Last Friday, I did something I've never before done: jumped into my car and took a road trip up north to San Francisco. While the catalyst for the trip was that I had to visit a hospital for one of my classes, I ended up basically losing 20 lbs. by walking around the entire city for four days straight. Upon my arrival Friday evening, I drove around four blocks of downtown for more than hour, searching for the parking garage for my hostel and desperately wishing for the first time in my life that I had a catheter because holy fuck I had to pee.

Once my crisis was averted, though, and I had all my stuff piled into my room, I decided to walk around downtown. My original plans had fallen through, so I was on my own and I thought it'd be fun to explore the area a bit. Naturally, I walked the wrong direction, and thus wound up getting followed by approximately three different people in the same block. It was after I managed to shake off the third guy that I decided to duck into Walgreen's and pretend I was looking at hair care products.

It was then that I decided to text Ernie, who I had planned on meeting the next day sometime. (For whatever reason, my phone magically deleted my portion of the conversation. Hence, I had to paraphrase a bit.)

Phil: Walking around downtown SF. This place is crazy. Ernie: What? I thought you already had plans tonight...? Phil: I did, but they fell through. Wow, the bums here are relentless. I've been followed like three times already. Ernie: Are you on 6th street? That is the worst part of SF. Not a good impression. Phil: I'm hiding in Walgreen's at the moment. Ernie: Head over to my area - we will grab a bite to eat. Take the BART. Phil: Sounds awesome. On my way. Ernie: While heading over think of ideas for what you'd like to eat or what to do. Phil: So I got on at Powell and just stopped at Montgomery. Ernie: Get off, you're going the wrong way

I don't have what you'd call a stellar sense of direction. I even asked a bunch of people about which side of the tracks I needed to board the BART and still I went the wrong way. But I do have to say that Ernie confessed that my lousy, gay sense of direction made him type the fasted text message ever. Score one for personal bests! And score one for being the catalyst for said personal best? YES.

I'd say the night ended on a much better note than it started. I first met Ernie three years ago when I was but a wee blogger on Yahoo!360 (he worked on the 360 team), then I started reading Little.Yellow.Different. So I was naturally excited to meet him in person. We rocked the Mission and had deep conversations about hipsters, walked the Castro and talked nerd jive, and walked the park and made fun of high schoolers. Oh, and talked about hipsters.

All this to say that I owe Ernie major props for kicking off what turned out to be a really awesome trip. Thanks, Ernie!