Fast forward another month, and once again I’m back at home after an extremely eventful trip. This time, my adventure was in San Francisco – but being on the west coast, there was no way I could pass up a trip back home. Plus, I had some business in Seattle. So there you go: SF – Vancouver – Seattle trip.
The most exciting of these cities for me is definitely SF. I’ve been there once before in 2004, but I was 12 years old back then, and even though I have memories of it, they are very vague. Most importantly, that wasn’t really my trip. It was a family trip, but I wasn’t the one making decisions or exploring or getting lost. I was just following the leader, and when you do that, things aren’t quite as memorable.
This time, I had friends taking me around, but it was still mostly me trying to make my way through the city. I went to a lot of places, so I’ll have to split up my story into a few parts. But anyway… here we go.
I got to SF on a Saturday evening, and spent the night catching up with a friend. The forecast for that weekend was supposed to be rainy, but we got lucky and caught some sunshine through the rain. It was still a bit chilly, but overall it was quite enjoyable. My friend took me to this food truck park just a short walk away from where she lived, and already I could feel the chill SF vibes. It was a Sunday afternoon, to be fair, but people just love to be outside and enjoy the sun whenever they can. I can see why a food truck park would be quite popular with the locals.
After our snack, we rented a car and my friend took me around town. Let me stop here and say that all these apps are extremely convenient and popular in SF. San Francisco is literally right at the edge of Silicon Valley. The large tech companies – Google, Facebook, Apple – all have their bases here, maybe about an hour drive south of SF. You can definitely feel the technology drive in the city. People use Uber/Lyft to get around everywhere. My friends went on a carshare website to rent someone else’s car for a few hours, and literally got one right away. You see, it’s not just the platform that makes an app useful – it’s the users as well. And in SF, there are a ton of users.
So anyway. We got a car and started driving around. First, we went up to the Twin Peaks, which is a lookout point where you can see the entire city. It’s not that high up, but high enough to see everything. That’s where you realize that SF really isn’t that big. Their downtown lives in a tiny corner of the city, and it’s pretty much residential everywhere else. That main street you see leading into the tall buildings is Market Street, which is a pretty big street in SF. The Golden Gate Bridge would be all the way to your left, but I don’t think you can see it from here.
It was a bit rainy, but I appreciate it. Without the rain, we wouldn’t get such a beautiful rainbow arching over the entire city.
Next, we went to Land’s End. It’s another lookout point, but this time staring into the Pacific Ocean. It is literally at the west edge of not just San Francisco, but the entire North America. Hence, Land’s End.
My friend told me about the Highway 1 drive down to Los Angeles. which is also along the edge of the West Coast. The entire drive is full of views just like this. You could finish it in one day if you really wanted to, but it’s best to spread it out over two or three days and actually enjoy some stops in between. The next time I’m in California, I’d love to try it.
From Land’s End, there’s a trail that leads northeast towards the Golden Gate Bridge. The winds are quite high here, as you are faced out towards the ocean with absolutely no shelter. I don’t have a video, but you can imagine the roar of the waves just from this picture.
As night falls, the Golden Gate Bridge eventually lights up. We didn’t stay much longer, but I’m sure the views would be even more beautiful when you get deeper into the night.
Our last stop for the evening was the Palace of Fine Arts. It’s a piece of architecture built for some sort of expo over 100 years ago. It was rebuilt sometime in between, but it still looks like the original, and it’s definitely a very pretty building to see and take pictures of. There is something about it that reminds me of the movie La La Land – it’s just so enchanting.
So there, an outline of my first weekend in San Francisco. The next chapter of my story takes place in Vancouver… coming soon!