I’m not a big city girl. on my big trip to CA, I knew I had to see San Francisco. I built the trip around it.
After lolly-gagging down the Pacific Coast Hwy from Point Reyes National Seashore (I had to skip Muir woods, which nearly broke my heart), looking into SA, I realized I was in for a life changing experience:
DRIVING IN SAN FRANCISCO
I missed the turn off in to the park at the foot of Golden Gate Bridge. That bummed me out. I love park information centers and their exibits, the informational films, the bookstores. Love them!
It was around 4pm. Late enough to catch traffic. Stopped at a grocery then found the neighborhood of the hostel I had booked for four nights. But God…the parking? I got clanged at by a trolley, drove around the block twice, finally figured out how the meters worked (reading their cryptic rules) and parked a few streets away. Schlepped up my luggage bag four flights of stairs to the hostel lobby. (More knee therapy.)
Charming, yes, all those tall, skinny buildings I always though to be charming. NOT!
Wasn’t sure what to expect, staying in a hostel, hadn’t done so since Banff, Canada in 1996 and 1997 for a film festival. You can’t beat 24$ or so a night, in a city that charges you $100+ a night for a room in the sketchy parts of town and a third that to park a car for 12 hours. Essential, though, EARPLUGS. There’s not much privacy, especially in a mixed gender dorm which I was not mentally prepared for. Never quite got used to it.
Anyhoo, in the interest of expediency in posting, I will now attempt a sort of photodocumentatary of my four days in SF, trying to keep commentary to a minimum and letting you, dear reader, fill in some of the blanks with your mind. Alcatraz and Golden Gate Park I shall keep seperate as there was just too much content to include. I want you alive and breathing after reading these posts, after all!
A bit of background, I stayed in the Financial district, on the edge of Chinatown, walked/rode the bus everywhere. Fit in A LOT in four days and hunger for more time there. Soon.
People you see from old busses. LOTS of people playing chess.
The MECCA. Britex Fabrics. THREE (count ’em, three floors of fabrics and notions. Not cheap. I was good. Bought only a beautiful button that will be on a certain someone’s Xmas gift this year. (Hint…not mine!)
While looking for the street to Britex, this gal, Natalie, plucked me off the street and offered me a free haircut. She needed a “model.” Ha! Snort! She must have felt pity on me for I had no hairdryer access and the humidity gave my desert relaxed curls license to go “BOING!” Not pretty. Brillo pad hair, really. But Natalie, she just moved from San Luis Obispo, down the coast, was starting in a SWANKY salon and working up the ropes. She needed numerous supervised cuts before she could have paying customers. Natalie, if you read this, message me so I can see how you’re doing! I lost the business card you gave me and can’t remember the name of the salon. She’s a doll. Loved her. Glad I caved in to her odd, on the street request for a “model.” Loved the cut! Blow out lasted a couple days.
Chinatown just one block away from the hostel. Had many suppers up there. Cool neighborhood. Fun shopping. Lots of skinned critters in shop windows I would never buy. Beautiful at night in an otherworldly way.
CASTRO NEIGHBORHOOD. Murals and an old church. Best BLT I’ve ever had I had at a cafe who’s name slips me. I really should journal more while traveling. Found a yarn store in that neighborhood called Imagiknit. Wow. They had everything there. We’re talking serious quantities. Bought my first Malabrigo yarn there, two skeins for the Harvest Mittens on the Fall Vogue Knitting magazine and a hat of some sort. Red. Super soft. Super squishy. Once I get all these Xmas gifts done, I’ll knit you, my pretty! Mmmmmmalabrigo! I was like a kid in a candy store.
Castro had many murals.
Beautiful victorian architecture.
Even a fancy fascade on a high school.
On an old church.
Did cheesy touristy things like ride a cable car. Line took 45 min or so. I knit on a sock. No worries. Some guy, in a black suit, had the audacity to walk along the line of tourists and say, “Folks, looks like a 45 minute line. I have a limo that can take you anywhere in the city!” Was he crazy? They were there for the SF cable car experience. Not a limo. The ride was a blast. I would do it again. They haul a@#! Can’t believe the cable system works and they actually stop. Amazing…I rode it the whole way.
Went to Pier 39 (?) at Fishermans Wharf to see the Sea Lions, loud, stinky, farting critters they are.
Then, ducked off the beaten cobblestone path to the real wharf with real boats and such. Fascinating.
Old, rusty fishing boats.
Next day, ALCATRAZ. That’s worth a full post of it’s own. Tommrow I’ll post it. I’m beat.