© 2008 by Dallas McVicker. All images are from the owner. 

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  • From Our Perspective

Arizona and San Francisco


Our perpetual nature for last minute planning is not more evident than May of 2017 we basically booked two last minute trips. The first was Phoenix Arizona on the tail end of April for Elizabeth’s birthday, and the second was a quick drive up to San Francisco/Oakland. We took the trip to Phoenix to see The Zac Brown Band, which happens to be one of Elizabeth’s favorite bands. So we boarded a bird headed west and tooled around a bit. The long Memorial Day weekend gave us the chance to jump in the car, which is quite unusual for us, and drive 16 hours round trip to NorCal for some festivities. Here are the details of those trips. Enjoy.


Phoenix -


This would be our third time in AZ together, and the innumerable time for Elizabeth as she has locations here that she visits often. The first time here we visited Sedona AZ and it was a great trip. Elizabeth booked that for my birthday. The second visit was just a weekend get-a-way to visit Phoenix and what they had to offer. This trip though was to see The Zac Brown Band. Arizona is not a state we could ever live, but it is weirdly beautiful. The red iron infused landscape, set against long blazing sunsets is something remarkable. But the winters are oddly cold, and the summers are unimaginably hot. The desert takes a special personality type to deal with these conditions as a resident. We did not particularly exhaust ourselves in activities this trip, we did manage to hike a few trails, and get a couples massage. But the trip was really about the music.


I am not a huge country music fan; I am certainly more of a fan today than I ever was before. As with anything interests change and The Zac Brown Band has a good mix of party music, tear jerkers, and covers. The music was good and we enjoyed the show and our time in AZ again



SF/Oakland –



As I mentioned we took the opportunity to stretch that Memorial Day weekend into a nice little trip. After quickly looking at places we could go, last minute, and with our brat we decided to see how NorCal would go. We booked an AirBnB in Oakland just over the Bay Bridge in an “up and coming” neighborhood. Madison went with us on this trip, which is why we booked the ABnB. This was the first lodging that really pushed the envelope of our customary comfort level. The area we stayed was literally under the bridge just across the harbor, and the ad for the BnB mentioned that the area would scare off most, but in all the years had not had an incident yet.


While this was honest and admirable that they would be so forthcoming, it was not what two pale ass kids from Orange County were accustomed. With that said, the folk we were staying with had renovated their basement into a guest house and it was very nice. The neighborhood while, seemed very rough on the surface, by day two we were walking Madison up and down the streets, all without incident.



We ventured around Oakland and visit the Berkeley area; it was nice and had some very nice restaurants. We had read about a donut and ice-cream shop so we sampled. It was ok, the donuts were dry. We walked the dog around a lot on this trip as well. We happened to be out overlooking the campus late one night and came down the hill which overlooked the Bay Bridge. I had my camera and tri-pod. I was able to get a cool long exposure shot of the bridge. But a lot of this trip we spent in San Francisco.



We took a guided walking tour of the city where the guide sings-along at points, telling the history of the city. Madison also went on this tour and was a huge hit with the tour participants. It was one of the longer walking tours we have been on and Madison tuckered out by the end, and I had to carry her to the finish. Brat.


All three of us walked along Baker Beach which rests in the shadows of the Golden Gate Bridge. We walked the Presidio where they were having a food truck outdoor event with live music. We sat in the park, enjoyed some good food and music. We also strolled through the National Cemetery; they have a digital system that allows you to lookup a person by name. The system will tell you where they are buried, so we looked up a fellow McVicker and went and paid respects.


All in all these two trips were good ones quick but full of interesting little events. This is why we work so hard just to spend some time expanding our worlds. The things you gain in life cannot be taken with you when you go, so spend some time with the ones you love, and fill your heart with good times and memories.




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