I first visited San Francisco the summer of when I was 15, while on my way to Mexico on a mission trip. That visit consisted of stopping at a park and snapping pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge. The following spring while on a road trip with my family we made the same stop. I had never ventured into the city and had the opportunity to really experience what the City by the Bay was all about. It gave me a longing to return and spend some time there and do all the things I wanted to do such as ride a trolley, stroll on a bicycle over the Golden Gate bridge and tour Alcatraz island. The opportunity finally came for me to do all the things I wanted to do in San Francisco, as we were going to have TWO WHOLE DAYS in the city! Did I love the city? Parts of it. Did we have fun? Absolutely. Did I accomplish on the activities on my list? Not a darn one of them.
Somehow amongst all my researching and planning I forgot to book the Alcatraz tour tickets. Dang it! Well I guess we will have to book them when we get there. Online they were sold out, but a tour company had some tickets available still for walk ups…for $125 per person. Needless to say, that didn’t happen.
We checked into our “affordable” hotel, the Hotel Astoria only to learn that it wasn’t as affordable as advertised ($70/night) because we then had to spend $30 to park in their parking garage which was across the street and on the other side of the block. It took us over an hour to go the 0.2 miles to the parking garage because we drove right past it twice in the backed up/rush hour traffic. The location of the hotel however, was perfect. It was located right next to the gates of Chinatown and in the heart of the downtown.
We managed to figure out the bus system well enough to get ourselves to Fisherman’s Wharf. We ate some delicious chowder in a sourdough bowl at Boudin Bakery and walked along the pier watching performers and admiring the sunset.
It was getting dark so we decided to find a bus to get back to the hotel and return to the piers in the morning to explore more. An hour later we discovered that my new-found public transportation savvy-ness was a fluke as we could not find the correct bus. A $15 taxi ride later we were back in our hotel and, exhausted, we stayed in the rest of the night and watched the news. Pretty exciting, huh? 🙂
As mentioned earlier, the plan was to explore the city some more the next day. We decided though that one day would not be enough to do all that we wanted to do. We enjoyed what we had seen of the city so much that we decided we will come back when we have a long weekend and we will be able to devote more time to properly exploring the city.
Our next adventure took us to the beach, the artichoke capital of the world and and the garlic capital of the world. 😉
Until next time,
“Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey.” Fitzhugh Mullan