Tuesday, September 21, 2010

California...at last (Day 1)

Well - I finally got my photos uploaded on Sunday while watching the Cowboys lose (so sad). I'll break my wonderful trip to Northern Cali into two (maybe three) posts, as most pics were taken in San Fran and will make for a mighty long post today. So bear with me...


I flew from the dirty H to San Fran. On my flight, as chance would have it, I sat next to a woman whose daughter graduated from the same high school I did, only 9 years later. Wow, I felt old in that moment. So, we chatted a lot on the flight, and I sipped from my vodka cranberry and watched Letters to Juliet.

I arrived in San Fran to cool temperatures. I always love that feeling of stepping off a plane and its 30 degrees colder than it was when you stepped on the plane. Ah lovely.

I was picked up by Sarah and Candice (two of my wonderful college roomies) and we headed to Mountain View, CA, which is just south of San Fran. We picked up some Thai food on the way home, and arrived to a table fully set and lots of wine poured by Sarah's hubby Michael. We ate, drank, and chatted for a while! It was so good to be around these girls again.

Sarah and Michael had a baby boy in May. His name is Andrew Charles Bloem. He is adorable. I unfortunately did not get to meet him that first night, but definitely made up for it the remainder of the trip!

Saturday - San Fran Day!

We woke up bright and early. Michael made us a breakfast of Pancakes and Bacon which were yummy. I finally met Andy. He was as awesome as I imagined. We dressed him in a Baylor onesie, because he is a Baylor Bear fan (of course), I believe Michael changed him out of it after we left for San Fran into a Michigan onesie, Andy told us later that he was offended ;)

We headed into San Fran, right into some classic San Fran fog, which made it almost impossible to see the Golden Gate bridge that day (more on that later).

Our first stop was the Ferry Building for a Farmer's Market that is held there every Saturday morning. And man, it was massive. So much fresh fruit and veggies and meat and flowers. I loved every minute of it, and I'm sure if I lived in the city I would go every Saturday!

Ferry Building - which after having seen it and now subsequently watched movies set in San Fran, its in a lot of those movies.

At the farmers market, in front of the bay bridge.

Lots of people at the farmer's market.

After the farmer's market, we headed down to Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf, which was tourist central. Pier 39 was fun, but reminded me a lot of Kemah. We picked a restaurant that looked like it had good food (which it did) and ate there, and waited to meet up with a couple of friends (Jae and Aaron) who were visiting San Fran that weekend also.

After lunch, we walked around Fisherman's Wharf, and then walked up to Ghirardelli. I'm not a chocolate lover. I prefer fruit flavored candy, but I somehow managed to buy a plethora of chocolate at Ghirardelli, go figure. Along the way, we saw Alcatrez (which when I return to San Fran I fully intend on visiting!) and we also saw some seals hanging out on the dock (of the bay). Which we all thought were really cool, but apparently looking at seals all the time makes you pretty ambivalent to their presence (cough - candice - cough).

From there, we decided to not wait in the line for the trolley to take us up to Lombard St (the windy road street), and instead chose to walk up a massive hill to see it ourselves. Man, was it a climb, but did manage to get some good views of the city and bay out of it.

Once we reached the top, we took some obligatory photos (see above and below), and then walked down Lombard St. There is a massive line of cars waiting to drive down this street. All I could think about was the people who actually lived off of this street, and what they must go through on a daily basis to just get in and out of their own garages. No thanks. At this point, after walking up the steep hill, and then walking down a steep hill, my legs were in full shake mode. I'm glad I didn't fall, although the thought of curling up in a ball and rolling down the hill did cross my mind.

At the top of Lombard St.

Looking up at Lombard St.
 After our treacherous climb down (jk), we headed back to get Sarah's car from Pier 39. Along the way though, we found some trolley's empty, and the driver allowed us to take some photos with the trolley. So we did. I tried to be "too cool" to take the photos on the trolley, but my too coolness was interrupted by the lifetime memories I could make :)

Aftering getting back to Sarah's car, we headed to the other side of San Fran, and drove past the Full House houses.

And, we drove through Haight-Ashbury, and stopped for coffee there for a little while. It was getting pretty cold in San Fran and the fog never really lifted.

After coffee, we headed to Chinatown for dinner. Before dinner, we stopped in at the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory, which was located in an ally. Thanks to my gps on my phone, we were able to locate the right ally, and all purchased some cookies. I paid $.50 to take the picture below, well worth it -

We had dinner in Chinatown, and then dropped Jae and Aaron off at their fab hotel, and we headed back to Mountain View.

I definitely got in a full days worth of sightseeing that day, and saw a lot of San Fran in one visit. I can't wait to go back though!

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