Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Jeff's Bachelor Party in San Francisco - Guest Blog

A couple weekends ago, I went to the San Francisco Bay Area to have a bachelor party with my brother Dave and my friends from college John Gardner, and Kurt Stiehl.  It was really a great time.  I got in to San Francisco on Wednesday night and Dave and his fiance Taylor picked me up at the airport.  I spent Wednesday and Thursday nights at Dave's house.  Taylor had just finished final exams, so when Dave went off to work, I was able to hang out with Taylor for part of the day on Thursday and Friday.  

Dave and I went to from his house in Mountain View down to San Francisco on Friday night.  We saw Juggo in an improv comedy show.  His group had 5 members, 3 of whom were in his college improv group, Road Kill Buffet.  They were really good.  It's possible that my appreciation of improv has waned since college, but they seemed every bit as good as the Second City show that I saw with my parents in December.  After the show, John (Juggo), Kurt, Dave and I went to a nearby bar with Juggo's girlfriend Kelly, as well as Joy, and Irene.  Then we went back to Juggo and Kurt's apartment where Dave and I crashed.  

The next day was the beginning of my bachelor party.  Dave had planned a day full of very Jeff-friendly activities for me.  We woke up, and thanks to being on the West coast, turned on the NCAA tournament while everyone was getting ready.  Dave had planned some "sweatpants time", in honor of the fact that for years one of my favorite things to do was lounge around in sweats.  Though I never actually had any "sweatpants time," I did get to watch some basketball in my pajamas: pretty good!

The four of us went to brunch nearby, and then started an afternoon of coffee shops.  This is definitely one of my favorite things to do!  First we went to Ritual Coffee.  They had a whole bunch of the special brewed coffee, where they grind and drip brew you an individual cup.  Dave, Juggo and I all had super delicious but different kinds whose names I now forget.  Kurt had a hot chocolate because he doesn't like coffee but is a good sport.  

At the coffee shop (and really at brunch, hanging at the house, and the night before, I caught up with everyone.  Kurt is working 1203921 hours at Apple, making all your favorite little iPod accessories.  Juggo is still designing circuits and is driving a lot to and from work East of the Bay Kelly's house in Berkeley.  Dave is working at Google.  He also rented a ski house in Tahoe for the season, and has been going up there a whole lot.

After Ritual, we went to Philz, another big San Francisco coffee place.  I had another delicious cup of coffee, bizarelly titled Anesthesia to the Upside.  Since the place was filled with San Francisco denizens on their Macs and we couldn't get a seat, we went back to Juggo and Kurts to have our coffee and watch more basketball.  

We headed out to dinner at Ponzu, where Dave had made reservations.  It was BYOB, so Kurt brought our own wine from his super impressive collection.  The restaurant was Asian fusion with a whole bunch of small plates.  There were some delicious little spicy fried chickpeas.  We got a good sized bowl of them, and started to eat them with chopsticks.  I said I thought it'd take forever to eat them all with our chopsticks, but we sure managed. 

From there, we went to Bourbon and Branch, a speakeasy-type bar where Dave had made reservations.  I really like this type of bar: it's fairly quiet, so you can hear your friends talk, and they bring you interesting and delicious old-style cocktails.  No pictures were allowed: you'll have to go yourself to see what it looked like :).  We stayed there for several drinks.  It was really an amazing time, hanging out with my brother and two of my best friends.

Afterwards, went to another bar down the street.  I remember less about this bar, but we do have more pictures from it since pictures were allowed there.

When the bar closed, we went back to Juggo and Kurt's for a post-night-out card game.  We played UNO, which I've played millions of times in my life.  This game was super bizarre for a number of reasons.  First, Juggo and Kurt play with different house rules than I do.  If someone plays a Draw 2 on you, they say you still get to play, but I've always played that you lose your turn.  Since I've mostly played UNO as a family game, it was super crazy that I was playing it with Dave, who had the exact same UNO experience.  It's funny to have one of these culture clashes, but to have your brother come down, naturally, on your side.  The other thing that was crazy was that I (and prolly everyone else) was cheating.  I've also never cheated at UNO before, but Kurt made a comment about it beforehand, so I gave it a go.   Trying to pull one over on my slightly intoxicated friends was strangely exhilarating (and easy!).   I also wore a silly hat and we ate Cheez-Its and tortillas with salsa, naturally.

It was a really fantastic and memorable bachelor party.  Thanks so much guys!


Phoenix Edler said...

It seems you've had a pretty laid-back day, which is totally good if you're up for a bit of an R&R too. But it's also enjoyable to go out of your comfort zone every once in a while. Try to go where you've never gone before and try new things. New experiences could pay off, too.

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