San Francisco

The other day, we made the several hour commute from Los Angeles to San Franscico. We’ll be spending two days here before we have to make the commute back to Los Angeles to catch our flight home.

The first day in San Francisco we spent sightseeing. We started at Coit Tower, which gives fantastic views of the city and surrounding bay area. We had to wait in line in order to go to the observatory on the top floor, but it wasn’t too long of a wait. The observatory is just a small circular room with several windows, so I don’t recommend it if you’re afraid of heights. Getting to Coit Tower can also be a bit of a trip. We had to climb several stairs to get there, and at times I felt like I was practically in someone’s backyard.

After I took lots of pictures at Coit Tower, we made our way to our next destination in town, but decided to stop on the way to get a good look at Alcatraz Prison. Unfortunately we weren’t able to visit it because tickets had sold out way in advance, but I at least get to say that I was able to see it.

Afterwards, we made our way to the popular Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s famous for its many attractions and restaurants. Personally, I don’t like seafood, so I really didn’t care for many of the restaurants there, despite how much I’ve heard other people rave about them.

We made our way up and down the area, perusing the many shops and attractions, and eventually made our way to Ghiradelli Square. I don’t really eat Ghiradelli chocolate, if only because it can be pretty expensive, but walking around the shop and seeing all of the different flavors and treats was pretty cool. They even had a little cafe area where you could order snacks and drinks. Also in that area were several other shops of all kinds: food, jewelry, toys, etc.

Once we had our fill of shopping, we made our way to the Hyde Street Pier, which extends way out into the bay and provides a good view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Unfortunately, it was really foggy when we went out, so we couldn’t see the bridge too much.

We ended the day at Lombard Street, which is considered the most crooked street in the world. Let me tell you, with eight sharp turns in just one street block, it has earned its name. We started at the top and walked down the sidewalk that runs next to the street, stopping along the way to appreciate just how twisty-turvy it really was. At the very bottom, one of the guys directing traffic was also offering to take pictures of tourists in front of Lombard Street when no cars were around.

The second day in San Francisco was all about the Golden Gate Bridge. We really only went to two places, Battery Spencer and Fort Point, both of which give great views of the bridge. I had been a little disappointed that the first day had been so foggy and I couldn’t see the bridge almost at all, but the second day had absolutely perfect weather.

In the morning we caught a local bus and made our way to Battery Spencer. Battery Spencer is actually on the other side of the bridge, so we were able to cross the bridge by bus. Once on the other side, the bus let us off in a small parking lot. From the parking lot, you can get a decent side view of the bridge.

Unfortunately, we were let off the bus on the wrong side of the bridge, and you really can’t cross the bridge. Instead, you have to go under it. There is an almost cage like walkway that is suspended from the bridge. It’s completely open on the sides, so if you’re afraid of heights, this would definitely not be for you. Honestly, there may have been a better way to get up to Battery Spencer, but it was the only one I was able to find.

The path to Battery Spence provides great views of the water, but take care to pay attention to where you are walking. Parts of the path can get a little narrow and take you close to the edge. At the very top it levels out and gives you a fantastic view of the Golden Gate Bridge with San Francisco in the background. It’s a site often seen in the movies.

Once I was satisfied with the pictures I had taken, I climbed my way back down to the parking lot and found the nearest bus stop that would take us back across the bridge. Unfortunately we were just a little too late and missed the bus, so we had to wait around for a while for the next one, but eventually we made our way back across the bridge to Fort Point.

At Fort Point, you are almost underneath the bridge which creates a unique angle, and allows you to appreciate the bridge from the side while also getting a view of the underneath architecture. In my opinion, it’s a nice contrast to the almost top-down view you get of the bridge at Battery Spencer.

It doesn’t seem like we did a lot on the second day, but it took a surprising amount of time. Plus, we weren’t in any rush. We took our time today, just overall appreciating the beautiful views and our overall vacation time. Unfortunately, it will soon be time to head home and return to reality.

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