Out and About

Travel Tales: San Francisco. Or Hipster-town.

It’s been a week since I left wintry Sydney for the summery shores of San Francisco and Canada. While my four days in San Fran saw some spectacular sunshine, the temperature was exactly like Sydney. Cold and on some days, windy. It didn’t stop me from experiencing the city.

My friend N who lives in Downtown San Fran very kindly put me up at her place for the duration of the stay. It meant that everything was accessible and I didn’t really have to depend on her to explore the city. My way of exploring something new is to not really have a plan. Sure, I took suggestions and I have ideas of some things I want to see but the rest, I leave it to what I will find. Which is what makes travelling fun and exciting.

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After shaking off my jet lag following 13 hours of sleep, I headed down The Embarcadero and walked along the esplanade. I was drawn to the zillion farmers’ markets and cheese stores and chocolate but I had to refrain from buying anything as I was leaving in a couple of days and doubted I could take cheese with me across the border. I enjoyed a lunch by the bay and continued to walk along towards the Golden Gate bridge.

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Pier 39 was a fun place to explore en route to Golden Gate. It’s akin to Sydney’s Darling Harbour, I suppose and I checked out souvenir shops, the chocolate shop and other quirky stores. I caved in and bought an ice-cream. Fortunately, I didn’t regret it one bit. Further onwards, I walked through Fisherman’s Wharf and was able to see Alcatraz and the Golden Gate bridge in the distance.

Alcatraz from a distance

Alcatraz from a distance

I then decided to rent a bicycle and Bike the Bridge. I haven’t ridden since my high school days and was a bit nervous but it’s true that you don’t really forget to ride a bike! The only thing I had to work hard at was keeping to the right of the path instead of what I’m used to. The bike ride was fun even though I huffed and puffed through some of it thanks to steep hills and a very, very windy bridge. The Golden Gate Bridge itself was quite cool and the view of the Pacific Ocean from it was awesome. After dropping off my bike, I walked about 90 minutes through the streets of San Fran and found some bookstores while making my way back to N’s place.

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I checked out the shops on the next day and spent a great deal of time in a bookstore. Yeah, trust me to find a bookshop wherever I am! I didn’t end up buying any though but it was nice to look around. Once again, my feet enjoyed the trip and I ended the night with dinner with my cousin A and her husband.

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My last day in San Fran was eventful. I had planned to walk to The Painted Ladies and also check out the Full House house {Remember that show??}. I had the directions and headed up Bush Street. Word of warning: streets in San Fran are STEEP. So anyway, that itself was a major exercise and I finally decided that I’d be better off walking via Market Street which is their main street and far more interesting. So I cut through and headed that way but not long after, realised I was in a dodgy part of the neighbourhood. My friend had warned me about it and somehow, I had stumbled there. I didn’t want to show I was a tourist by pulling out my phone or map so I just kept heading towards what I thought was Market street. I knew I’d get there eventually. At one of the streets, a fight broke out between some guys on the footpath and I crossed over to the other side. That’s when it also struck me, that unlike in Australia, they have guns here. And if a gun got whipped out in a fight, well, it could get pretty ugly.

I don’t think I’ve ever walked faster.

Finally, I found myself in front of the shopping centre and allowed myself some time in there. To recuperate and to have some retail therapy. I didn’t shop much at all — just bought two pairs of Levi’s jeans for $80 {bargain!}. I figured I’d have to try something different and got on a hop-on, hop off bus to check out the rest of the city. It turned out to be a good idea as I went past Union Square, Chinatown, the Italian area of San Fran, the rich area, the Haight-Ashbury area, Pacific Heights, Golden Gate Park and Alamo square.

I didn’t end up seeing the Full House house but at least I didn’t get shot.

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Finally, that evening, N took me to The Mission which is like the most hipster area of San Fran {although most of the city seemed like Newtown, just more expensive!}. We attended this art/music show that was quite cool before eventually heading back home.

Three days was probably good and a fourth would have been better. I refused to stand in long lines so I missed out on riding the cable cars and cruising around Alcatraz. I also missed out on trying a couple of coffee places recommended by and A because the lines were way too long and I just wasn’t that desperate for coffee.

I’m currently in Toronto but I will leave that story for another time.

You can follow my adventures on Instagram or by liking my Facebook Page. I post way more photos!

***Linking with Jess for IBOT, Alicia for Open Slather and Write Tribe for #MondayMusings. It’s Monday here and Tuesday back home so I guess it works***

Until next time,

Cheers!!!

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  • elly stornebrink
    9 June 2015 at 10:12 am

    Cool, though too bad it was windy and cold during your stay Sanch! It seems that San Fran may prepare you somewhat for Vancouver, BC as well Lions Gate Bridge is similar, the hills around, especially in North Vancouver can be somewhat steep and there are lots of cafes! 😉 Oh, and also a cable car up Grouse Mountain! 🙂 <3
    elly stornebrink recently posted…Gratitude List #8: Free and FreedomMy Profile

  • jess
    9 June 2015 at 10:52 am

    How fantastic! I think I would like at least a week in San Fran, it sounds like my kinda place (good coffee, great bookstores, Alcatraz, and Mythbusters! haha. Have fun in Canada!
    jess recently posted…“Fake it til you become it” Power PosesMy Profile

  • Deborah
    9 June 2015 at 11:59 am

    Everyone I know is having / has had holidays lately and I have holiday-envy!!! I love your pics. I’ve never been there (or to the US) but it looks just like it does on TV and in movies!

