So here’s what I learned about San Francisco when I went to San Francisco – it’s really close. From Vancouver it takes two hours and thirteen minutes to fly there, and it’s worth the trip.
It’s a colourful city, in any way you’d like to interpret that. I found the people to be diverse and friendly. Like Vancouver, it’s a city on the water, which is a quality that always makes me feel at home. But it was the architecture that really blew me away. Every corner of every part of town had some gorgeous building on it. And no one seems afraid of colour when it comes to paint, which was refreshing.
Having a full week there was brilliant. We were able to do a lot without getting completely burnt out, and even though I’m sure we didn’t see everything there was to see or do everything there was to do, we left feeling that we hadn’t missed out on much either.
We stayed in Union Square, which is a convenient hub to explore from. And we got some transit passes and explored a lot. And if there was a tourist activity to be done, well by gosh we did it:
- Walked across the Golden Gate Bridge (and got a little nose sunburn at the same time)
- Checked out the murals in the Mission district and the hippie shops on Haight Street
- Ate gorgeous fruit and bread and cheese from the farmer’s market at the Ferry Building
- Poked into junk shops through Chinatown
- Tasted some Ghiardelli chocolate (I recommend the dark salted caramel and the dark raspberry)
- Wandered around Little Italy
- Saw some Banksy murals, which was kind of neat just because he’s famous
- Did the Alcatraz tour, which was fascinating. Also, the island itself was surprisingly beautiful
- Got lost in the mirror maze and checked out the stinky sea lions at Pier 39
- Drove down Lombard Street
- Took a drive through wine country, visiting a couple of vineyards and shopping in St Helena
- Tried about a billion restaurants which were basically all fantastic
- Saw Beach Blanket Babylon, which was a hilarious lot of fun
Not to say there weren’t things I wouldn’t want to do if I went again. The tactile dome at the Exploratoreum looked pretty awesome. We didn’t make it to the Castro, and the Museum of Modern Art was closed on the day we had planned to go. (Clearly not my best-laid plan.) I also thought the trampoline park looked great. But I think it’s good to leave a few things out so you have a reason to go back.
It’s always so great to go somewhere and feel like you’ve really gone somewhere, if that makes any sense. (I just read it again, and no, it doesn’t make any sense at all. Ah well, I will leave it to you clever readers to try to figure out what I meant.) (That’s the hallmark of a great writer, you know – making the reader work for it. Yeah, me and James Joyce, right here.) For a full week, I was somewhere else, doing things I don’t do at home. It felt like it slowed down my life and it made me happy.