Monday, October 22, 2012

San Francisco Soundtrack

You may think you know San Francisco. Or have at least experienced it. But until you have seen the following video, I would venture to are wrong.

You're welcome. This treasure quickly became the theme song for my few glorious days stateside (I can't leave the Russian behind!), as the two opera singers I was traveling/performing with would spontaneously break out the chorus at least 4 times a day. Often accompanied with an impromptu dance routine. The talent of my colleagues never ceases to amaze me. "Это Сан-Франциско - город в стиле диско..."

The last-minute nature of this trip/concert, and the fact that it was on the other side of the world, made my life feel slightly glamorous. For about two seconds. What was not glamorous? The fact that I did not have a passport in my possession and had NOT had one for SIX weeks, when I agreed to go. Talk about a leap of faith my friends. My university was extending my visa...and simultaneously taking a year off of my life...and claimed it wasn't ready. They still claimed this on Monday morning when I was in their office begging them to help me leave the country. After informing me that they did not have my passport, the coordinator was good enough to look through her database (aka notebook) and locate my record. She couldn't find it...I have a complicated name over here as it turns out...but I saw it on her list. Crossed off. Claiming that my passport had already been returned. Needless to say, we broke out the binder of all the passports she had gotten back and fished through the American ones. She opened each one to check the picture, and every time she did I had a mini heart attack. Not mine. Not mine. NOT MINE!!! Until the last one rolled around. I have never been so happy to see my face staring back at me.

Also not glamorous? Almost missing me flight on Tuesday morning due to the obscene Moscow traffic. I don't want to talk about it.

What was absolutely glorious:

Making calls from a fully functional cell phone.

Staying in the gorgeous Fairmont hotel.
The view from my room:
San Francisco View

Catching up with friends. In person!

An early morning run, complete with sunrise, stunning weather, bay and bridge.
San Francisco Sunrise

Golden Gate Bridge Sunrise

Golden Gate Bridge Sunrise

Golden Gate Bridge Sunrise

Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge

Representing Russia. And America. And myself.
Stephanie Rhodes Pianist
Stephanie Rhodes car

Food!!! Burgers, Deep-fried French toast, eggs benedict, SALAD!, and a Ghirardelli's sundae, of course. The only food I will knock is the Thai which gave me food poisoning and kept me in bed and delirious the entire day of our concert.
Delicious Sweet Potato Fries

Ghirardelli's Sundae San Francisco

Amazing. Colleagues. Almost everything that made this trip unforgettable is owed to them!

Last, but not least, the haul of American goodness back to Russia! Reese's PB cups, beef jerky, canned pumpkin for Thanksgiving feasting, choc chips...I have a handful of things I'm already wishing I'd picked up, but unfortunately my only grocery shopping opportunity fell on the day of disease and delirium. So if you're headed this way, I'm happy to pass on a list!

All in all, this rendition of San Francisco was a success. After performing in the National Archives and now SF City Hall, I can safely say I've had enough of domed acoustics, but I was happy to pass a few days in America, albeit mostly in Russian!

Это Сан-Франциско...


  1. Oh wow - it sounds like a jammed pack few days, and food poisoning? SUCH A BUMMER.

    glad they found your passport, I would NOT have been holding it together.

  2. I am so happy you had such a good few days:) when I come to Russia next I'll bring the basics, don't worry.

  3. I am so happy you had such a good few days:) when I come to Russia next I'll bring the basics, don't worry.


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