When I found out that the grand prize for the Foodbuzz
Scavenger Hunt was a $500 travel stipend for next year festival, I was in. Being that I traveled the furthest (from Bulgaria) and would probably hold that title next year, this $500 would be a nice contribution toward my travel expenses and I have no doubt that the 3rd
Annual in 2011 will be equally fantastic!
I was a little hesitant about running round San Francisco in heels but my newfound partner in crime Sabrina at The Tomato Tart
was rearing to go. We decided to form a loose team, tentatively titled the Bulgar Wheaties! Some of the bloggers at our table were eager to join because our enthusiasm was over flowing. Little did they know that our late night escapades would take them through many stages of crazy, including, but not limited to; eating off stranger’s plates, group grind on a Ferry Building security guard and an almost bar fight!
Looking over the task list, we felt a little more confident about our chances. The first item on the list was to get at least 10 business cards. Thanks to my photo collage project I had the networking portion down. I had about 40 business cards, so check! I contemplated arranging the business cards on my naked body, but when I found out that the winners might be chosen randomly, not based on the lengths they go through to make the hunt exciting, I decided to forgo the extremes!
For the subsequent task, we decided to tackle the group jumping jacks. This was really not a pretty sight, as we had all had a lot of wine and many of us were wearing inappropriate clothing for any physical exertion. We were lucky to have Salty Seattle
jump in for a little bit although she was doing more of a dance move rather than an actually jumping jack. (I am having trouble uploading the video from The Tomato Tart
Next, we decided to give the security guard outside the Ferry Building a taste of our collective awesome dance moves. He was in for a real treat when our team had a big grind fest outside of our Gala. I thought it was his shock kept him from reciprocating and getting his grove on!
After our disco inferno, we started our journey to find the hippest person we could find and get a photo with them. Personally, I think this task was really subjective because what is hip? How does one quantify a person’s hipness, what is the scale? At one point, I had suggested we do a group shot and let the judges pick out who is the hippest person, but that idea got shot down. Then upon exiting the Ferry Building, we came across a woman selling knitted hats on the street. She had a whole funky set up going on with flags, hats and weird dogs, so I approached her to be our hippest person… well, she was all sorts of crazy, most likely a manic schizophrenic, we made a bit of a connection… I don’t know what that says about me. She started a complete manic diatribe about every single thought that came into her head, I am intentionally omitting details as not to offend anyone. One of our team members snapped a picture of us talking and that sent her over the deep end screaming and ranting and hitting herself. I managed to calm her down, but I was loosing time and she didn’t seem to want to give us a photo. Reason: “if you were 150 pounds over weight and had no teeth would you want people taking pictures of you? (to me) you are a girl, you know how it is…” and with that I said my good byes to one of the craziest people I had ever had the opportunity to converse with.
Moving on, we needed to find some late-night bites. I personally thought this was an evil task, because one; we were in the boring financial district, which was completely void of life and two; we had just spend 3 hours stuffing our faces… how could Foodbuzz ask us to eat more! Our team had managed to find an open restaurant on our journey back toward the Sir Frances Drake. Inside the restaurant, there was a server and a lone couple enjoying a late night dinner. My initial idea was to have a late night snack of bar garnish: olives, maraschino cherries, lemon and lime wedges, but then my bold streak lead me to ask the lone couple if they wouldn’t mind sharing their dinner with us and they actually agreed. So, Sabrina and I pulled up two chairs to our lovely couples table, then took turns feeding each other pasta and sausage, while the couple watched… kinky!
We still needed to our hip photo, which came about serendipitously. Time was of the essence and we didn’t want to miss out on being the first team to complete our tasks and get back to the Clock Bar
for a victory round of drinks on Foodbuzz. I threw myself into the street and ambushed a cab, which happened to be driven by a rad Nepalese cab driver aptly named Karma. He was definitely the hippest person we had met on our hunt, who agreed to a photo.
We were the first to return, I am not sure if there was another team out there, but we had this challenged locked up! We arrived at the Clock Bar
to do our victory lap and wait for everyone else to roll in. I ended up sitting on the back of one of the couches chatting with Greg from Sippity Sup
, Adam from Wind Attack
, when I started feeling someone touching my butt, which moved from a nudging to a full on attack. This woman started elbowing my butt and punching it. I slowly turned around and ask her if she could refrain from physically abusing me, which I considered a reasonable request. (Now, here is the thing I hate about blogging, for those of you who I had the opportunity to tell this story in person, I used my best British accent for this part. So, imagine the italicized quotes in a drunken British accent.) “You need to move your fat bottom off my chair.” You have a huge bottom and it needs to get off my chair.” (She was also poking my butt as she insulted, what I consider a voluptuous and sexy rear end). At this point, I made a comment about how low-class British people traveled the world on the strength of the Pound, but behaved like drunken hooligans when they were let loose on decent society (I can’t wait for the response comments from my fans or former fans from the UK) I resumed my conversation with my blogger friends and the woman was relentless. She called over the manager of the Clock Bar to tell him how my “fat bottom is on her chair”. At this point, I stood up and turned around to defend myself, and I stumbled forward a bit and tripped on the legs of the couch, which in turn caused Crazy British Lady to proclaim that I was now trying to physically attack her, when she was the one abusing me… go figure. The manager asked us to step outside into the hotel lobby, where the Crazy British Lady continues with her drunken babbling about my “huge bottom”. I told the manager, when she’s finished spreading her madness, come and get me. I would be waiting by bar. Finally, a half an hour to 45 minutes later the big manager asked me to step outside for a private deposition. Before he could talk, I told him I don’t want to know what sort of tales she was spinning and gave him my sane side of the story. He knew that I was right and asked if there was a place, we could stick her in the bar, so we wouldn’t have any further issues. I suggested the exact opposite corner of the room from where I was standing. The tension and drama has subsided and I was recanting the sorted tale to Linda from Salty Seattle and she recommended that I add this story to my scavenger hunt post. Covertly, I had asked Sabrina to take a photo of Crazy British Lady, but she had forgotten to turn off her flash and our psycho was alerted to our actions. Sabrina and I were getting ready to leave the bar anyway, so we just ignored their ranting lunatic and head for the exit. Then outside of the bar, Madam Westminster, friend of Crazy British Lady comes running out asking why we are taking pictures of her friend and that it was illegal to take photos of people without permission (not in the US!). As Sabrina was exiting through the revolving door of the Westin St. Francis, Madam Westminster jammed the door so Sabrina was stuck inside. I was trailing behind and went through the side door and physically over power the old bat by moving the door from the outside and release Sabrina, who had hurt her wrist, but now I was stuck in the door, which was an easy escape for me. We continued walking back towards the Sir Francis Drake happy to be away from the madness.
This is the end of my tale. Thanks again Foodbuzz for organizing the event and giving all of us bloggers so many fabulous food and photography opportunities. I do hope the good people at Foodbuzz, deem my post worthy of the travel stipend for 2011.