Head spinning, but smiling I step on to the airport shuttle after rounding out the last part of my 7-day iOS seminar at the Big Nerd Ranch located at the beautiful Asilomar Conference Grounds. Nerd camp (as I refer to it) was incredible, but rigorous. 6 days of 830AM to 10PM…I knew this going in so I decided to book a few extra days in my schedule to decompress.

My sister enjoys to travel and decided to meet me in San Francisco. A few things on our agenda:

  • Eat a Cronut(s)
  • Drop into CrossFit San Francisco
  • Go see the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Have breakfast and coffee at a “local” coffeshop
  • Eat a Hearst Cheeseburger
  • Scuba Dive the Channel Islands
  • Take over the world

Unfortunately, we only accomplished 6 out of the 7 goals 😉

First Night in San Francisco

I have never been to San Francisco or seen much of California. So when I arrived at my hotel I was eager to go check out the Golden Gate Bridge and do some site seeing. My sister found a cool place on Yelp called the Palace of Legion of Honor[sic]. Seemed legit, so we grab the keys to the bat mobile (or nissan versa if you want to be a dick) and headed out.

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The drive up was really interesting and I grabbed a couple shots of the bridge. However, we were fairly far away and I don’t have any long glass, so it was a bit of a mute point. After we parked the car down the hill we hiked back up to the Palace of Legion of Honor (yes there are two of’s), which is an immaculate art museum nestled at the top of the hill. Very awesome! I took a few shots here and at the unique Holocaust Memorial. It was an incredibly powerful installation.

Cronuts and CrossFit

On a recent episode of Twit Leo mentioned something called a cronut, which is a hybrid of donut and croissant. It looked insanely epic and so while in San Francisco we found an awesome bakery that sells them!


We pulled up to the Fillmore Bakeshop to see a line around the block. After braving the cold for 15 or so minutes (70 is freezing to me I live in Texas) we are at the counter being asked for an order. I went with a simple and effective dual Cinnamon and Sugar, while my sister went with a more stylish order purchasing a cinnamon and sugar & a lemon custard filled cronut. I fell asleep almost immediately after I ate my cronut, but it was worth it 🙂

One of my recent hobbies/passions has become CrossFit. I find it fascinating, challenging and engaging. A very cool aspect of CrossFit is the community. For (usually) a small amount of money, known as a drop in fee, CrossFit athletes can “drop in” for a workout at boxes all over the world.

A stellar dude and coach at the box I train at, CrossFit Central Downtown suggested I try out a box in San Francisco, called San Francisco CrossFit.

This was my first out of box experience and it was spectacular. Coach Ivan ran a solid class and it was a packed house Labor Day weekend. I ended up shooting the shit with another Coach and he taught me some incredible mobility exercises for my shoulder (my shoulder mobility is garbage). Thanks Drew!

All and all the WOD, coaches and athletes at San Francisco CrossFit were phenomenal to me and I look forward to dropping in again 🙂 Hat tip: Coach House thanks for the rec!

After CrossFit my sister and I Yelp our way to the Blue Danube. It was a legit little cafe and had Batman & Superman tables. My sister ordered some sort of breakfast wrap that she enjoyed. I ordered a drink called a Bright Eye. It was epic… Blue Danube

Actually drink isn’t really an accurate description for what you experienced when you sipped this euphoric concoction. It is pure bliss. If you like espresso I highly recommend it!

Redwoods and the Golden Gate

Properly caffeinated and nourished my sister and I head out to Muir Woods National Monument. As we cross the bridge, we see a sign saying “Muir Woods Parking Lot Full”. With no other choice we hop on the shuttle and journey to park entrance.

The woods are pretty, but not as sincere as I was hoping for. What I mean by that is there were a lot of people, kids, and civilization. I felt like the trees were the proverbial fish behind the glass. It just felt weird and then the screaming kids, did I mention there were SCREAMING KIDS!?Muir Woods National Monument

Overall, it was a cool experience, but in retrospect I would have liked to visit Sequoia National Park.

Finally, back to the car after waiting on the shuttle, which was running on Rabah Time. We decide to take on the Golden Gate. After seeing the traffic and lack of parking this dream faded rather quickly. However, my sister undeterred by the automotive craziness, miraculously found a parking spot for us.

The Golden Gate Bridge is beautiful and the surroundings are sublime. I had a lot of fun taking photos of the bridge and bay!

Scuba Diving the Channel Islands

I have not been scuba diving since my certification over a year ago. So the Channel Islands

The Spectre

were an interesting experience. I was down in Kelp forests with sea lions and lobsters.We decided to stay overnight on the boat, The Spectre.

Staying overnight on the Spectre was interesting and I figured out I don’t think I ever want to join the Navy 🙂

The next morning we headed out toward the Channel Islands. We dove once at each of the four sites. My sister and I are fairly new to the Scuba game so we linked up with a couple advanced divers. All the dives were a lot of fun and full of unique experiences.

Overall, I think I would prefer tropical scuba to cold water scuba. Nevertheless, the staff on the boat and all the divers were stellar. The only thing better was the food! If you ever go on this boat to dive (which I recommend) remember this: Order the tri-tip.

Back Home to ATX

I had a wonderful time at the Big Nerd Ranch and exploring California, but I was happy to return to my kale shakes and Bulletproof Coffee. I learned a lot, experienced a lot, and took some interesting shots during this adventure. I look forward to the next one. Any suggestions? 🙂

headed back to austin