    Sounds like you’re having a great time.

    Deb
    Deborah recently posted…Anger and self forgivenessMy Profile

  • Shailaja
    9 June 2015 at 2:51 pm

    So lovely to read about your holiday and glad you are taking this much needed trip 🙂 Lovely pictures and lovelier experiences, by the sound of it. Some day you will look back and enjoy it all, I guarantee it!
    Shailaja recently posted…Let go- #AmwritingMy Profile

  • Kylie Purtell - A Study in Contradictions
    9 June 2015 at 3:23 pm

    I so want to see San Fran! It’s on my list for when/if we ever get back to the States. It’s funny how things like that suddenly strike you, the gun thing. Dave and I wandered in to Harlem when we were in New York and the change as you get up further through the streets is amazing, it’s like a totally different place. We didn’t stick around long!
    Kylie Purtell – A Study in Contradictions recently posted…One Perfect Moment {In Living Colour} | LifeMy Profile

  • Harini
    9 June 2015 at 5:43 pm

    Beautiful pictures. I want to visit San Fransisco some day too. Great that you are having a much needed vacation. I cant wait for your Toronto Story 🙂

  • Veggie Mama
    9 June 2015 at 5:45 pm

    I cannot wait to go to San Fran. It’s totally next on my list when I go back to the US! Also how weird is it that someone can just pull a gun at any time?!!
    Veggie Mama recently posted…Free Download: The Veggie Mama Meal Plan + 50 Meal IdeasMy Profile

  • Sally
    9 June 2015 at 6:28 pm

    Just walking around with no specific destination in mind is the best way to truly explore the city…at least you got to see every side of it! San Fran is definitely on my list next time I head to the US. Enjoy the rest of your trip!

  • Vanessa
    9 June 2015 at 7:36 pm

    I haven’t been there since I was about 8 – I’d love to go back!
    Vanessa recently posted…WIN: Melbourne Oz Comic-Con Tickets!My Profile

  • Parul
    9 June 2015 at 7:50 pm

    Interesting write up with that walking and fight that you witnessed. Glad you are sharing your pictures and I am getting to see that world 🙂
    Have fun and keep posting !
    Parul recently posted…#MondayMusings – Take a ChanceMy Profile

  • Hugzilla
    9 June 2015 at 8:10 pm

    I have to admit, travelling to the States doesn’t interest me much but two places I would like to visit are New York (duh!) and San Francisco. There is something about it that seems all hipster and offbeat cool. I think I’d like it. And *squeeee* seeing the Full House house!
    Hugzilla recently posted…What If Toddlers Had Their Own Version of the Paleo Diet…? Oh Wait. They Do.My Profile

  • nabanita
    9 June 2015 at 9:29 pm

    Looks like you had a good time….Too bad you missed the Full House house but then not getting shot is good too! Enjoy your time and keep us posted on your adventures 🙂
    nabanita recently posted…Move Beyond Regional ChauvinismMy Profile

  • EssentiallyJess
    9 June 2015 at 9:45 pm

    Oh I didn’t know you were overseas! It sounds like the kind of holiday I would like; lots of walking around and exploring. Hope you enjoy Toronto. x
    EssentiallyJess recently posted…The Mystery of Fishermans Paradise. A Choose Your Destiny StoryMy Profile

  • Alicia
    10 June 2015 at 10:25 pm

    My steps would have become quicker too, with the thought of possible gun fights! You are seeing some awesome sights. Must be surreal to be walking the streets and seeing it from that perspective. Just a bit cool 🙂
    Alicia recently posted…That’s a woman on the ten dollar note?My Profile

  • Raychael aka Mystery Case
    11 June 2015 at 5:50 am

    What an adventure you are having. Wish I was with you. Looks fabulous.
    Raychael aka Mystery Case recently posted…Worth Casing Wednesday – NewsworthyMy Profile

  • Corinne Rodrigues
    11 June 2015 at 3:43 pm

    You just upped your cool factor, as far as I’m concerned, Sanch! Great to see you’re having a wonderful time travelling. San Francisco is definitely on my ‘places to visit’ list! Enjoy!

  • stephanie@stephsjoy
    12 June 2015 at 10:10 am

    San Fran is a bit like Sydney except for the hills don’t you think. Sounds like walking through the dodgy part of town will make it a memorable visit! Enjoy your trip!

  • Theresa Milstein
    15 June 2015 at 2:29 am

    I visited San Francisco for the first time two years ago. You’re making me miss it! Thanks for sharing your photos and experiences.
    Theresa Milstein recently posted…Left BehindMy Profile

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