On the Road with West Falls: San Francisco, CA

by Nina Myers McCammon


Kelly Shea and Brendan Banks of West Falls, a creative studio on wheels, are crisscrossing the country in a restored 1984 VW camper van until approximately Thanksgiving and sharing a weekly diary and gorgeous photography with 50 States of Style readers.

Since June, Kelly and Brendan have logged thousands of miles in their camper van, so when new friends offered up the opportunity to sleep on their sailboat in the Marina for a couple of nights, they jumped at the chance. Read on to hear more about their experience! x

What we saw...
Some friends we had made earlier on the trip had a sailboat docked in San Francisco's Marina - the perfect guest room!  Each night, as we made our way down the dock to our floating accommodations, seals would flop off the planks and into the water.  We would sit in the cockpit and watch their black heads swim through the dark water.  On our last day, we went for a sail that took us through dolphin-filled waters and out toward the Golden Gate Bridge.

What we ate...
Each morning, I would wake up earlier than Brendan and walk from the boat to Fort Mason and grab coffees.  On my first walk, I was surprised and excited to find a farmers market there as well!  I brought back fruits and pastries for our dockside breakfast aboard the boat.  There's really nothing better than starting the morning by the water.

Who we met...
Through our friends, we met many San Franciscans who were also former New Yorkers like ourselves.  They loved its proximity to the mountains, to the water, and they loved the always-perfect temperature.  After an evening at the bar and learning of our story, they were all eager to see the van.  Several had been looking to buy a van like ours so after the bar, we gave a van tour to everyone - popping the top and showing off all the features.

On the radio...
This American Life #506: Secret Identity

Van start time...
12:00 pm

Where to next?
Big Sur, CA

Life lessons...
Never turn down an invitation to stay on a boat. Brendan and I may have been swaying and slightly off-balance for several days afterward from sleeping atop an ever-moving bed, but it was so worth it. Waking up to the sounds of water lapping and rigging tinking against a mast - there's nothing more soothing.