me. While the restaurant is far from completely vegan, the sopapillas are, as well as the fantastic veggie chile stew. Packed with green chiles (which are the secret to a long, happy life, in case you didn't know), I could easily eat this stellar stew every single day. 

With full bellies and a new collection of travel photos, we went home, just in time to go to sleep and be ready for work the next day.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

this sounds like a fab restaurant and I can't wait to taste...I mean try it!
Having been in that car with you, I don't remember all the love of history. Food yes!
how nice we finally have a NM place to make us wish for the question "red or green"