Monday, July 6, 2015

San Francisco Layover (2015 Summer Adventures Part 4)

Disclaimer: The main reason for these posts is to remember our amazing trip in the summer of 2015.  There will probably be too many details and lots of parenthetic statements.  Feel free to scroll through and just look at pictures.  Also, I am a runner - not a writer.

On Monday, July 6th we started our UK Backpacking Adventure Trip at 3am.  We had gone to bed pretty late the night before, but we were so excited that we did not feel too tired.  You know who your friends are when you ask, "Can you drive us to the airport at 4am?"

We got to the airport and realized that we were not the only people catching an early flight the Monday morning after the July 4th weekend (whoops!).  We got in a long security line at 4:53am and got through security by 5:30.  Our flight boarded at 5:40am.  We napped and read the in-flight magazine on our way to San Fran (it is a somewhat long story as to why flew from Denver to SFO to Dublin if you want to hear the whole long thing ask me)  We arrived in SFO at 7:45am (local time).  We met Michael (who had been a volunteer since 2001) at the tourist info desk.  He gave us a briefing on BART (Bay Area Public Transportation) and attractions to check out.

Equipped with some maps and info, we set off.  I thought California had played a bad trick on us - it was freezing!  And the subway/BART was ghe-tto! (Ian would say that I am acting like a first world white girl right now...ahem).  Once we got to the Empardicio stop, I was happy to see palm trees and the ocean - wootwoot!  We started at Pier 0 and started walking towards Pier 40 (maybe a mile-ish).  We stopped for coffee along the way.  All the piers were along the ocean.  We toured Pier 39, it had cool shops.  We tried to see the seals that usually hang out in the area, but there was only 1 and it was not a healthy seal.  We learned that the seals swim to Mexico in the summer and then return in early to mid August.
We could see Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge.  Thankfully, California was good to us and it warmed up.

San Francisco is to China as bike rides are to 1 dollah, 1 dollah, 1 dollllaaahhhh.  (Everywhere you go, there are people aggressively trying to talk you into a taking a bike ride over the Golden Gate Bridge just like the one dollar people in China).

We found the Buena Vista Cafe.  It is about 2 blocks off the ocean and known as the American Home of the Irish Coffee.  We hang out with some friends every Friday night and every Friday night we have an Irish Coffee after dinner.  It signals "weekend" to us.  We split an Irish Coffee - the best part (in my opinion) is the hand whipped, whipped cream - yum!  The bartender was quirky and beyond laid-back.  He made the Irish Coffees without a care if he splashed too much coffee or accidentally spilled some.

Then we walked up a long steep hill (we had our backpacks with us all day) to see Lombard Street.  There were great views of the ocean.  We took a few pictures once we found Lombard Street and then headed back down to Fisherman's Warf.

Everyone (and I do mean every single person that we know from the west coast) holds a high opinion of In-N-Out.  Neither Ian or I had eaten there before so we thought, "when in California, eat some InNOut".
The place was PACKED.  We both had a burger and fries, the burger scored a 6.5/10 for us.  Once we finished lunch, we had back to the BART stop and returned to the airport.  We got through security fast.  We found our gate and just hung out for a while.  We boarded the plane around 4:45-5pm.  I remember thinking, "We could fly home right now and I would feel like we have been on vacation...and the adventure hasn't even started."

It was not the best flight of my life, but it was definitely not the worst.  It was also a long flight (10ish hours) but we have definitely flown for longer.  I drank too much coffee, not enough water.  There were unsupervised teenagers.  And the little TV on the back of the seats was hit or miss.  On the upside, we had a great "goody bag" with inflatable neck pillows, earbuds, earplugs, green socks, toothbrush and toothpaste.

The verse we memorized during our trip was "The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him and He helps me.  My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him."  Psalm 28:7

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for blogging your trip!

    My first In-N-Out burger when we moved to California (1986)had a rotten tomato and I couldn't stand the sight of one for most of the time we lived there. But I got over it and did enjoy a few before we moved out of CA.

    You did see a lot of SanFran in a short time.