Everywhere you look… San Francisco!

Hello friends!

Last but not least everybody, the city that has played host to many of my dreams ever since Full House and Mrs. Doubtfire caught hold of my heart.

San Francisco!

 I took a Greyhound into the city, and after about an hour and a half’s worth of delays, and two new Greyhound friends, I was in the city.  I decided to adventure around with one of my new friends. His name was Gus, and he was from LA. He had been in the Bay Area for the past few days and was returning home but his flight wasn’t until the evening. So we walked around a little bit, found a Boudin’s, and had brunch together! I was told I had to check out Boudin’s in SF, since it is a sourdough bread baker that originated in San Francisco. Fun fact, if you call it San Fran, you will be labeled a tourist faster than you can say you’re kidding. It’s SF if you’re from these parts!
Clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. :)

Vaillancourt Fountain, empty of water, probably to conserve water during the drought. This sculpture is also called Quebec libre! and has apparently been tried to be demolished many times. My friend Gus said it reminded him of parkour, which reminded me of my friend Abbie, who fearlessly is taking a parkour class! <3
Platform 9 and 3/4s anybody? :)

 

 

 

So after saying bye to Gus (right after the Gandhi statue), I walked all the way from Pier 2 and 1, up to Pier 39, and then even farther. But Pier 39 was quite the tourist watering hole, all built up with plenty of shops, stalls, and food stops to keep a family busy for hours.

 

The carousel!

This was where I caught my first real glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge!! It was very foggy, but I couldn’t help but snap a few shots of it. :)

 

Also, Alcatraz, looming gloomy in the fog.

 

On my way out, I saw a little street performance which was pretty cute. :) I’m always chill with fire juggling.

 

These sea lions were making such a ruckus. Half of them were fighting, the other half were sleeping amidst the fights, it was crazy. Some fell off the floating docks into the water, only to flop back up onto a different one and get snapped at by their friends. Silly sea lions. :)

 

And then suddenly… the sunlight began to break through!

 

 

 

 

After hanging out for a while by the piers, I cut inland and started my crazy trek to Lombard Street… Now to give you an image, I had on my jeans, a tanktop layered under a short sleeved shirt, layered under a zip-up sweatshirt, layered under a windbreaker because I had been told that SF was chilly. On top of that, I had my backpack with everything I needed for the next there days on my back, working up a mighty lower-back sweat. Needless to say, even having taken off the jacket and the sweatshirt, I was pretty gross once I got up to Lombard Street, and I didn’t have the strength to even go up to the top. I could only take a picture from below.

Some cool street art!
And Lombard Street… The “Crookedest” Street on Earth, or whatever the map said it was. It was pretty crazy how many cars were squeezed onto there, probably to just drive down. Nuts!
And then I turned to my right and saw this, Alcatraz in the bright sunlight! This city is really gorgeous|!

After that, I began my trek to Berkeley, where I was staying with a lovely CouchSurfing host named Amanda! And get this, Amanda knows my friend Dawn, with whom I went to Douglass! What a tiny, crazy world! :)

 

Walking through Berkeley!

 

Telegraph Street!
So, my host Amanda lives in Berkeley and goes to school there, and was sweet enough to host me and my crazy self for my two nights in Berkeley. That night she invited her friends over and we all walked over to Cheeseboard, which is this amazing pizza shop that creates one type of pizza each day (it was fig something the day we went, but it was delicious!) and at the end, I even saw them giving free slices to the homeless people around the area. Really sweet establishment. After pizza,  we went back to Amanda’s place and played card games! I learned a Korean game called something that I already forgot… It had numbers and two different colors, and guessing people’s cards. I will remember it one day! Anyway, lots of fun. :)
The next day, I decided to explore some more of SF, and went out to the Mission in search of Dolores Park, so I could see the Painted Ladies. Little did I know, the Painted Ladies were actually in Alamo Square Park, but I did get to see some neat spots while walking around!
The first was the Clarion Alley Mural Project:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I call this one “Hedwig the Hottie” but I am sure it has some deeper and less silly meaning!

 

That area was just a very interesting area to wander through! I saw all kinds of things:

 

 

 

I believe this was a Women’s Center! Beautiful!
Walking down through the Mission.

So then… I FINALLY got to Alamo Square Park after a good 40 minutes of walking. And la-dee-dah, I got a shot with the Painted Ladies!! :)

 

And after the painted ladies, I went to go see the Full House house, which has since been painted over. :( No longer the cream color with the red door, but still the same house!! Ahhhhhh!!! I was so excited! :))))) There were other people taking selfies with it, winners!!!

 

After that, I walked some more to Haight-Ashbury, which is the hippiest part of SF. The smell of weed was everywhere, and there were people lighting up bowls everywhere, it was crazy! In broad daylight, I couldn’t believe my eyes! But the spirit of the place was so free!

Mural on my walk there.

 

 

Some of the shops in Haight-Ashbury.

After exploring there for a while and hopping in and out of stores (I found this awesome local, artisan, whatever food place where I got my host some caramel that I sampled shamelessly while inside), I took a few buses over to Baker Beach to get a good view of the bridge.

 

 

 

And what a clear view I got! These shots came out amazing! I had to hike past a lot of nude beach goers, who were surprisingly ALSO climbing the rocks, but NAKED! I was extremely impressed! I could barely do it in my chucks, but these dudes were going at it with nothing but their hands and feed to help them out. Anyway, it was a very beautiful time of day, and I spent a lot of time just sitting, looking out at the bridge, the water, and saying a silent thank you for the ability to come out and experience this all in person. I really do feel blessed, and even though the tail-end of my trip involved alarming poison oak appearing on my face, 6 hours on trains and buses in a benadryl-induced haze, an urgent care clinic, and having to be put on steroids to regain control of my rapidly swelling face, it was still a very magical trip. Amanda was an amazing host, and Cat was so kind as to host me in Santa Cruz!
I need to go back again, so much more to see and experience, but I am happy I was able to experience a few days of it! The steep streets, the centralized city, the cable cars, the trams, the colors, the rugged ocean views… it was truly a dream! Thanks San Francisco! You and northern California are something else, and I didn’t give you enough time. :) I will be back for you! And hopefully Yosemite in there as well (but this time very far away from poison oak!). :)
A
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