Thursday. June 15, 2017. San Francisco.
So a quick story. On Tuesday night after I finished packing everything into my pack, which was quite a struggle and took two attempts, I realized my pack was almost as full as it could get (mind you everything was stuffed inside for the flight). Therefore it was incredibly heavy. So I went through and took out what I deemed I could; all of a granola bar, applesauce squeeze, some energy gels, and sunscreen. I am guessing you know where this is going… and no, I am not in desperate need of a 40cal applesauce packet right now. I did however just have to walk to Walgreens for aloe vera and a substitute sunscreen. Lesson learned. My Cherokee heritage and easy tanning ability does not combat full days in the California sun. I am toasted and I just know my pack’s straps are going to be a problem on my shoulders. *Cue the second coat of aloe*
Anyways, now that I have provided some amusement, onto today’s adventures! Because of my sleep deprivation, I actually slept like a rock last night. So this morning at 7am, I absolutely did not want to get up. But according to the internet if I wanted to eat at Mama’s on Washington Square in a timely fashion, I was going to need to be there at opening (or before.) By the time I got ready and accidentally took a detour on my walk there, I already had to wait for 30-45 mins. Which ended up okay, because I had good conversation with the lady in line behind me. I do not know her name, but she was visiting her sister (who rents a studio loft for $2700/mo!!!) and we talked about our trip, past trips, and various other topics not as interesting. Point is though, I got the mama’s cristo, and it was quite possibly the best non-homemade breakfast of my life. 10/10 would recommend. It had so much flavor and essentially melted in my mouth. Plus it came with a house made strawberry jelly, so duh that was going to be bomb.
After a full breakfast, I walked/waddled to Pier 39 to see the sea lions and admire/just acknowledge the tourist trap that it is. I kept walking in the pattern I would follow all day, a counterclockwise loop around the city. I saw fresh crab shacks at Fisherman’s Wharf and tried several samples of chocolate at Ghiradelli Square. By then I had already had to charge my phone with my portable charger because of the numerous pictures and constant texts with my mom and sister.
I then managed to take my first bus (with the help of the initial bus driver that told me I was in the wrong bus, and where to go to get on the right bus.) I took the bus to the Golden Gate Bridge. It was absolutely beautiful and definitely provided great pictures. It had a sad undertone because it reminded me of the informative speech I gave in my public speaking class: suicides off the GGB. I saw the crisis hotline sign right at the beginning. So I was just hoping not to see anyone jump (flashbacks of 9/11 videos playing in my head) while I was there. Dark, I know, but my honest thoughts. Like I said though, it was still beautiful and an iconic site.
I walked on the trails near the bridge for quite a while. I had a mini photo shoot with my tripod and the bridge as a background, until my silly clicker’s battery died. Just my luck. Fortunately I have better luck of finding a mini screwdriver here than in Yosemite.
My walk then led to Baker’s Beach. The north portion happens to be a nude beach, and also the closet to the Golden Gate Bridge (and therefore the best pictures.) I was trying so hard not to stare. Although primarily tourists looking for a good picture like me, there were 4-5 nudists. It was so foreign to me, I could not help but to look over numerous times. I was checking to see if they were at least wearing bathing suit bottoms since that seemed justified to me, but they weren’t… Mad props to them for the level of confidence that I definitely do not have.
While at the beach, I was able to put my feet in the Pacific Ocean. I looked for shells for my mom, but there were only rocks. So of course I grabbed a couple anyways. The irony being that I took out sunscreen to conserve weight…
After that, I began my walk south. I walked quite a while, into the late afternoon, before I realized that the Boudin Bakery I wanted to go to so I could try clam chowder and sourdough bread was back quite aways. I ended up just getting on a bus to back track before getting back on a bus after lunch to get further than I had been. I was slightly irritated with myself. Especially considering my sore feet, burnt shoulders, and limited free time this evening. It is definitely a testament to the benefits of public transportation, something I do not have much personal experience with in Indianapolis.
Finally though, I made it to the mosaic steps of 16th Ave, my original destination before the detour. They were beautiful. Although not major, it did highlight my irritation with touristy attractions. I could not get a full picture of the stairs without people being in the photo. I did get some small cap shots of my favorite portions to suffice. Through that endeavor, I ended up on top of a giant hill overlooking the city. Although San Francisco’s size and packed in characteristic is evident at street level, it was insane looking down onto it.
By then I had fallen in love with the idea of taking a bus. So I managed to find the nearest stop that would take me to Haight St, the origin of hippie culture. Although myself is more of a yuppie/hipster/whatever, I had to go. I can definitely appreciate the hippie movement of the 1960s. While walking down the street admiring the vibrant colors and hippie style boutiques, I was asked several times if I wanted to buy weed. It was comical alone just considering the upfrontness that would not happen in Indy; but it became more comical when I actually thought about it. I am a nurse. Although I guess it would be evident even to me that I am not a cop, those people on the street had no idea who I am. I honestly do not look like a nurse either; with my septum piercing, red hair, andeclectic clothes. But I found amusement in it either way.
I then took another bus (catching the trend here? My feet in my chacos were hurting badly by this point) to Alamo Square to see the painted ladies. Only a necessary stop because of the Full House intro. Of course there were plenty of people there, just sitting on the grass staring at the houses. Similar to Lombardi St, why would anyone want to live there? I loved Full House as a kid, but not enough to endure people constantly gawking and photographing your home. A complete lack of privacy and a reason to praise curtains. Plus, just think of how much they would cost?!
After sitting for a bit on the Alamo Square hill, I then started my trek to find a bus that would take me back into Union Square, where I then had Ryoko’s sushi for dinner. It was good, and a must while in a coastal city, but really I am content with my cheaper sushi at home. Overall, I did not notice a difference with anything except price.
I decided to stop by the bar downstairs below the bunkhouse to try some local wine, before heading to my room to end the night early. However, I ended up in a great conversation with a guy from London here on a business trip. He kept complimenting my independent nature and excessive personality. It was refreshing to be admired by a male, even buying my wine, without expectations. He made it clear he thought I was attractive, that he would want to kiss me, but he did not keep at it when I said no. He just asked for a hug when I decided it was time to finally retreat up to me room. In the past I have gone to politely give a guy a hug bye, when I had previously stated I would not make out with him, and he tried kissing me anyways. So, sadly I almost did not trust him to just hug me bye. Which I could write a whole blog post about the underlying social issues with that alone.
I took a shower, something that is soon to be a luxury, and realized just how burnt I was. That is when I put on my pajamas and walked a block to Walgreens. Evidence that I do not really change regardless of city. No shame in walking down a San Francisco street with wet hair and no bra on a Thursday night. Lol, whoops. But hey, I got my aloe and sunscreen and I am hoping for the best. Specifically that my burn will fade extra quickly.
Anyways, although I intended on an early night, it is now almost midnight. And I still need to figure out where I am eating and a tentative plan for tomorrow. So I best go, even though I am sure I could ramble on for several more pages about the details of today.