Before we could reach beautiful San Francisco, we had to say good bye to our new friends at Pod Share (check us out on their site: http://thepodshare.com/2013/1635-1636-collin-jessica/) and walk down to see the Hollywood sign one last time. We may have stopped off at Santa Monica Pier along the way as well.
Six long hours later Colin and I found ourselves in an abundance of traffic coming over the Bay Bridge. Turns out the Bay Area Rail Transportation were on strike, so traffic wasn't so fun. Tired, hungry and frustrated, we slowly made our way to our destination. The roads remind me of a maze, and thats exactly how it felt trying to find Hostel's International on Mason Street. We had to park two blocks away from our hostel and to add to our frustration, the weather was a lot colder than what we packed for. The valet rushed us out with only summery warm clothes to walk back to our hostel. By the time we finally reached our room, I was ready to call it! I was so excited to come to the beautiful San Francisco and I just felt deflated and disappointed. Luckily though, I have the amazing Colin with me. He was in a better frame of mind and pulled me out of bed to find somewhere to eat. Now this is where everything turned around! We ate at Lori's Diner just up the street! Best burger, salad and milkshakes ever! It was our first diner experience and everything was delicious! It definitely set the mood for the next day.
We had been planning our San Francisco day based on an article by Josh Quittner - 10 things to do in San Francisco. We stuck to most of his plan:
6am - wake up and prep yourself for the day ahead! We caught the 6:53am cable car, get it done early (gets super busy later!) Jumping off at Bay Street, we started the walking part of our day to Pier 39. Here we saw the funny sea lions playing and barking at each other on their own little pier. We were also lucky enough to see the sun rise over the Bay Bridge in a bright glowing gold that leaked and flowed in with the water.
7:50am - Time for breakfast! We read and researched so much about Mama's that our minds were set on going there!! They opened at 8am, so getting there 10 minutes early would be fine right? WRONG! Turns out Mama's is THE BEST! It's where people line up and wait hours for their glorious breakfast food! The line we started in was pretty long, and thats with the restaurant already full and open. But our hearts and stomachs were set on having only the best of San Francisco to start our day. And I can tell you now, the wait is well worth it! We waited a total of 1 hour and 30 minutes before we were seated and ordered our food. I had the vegetarian eggs Benedict and Colin had pancakes with bacon and maple syrup! In a way to describe how good the food is, as you take the first bite and the flavour melts onto your tongue, I guarantee you will have a "the hills are alive with the sound of music" moment. You won't be disappointed!
10am - Head to Lombard Street! WARNING! This is where we realised that the map of San Francisco was completely inaccurate in showing the hills that make the city! We probably walked for 30 minutes, all up hill to the famous Lombard St! Full of tourists of course, so we didn't spend too much time there. We turned around and started walking down hill and back up again until we finally reached (puffed and red faced) Coit Tower. It is only $7 per person to go to the top and if you want a really good 360 look on the city, it's well worth it!!
11:30am - From Coit Tower, walk down the 400 steps of Telegraph Hill! Keep your eyes out for beautiful birds in the amazing flora as well! Everything there is so lush and green, its well worth it after walking up so many hills. At the bottom we then made our way to the Embarcadero to catch a bus/trolly to Castros!
12pm - Have a giant black penis for lunch! If your Aussie, it tastes like a giant lamington!! Hot Cookie is amazing for its yummy desserts and is famous on Castro St! It right by the trolly stop as well so you won't need to walk far! We bought a penis, cookie and pair of nickers! From there its a nice long walk up hill to Haight and Ashbury!
1:30pm - Your calfs and feet are probably feeling the burn now. But here you are in hippie central! It's a really groovy area with lots of cafes and cool little bizarre shops to go in. We were pretty buggered so we continued all the way to the very end at Golden Gate Park!
2:30pm - Golden Gates! There's so many beautiful things to do here, we only saw a few! Hippie Hill was a must as well as the carousel and the flower conservatorium. Here we found a nice spot to relax in the sun and eat our delicious cookies! We would have liked to have gone to the very end and of seen the windmills, but we were nackered! We had seen everything we had set out to in San Francisco.
We caught the trolly to Union Square where we stopped at Ghirardelli Chocolate Shop! for $25 you can fill a tin with the amazing chocolate!! We walked through the shops and finally got back to our room for a break at 4:40pm! I even napped for an hour from how tired I was! Colin and I decided to see a movie in the city before ending our night. We saw the new adaptation of Carrie! If you have read the book, you will (hopefully, like me) enjoy it thoroughly! It was really well done compared to the older version. I may be a little bias because I love Chloë Grace Moretz! She is so beautiful and such an amazing upcoming actress! We had minnie cupcakes for dessert and then headed to sleep.
We loved loved loved San Francisco! The European homes, the food, the history... just perfect. We were however shocked at the amount of homeless people in San Francisco. We aren't use to being begged for money at every turn, it was sad and even a little scary at night. I hope that doesn't come across wrong, one man even yelled at us for not having change and blamed our skin tone. We wish we could have given more change but unfortunately we ourselves didn't have that much to give. I guess here I am just saying be prepared for the shock.
Off to Portland!! 10 hours of driving .... not looking forward to it haha.