the best weekend in the bay

26 Oct

I spent last weekend in the bay area, and if you follow me on social media, you probably saw me use the hashtag #bestweekendever a few times.  Well, it was. When you combine all of my favorite things and many of my favorite people, it’s bound to be memorable.  Here’s all of the fun things I crammed in:

To maximize time in SF, my friend/former roommate/coworker/sorority “sister” Jenn and I flew up EARLY Friday morning so we could work out of our firm’s SF office.  We took a lyft from my apartment at 4:45 and got to LAX with PLENTY of time for our flight.  We chatted the whole way and were ready to hit the ground running when we landed.  Jenn joked that the commute from LA to SF was shorter than her commute from where she lives to her office in LA – sad, but true.


We did some work, and popped over to a local mexican food place for lunch.  This was the view from the guest office where I planted myself on Friday.


I am such a sucker for a pretty view.

After we wrapped things up, we met some of our friends from our sorority at Local Edition on Market Street.  Our friends Megan, Kathleen, and Michelle joined us — as well as Michelle’s boyfriend and Jenn’s fiancé who also flew up for the weekend from LA.  Old friends + IPAs + SF + a race on the horizon = Gillian in her element.


We shared old embarrassing stories (mostly about them, I never do anything embarrassing) and caught up.  It was so nice and I need to make the LAX –> SFO jaunt a routine. We also went out to dinner at a place whose name escapes me (hello sleep deprivation and IPA haze).  Afterwards, I spent the night at Kathleen’s apartment in NoPa (two blocks from Alamo Square — you know, where the Painted Ladies are — aka the Full House houses).

Reasons I am the worst guest ever: at 6:30 AM, my alarm went off so I could be in Union Square for a shake-out run #NikeLA invited me to.  I am so glad I went.

After waiting in line for a little bit, we got to hear Nike greats Shalane Flanagan and Joan Benoit Samuelson offer tips about race day.  The common themes were to run your  own race, trust your training, and to do nothing new on race day.


Afterward, we headed out for a 2 mile shake-out run.  Nothing but silence and chills as I ran with these amazing Olympians.


Rosa and I took a mid-run selfie – there’s Shalane!


After the race, our group of “Nike VIPs” headed out to a private location for brunch!

I realize I never gave the full low-down on how I got involved with #NikeTrackClub: Over the summer, I got a twitter DM from the @NikeLA twitter account, asking if I’d be interested in running the Nike Women’s Marathon on Nike. UM YES I WOULD.  I went to a training party/kick-off at the Nike Track Club/Finish Line Del Amo store in Torrance one night as a “study break” before the bar exam and met these girls and got amped for the race.   Over the course of the training, Nike sent us gear and positive vibes for the race.  The brunch was an amazing final send-off.

Nike Track Club is a partnership between Finish Line and Nike, and these stores are beautiful — they have all of the latest running gear as well as running clubs and events. I wish the Torrance location wasn’t so far from DTLA or I’d probably be there all the time.


We headed to the Dirty Habit for a seated multi-course brunch.


Busted doing the Instagram thing.

At our tables were our bibs and race packets, the Nike Women’s singlet, Nike socks, a gorgeous overnight bag, and this jacket which is now my favorite thing to wear.  On our way out, we also got portable phone chargers — the perfect gift for runners with social media problems. 10606253_10103586341998693_369488509352489402_n

(Again, the fact that I was at an event as a Nike VIP blows my mind).

After brunch, I headed back to Kathleen’s and got ready to BART over to the East Bay to head to Berkeley for the Cal/UCLA game.

Before heading onto BART, Kathleen introduced me to the wonder of Philz coffee. I am a self-proclaimed Blue Bottle fiend, but Philz was pretty amazing. I let Kathleen select her usual (Jacob’s Wonderbar with medium milk and sugar) and it was one of the best cups of coffee I have ever had).

We took BART to West Oakland where we met up with my Uncle Casey and my Dad who were also going to the game with us (s/o to my aunt Melinda for giving us a ride to Berkeley!) My Dad has not been to a Cal game since he was a sophomore in college (at USC) and came up for the “weekender.” (Pretty sure only USC calls it that, at Cal away games are just “away games.”)  My mom opted not to come to the game, so instead she ran 7 miles around Lake Merritt. #boss.

Our first stop was the obvious Henry’s. Pitchers of Racer 5 for everyone!! (Well, at least for the people in my immediate vicinity or those who have a refined taste in beer).

My Dad was hesitant about coming up for the weekend at first, but I am pretty sure the Henry’s experience changed his mind.  We’re planning on making it to an SC game later this season but I am not sure how anything can top this.


Here’s a photo my Dad and I *both* posted on Instagram.  My Dad is trying to coax my Uncle into joining some form of social media, but he reads my blog which is probably all you really need.  10659236_10103587784423063_5245975484230125776_n

We drank, recapped the last night, and looked for people we know. I ran into BOTH of my little sisses from my sorority (so awesome).  It is weirding me out that we are now those old alums who comes back and say things like “WHAT!! This wasn’t here?!” and “Yeah, our two favorite bars from back in the day don’t exist anymore.” (RIP Raleigh’s and the Bear’s Lair).


Me (probably blinking), Jenn, and Kathleen.

I ran into my good friend Bryan’s sister, Rachel.  Rachel has lived down the street from me almost my entire life, so it was awesome seeing her randomly!


After the beer, we made it to the game!  It was a nerve-wracking and close game, but in the end Cal couldn’t get its act together in the 4th quarter and we lost.


After the game, my Dad, Uncle, and I headed over to Clark Kerr for a BBQ put on by the players’ families. My uncle is family friends with #38  so we had a beer with him and his family and friends before heading back to Oakland.

My aunt and uncle cooked a delicious meal for me and my parents, and I drank a ton of water in an attempt to undue the stadium food and beer I’d fueled with all day. The remainder of the weekend was spent at the race and driving back home with my parents.

All in all, this was an amazingly memorable weekend and a reminder that I need to make it up to the bay area more often 🙂

What three things make up a perfect weekend for you? 

In no particular order…

1. A race

2. Some event involving beer

3. Family and Friends

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