In many ways San Francisco was exactly what I hoped it would be, in other ways it didn’t come close to living up to my expectations. Due to some last minute booking additions SF became homebase for our trip. I transfered there in and out of the States as well as stopping for a couple of days in the middle of my adventure. Each of these three times I encountered heavy rain in “sunny California”.
In fact the rain was so bad when coming from Austin to San Francisco that all flights were delayed. We were unfortunately flying American Airlines so our flights were more severely delayed that anyone else’s. Upside: Salt Lick BBQ at the airport. Downside: the only reason we were detouring to SF was for a Celtics game and we probably weren’t going to make it in time. For 5 hours we waited in the airport being told our flight would leave soon and that the flight to Oakland was full (despite what their online booking was saying).
I was almost in tears by the time the plane finally took off, we were travelling half way across the country to go to a basketball game which could be over by the time we got there. We rushed through SFO and told the taxi driver to get us to Oracle Arena as fast as possible. 24 minutes of the game left. The ride cost about US$100, which was not even close to the cost of our game tickets. It was gushing with rain when we hauled our three suitcases up the side of the stadium to luggage check. The lady at ticketing was unhelpful and painfully slow. She eventually gave us some tickets, to a mezzanine area with a buffet and private bar. Luckily we got to these seats in time for the last quarter. Soaking wet. Tired. Extremely frustrated at American Airlines. For BF the highlight of the game was Kevin Garnett (his favourite player) shooting the winning hoop with 5 seconds left on the clock. My highlight was seeing Golden State Warriors t-shirts being disbursed to the crowd by mini parachutes flying down from the ceiling.
The next day we wondered through Haight-Ashbury, where we were staying, and into the city. It all looked pretty much how I expected it, the beautiful painted Victorian houses and the hills. The first surprise for me was city hall, which I mistook for a duomo. I honestly had no idea that California was home to such a resplendent building. Being curious we walked in, and probably spent an hour just wandering around in awe of the place.
As I said the weather was miserable so we spent most of our time shopping. Although we did make trips to Tartine Bakery, St Mary’s, Pier 39, the Ferry Building and a few other institutions. Thank goodness for Uber Cabs getting us around in the horrible rain!
One of our favourite friends, Dave, lives in San Francisco, so the highlight of the city was spending time with him. We had a day in transit in SF on our way home and spent our last day with him. One thing I still wanted to do (despite the miserable weather) was see Coit Tower, so we went up there and it was pretty great. From there we could see Golden Gate Bridge, Lombard Street and a couple of other things the rain had separated me from. Dave encouraged me to finish our time in USA off in a very fitting way; by consuming a californian burrito. Bleh!
I haven’t found a lot of time for writing lately (hence this almost 3 months after I was there) but I will get on to Massachusetts and New York eventually.