I have been very focused on seeing the United States as a whole, I had almost forgot that I was in one of the best cities that people travel from all over the world to come see. I also realized that with only 4 months left now, I have a very limited amount of free weekends left to take advantage of. I still most definitely want to go to a lot of other cities, but on the weekends where that isn’t possible, why not see San Francisco?
The past 2 weekends, I have really opened my eyes to San Francisco. Well the tourist side that was on my bucket list at least. There are definitely 2 different sides to San Francisco. If you are visiting and accidentally stay in the wrong area and stick to it, you most definitely won’t like the city. But fortunately for me, I live in a very fab area, and if a tourist chose to stay nearer to where I live, they would get the pretty side of the city. The whole bay along the water is for sure the ‘prettier area’, but I must give the below downtown area a thumbs up for the culture. If you want really authentic, don’t care about safety, below Market is the place for you. However, for me, I am more of the appreciating safety kinda gal, so I love my neighbourhood.
From before I arrived, I knew one thing that I had to do was walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. From the car park across and back, it’s only 7.5km…… Totally fine. What has been holding me back for 8 months is the weather. Apparently it’s super windy and cold on the bridge, so I was waiting for a warm day to give me hope. Very fortunately, these past couple weekends have been so uncharacteristically warm, like 28 degree sort of warm. SO of course, I had to seize the opportunity. It was actually very exciting, walking across the bridge. It’s a shockingly long drop to the water, and the rails are only waist height. I have driven across the bridge countless times, I had forgotten that the bridge is a major sight in itself. Walking across was for sure the best way to go. Highly recommend! That same day I also walked from my house down to the beach, which I wouldn’t have actually thought was a reasonable walk, but turns out it’s not all that far. However, because of this surprising 28 degree day, and the amount of outdoor walking I did, I could remember the time with a wonderful sunburn. I know the sunburn was shocking because I actually peeled really badly which doesn’t usually happen to me.
The next weekend, I spent Saturday with Beth looking at Silicon Valley and all of its high tech HQ’s! It was quite exciting to see where Facebook, Google and Apple were. Google had such an amazing office. They had like colorful bikes that you could just use for free. Free things always win my heart. We just wanted pictures with cool signs for each of the companies, but their signs aren’t all that exiting to be honest. We also went to Stanford university, because why not. But I’m not sure what I was really expecting of a university campus. It wasn’t all that exciting, pretty though I suppose.
On that Sunday I spent my morning volunteering at a beach clean up. Admittedly, I only did it because I had to for my credits for my visa. But it was actually a real eye opener. Pretty sure it was for Earth Day, but we just like had bags and cleaned the beach. I was given a special bag for cigarettes alone, which I managed to half fill up. I was so shocked as I was just one person picking this rubbish up, and I wasn’t exactly trying all that hard, yet I collected so much. Quite disgusting actually.
After that, I went across to Muir Woods, where all the massive redwood trees are. The hikes were nice but I was very preoccupied with a little issue I had. All the signs leading to the park said ‘please use shuttle car park full’, so of course I used the shuttle because it was insisting. I get on the shuttle, it starts driving and then they decide to say it costs $5. So I got all sassy to the man in the woods office and he sassed me back. So my whole hike I was so angry about the $5 shuttle, especially because there were plenty of free car parks which were supposedly full. But when I was getting back on the shuttle, I said to the bus driver that I lost my ticket and got on for free. Needless to say, I felt very satisfied.
The afternoon and night was spent celebrating Catherine’s birthday, a month and 2 days after her actual birthday… She was still happy. It was so pleasant sitting on the big field facing the bridge. It was the icing on the cake to the weekends. We are so lucky to be where we are, doing what we are doing.