Last year, our newly engaged friends Rex and Cat packed up their Chicago apartment and moved across the country to San Francisco. I cried, Cat cried, and Rex and Scott shared a hug (but I like to think they were crying inside, obvs). We couldn’t be happier for their new adventure, but man, we miss those two (and their snarfy Boston Terrier, Lucy).
As much as we enjoyed living in Chicago and being close to our friends and family, the future Mrs. Harris (aka Catherine Higgins) and I were feeling the urge to make good on that often-promised-while-intoxicated Midwesterner goal of “moving out west.” Catherine, or Cat as everyone lovingly knows her, was a Chicago lifer (Southside!) and I had spent my entire life between Chicago and a couple of cities in Ohio. And while we’d both fallen in love with city living, we also wanted easier access to the outdoors and beautiful scenery that included more than just cool looking man-made structures (sorry Chicagoans). So we set forth towards our destination: San Francisco.
To be fair, our choice to move here was predicated on many other factors than the abundance of stunning vistas and sunsets on the beach, of which San Francisco affords many. There’s the bustling tech job market, trips to wine country, the promise of no cold weather (except in the summer, oddly enough, although a true Midwesterner knows better than to complain about it), a rich history of arts and culture… and the list goes on.
So you can only imagine how pleasantly surprised we were when we started walking up, and I mean WAY up, our new street and found ourselves consumed by the beautiful eucalyptus trees and redwoods of Buena Vista Park – we knew we had found a very special place to call home. Then, as we hiked down the backside of that park, we spotted the peak of another nearby “city hike” (which we now know as Corona Heights) and we both felt like kids again, exploring our new backyard with intense curiosity.
Up until this point, neither of us had even heard of the term “city hike” and if we had, we would have thought it an oxymoron. Since then, we’ve gone on countless hikes throughout San Francisco, joined by new friends, out-of-town visitors, and more often than not, the little poo’ we call Lucy (our pup). Not all our hikes are as hidden in the woods as those at Buena Vista or even Mount Sutro, but they’re all as equally challenging and rewarding.
Truth be told, we now pay twice the rent for a place with half the amenities, but we’ve done our best to make it a cozy spot to kick off our hiking shoes and recount the day’s adventures – and we couldn’t be happier.
So my friends, I implore you to pack your own hiking shoes next time you visit the city by the bay, as I promise you’ll get much more from the nature in this city than the bridges and trolleys.
Thank you, Rex and Cat! We miss you something fierce, but we can’t wait to visit you soon.