I arrived in San Francisco early on Wednesday morning, 1:30 am local time (4:30 am EST). Exhausted after two flights totaling almost 9 hours, I crawled into bed and tried to get some much needed rest. Jet lag got the best of me though and I woke up at 7 am local time. Which is perfect because I had a very full day ahead of me!
With my guidebook in hand and a smile on my face, I took off before 9 am for my day of exploring in San Francisco. First stop, the famous Trolley Car. I bought a day pass for the MUNI (transport system)for $13 dollars – absolutely worth it as it is valid on trolleys, streetcars and buses for the whole day. I headed directly to Fisherman’s Wharf. I was blessed with perfect weather, it started off a bit cloudy, but the skies cleared and it was a sunny day. It ended with a bit of cloud rolling in and a light shower. PERFECT!
I figured that a boat tour would be the best way to start the day. Red & White offers a deal that included the boat tour (1 hour) and the hop-on-hop-off bus for 48 hours so I decided that was my best option. The boat tour followed the shoreline, out to Golden Gate Bridge and then back on the far side of Alcatraz. We had an audio tour to listen to. It was a bit chilly and windy, but nice and dry. I learned a lot on the boat tour and met some really interesting people, including a couple from LA – Wilson and Osmarys. It was their first visit to San Fran as well. I convinced them to join me on the bus tour (they only had one day as well) and we ended up spending the whole day together. It was really amazing to meet such kind people, and we all got along really well, which made the day even more fun.
After the boat, we hopped on the bus for the first time. We took the tour down to the Port of San Francisco and hopped off. We enjoyed the Farmer’s Market (end of Market Street), the port itself and the view of the Bay Bridge. It’s really neat how the traffic travels on two levels. After that we walked to then next bus stop about 30 min from where we were. Walking through the Financial District reminded me a bit of Toronto. One thing we notice is how clean the city is. It was busy, but people seemed to be smiling more that I’ve seen in Toronto. Perhaps because it’s been raining for a while and they were enjoying the sun.
We ended up right near the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art waiting for the bus. We found out that Thursday night is half price from 6 – 9 pm. Believe it or not, after my very full day, I made it to the museum for a short visit later that night.
We hopped back on the bus and had a really fun guide this time, Shannon from the UK. She talked a lot but it was really interesting and funny. We drove past Union Square (upscale shopping) and all the way to Chinatown. We hopped off again and toured around. By now, the sun was shining and it was a stunning afternoon. You can tell by the light in this photo. One of the things I love about this city is the architecture. It is full of variety and creativity, yet somehow, it all fits together. Not a moment went by when I didn’t notice a building with interesting architecture. It is very easy to fall in love with this city, I know I certainly did.
Once we travelled through Chinatown, we ended up on the Trolley car line, and hopped on. We were fortunate to travel past Grace Church and decided to hop off and check it out. What a fantastic decision. It was absolutely stunning. I love Gothic churches and this has to be one of my absolute favourites. What a fantastic unexpected stop! This is what was most fun about our day, we didn’t have an concrete plans, so we just travelled around the city and explored what we wanted to. San Francisco is small enough that you can do this.
After the church, we walked by a movie shoot – anyone seen the tv show Trauma? They were filming nearby. We hopped on the trolley again, and then on a bus to head down to Fisherman’s Wharf for dinner. We ate at the restaurant above the wharf, with a beautiful view of the bay, as the light faded and the sun set. The food was amazing. We shared a goat cheese appetizer and then I enjoyed a Dungeness crab cake sandwich with tomato and avocado. Loved it! After dinner, we were startled by the Bush Man – no details here but you have to experience it for a good laugh! And we finally parted ways. I had so much fun with Wilson and Osmarys – I certainly hope to have made new friends and I look forward to seeing them again on our next trip to California. I finished the evening by taking a streetcar (literally, a Street Car Named Desire, from Philly) to the SanFranMOMA. By then, I was exhausted, and my foot was sore (the cast is actually very comfortable and supportive, it was my other foot), so I was only able to get through 3 floors. I walked back to the hotel and within the hour, was back up to our room. I had such a wonderful day in the city. I highly recommend it on places to see before you go. I would definitely return with Dan. There is still so much to see and enjoy, especially all of the different food!
Here is a link to the full album if you’d like to see more photos.
Tonight is the first night of Go Diamond! and I really looking forward to connecting with my business partners and starting this intense weekend of training.
And hopefully, I’ll be able to catch some of the Olympics while I’m in the same time zone.