Recently, I partook in Reddit’s Secret Santa 2013 -Reddit’s attempt to conquer the world record for the number of people participating in an international gift exchange. At the time of this update, Reddit smashed the world record obtaining over 120,000 participants in 160 different countries.
My pairing was with a Norwegian gal named Ava. In her description she mentioned that she likes X-Men, and I had the idea to get a Lego X-Men character (Wolverine) and take him on an adventure in San Francisco, before sending him off to Norway. Here is the story of our adventure around “Fog City.”
For those of you unfamiliar with San Francisco, or who simply want to follow along, I’ve created a Google Map indicating the location of each event.
While on a walk one day I spotted a strange-looking man sleeping on the sidewalk.
“Hmm,” I asked, bending over to check on him, “long night, I guess?”
“Uuuugh, it’s been a long week. Help me up would you?” the man replied.
I bent over, lifted him and suddenly realized, “I recognize you! I’ve seen you in movies. What happened to you Wolverine?!”
“Ugh, I just got done fighting another villain for the countless time and it was harder on me than I expected. I only wanted to take a short rest, and well… clearly, I was more tired than I thought. Thanks a lot for your help!”
“No problem,” I replied. “You sound exhausted. I mean, you never hear about it, but… do X-Men ever take vacations? You look like you could really use one.”
“No, not really,” Wolverine said groggily.
He paused, “Hey… now that you’ve got me thinking about it, a vacation sounds exactly like what I need! What are you doing today?”
“Well, I had planned on meandering about in San Francisco. Would you like to come hang out with me today? I can show you around.”
“Yeah that sounds excellent, actually! Sure you wouldn’t mind?”
“Not at all! It’d be cool to hang out with a celebrity. Also, I can show you some of the great experiences the city has to offer!”
“Sounds like a plan!” he exclaimed.
After that, we were set. Wolverine accompanied me to the BART -the “Bay Area Rapid Transit” system of trains throughout the Bay Area. We took the train from my town into the city.
After our short ride in we reached the station next to my office building in the center of Downtown San Francisco.
We lucked out! In a city renowned for its dense layers of fog, it was an incredibly sunny day! Barely a cloud in the sky!
When we got downtown, I helped Wolverine to some hot cocoa and cookies. That man could eat!
I also got Wolverine a slice of bread from my favorite bakery called Acme Bread Company.
Around mid day, I ventured out to the rock climbing gym in nearby Oakland. Wolverine tagged along for the exciting workout!
Wolverine is a great climber (naturally), and also very helpful and responsible. He even helped to belay my friend while he was climbing.
When we finished there, we decided to go sightseeing.
We saw the San Francisco City hall.
We saw some tall buildings in SOMA -the “South of Market” district, a San Francisco hot spot for creative and well-established tech companies.
Eventually, we made it to the other side of town to take in one of the greatest overlooks in San Francisco, with a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge, and Alcatraz.
I gave Wolverine the option to head out on his own or join my coworkers and me at a local charity, while we packaged up meals for those in need.
An ol’ softie at heart, Wolverine decided to accompany me to Stop Hunger Now, a charitable organization that sends millions of meals to the hungry in third-world countries. We jumped on a shuttle and rode across the Oakland Bay Bridge.
With his help, we managed to package meals for over 78,000 families in just under 3 hours!
After we finished, we returned to my office building and I wanted to show him one more great view of the San Francisco Bay from my office rooftop before the sun set.
“Well Brian, that was a great time today! Thank you so much for showing me around and inviting me along on your volunteer trip. This was exactly what I needed! I’m pumped back up, and ready to face the world again.”
“It was my pleasure Wolverine. Where do you think you’ll go now?”
“I have some business to attend to in Norway -a meeting with a certain lady about a Secret Santa exchange. I best be off. Good luck to you Brian!”
And with that, he sped off to his next adventure. Good-bye Lego Wolverine! Take care of Ava!