Americas 2014 #3 – San Francisco Continues
This post… hmmm…there’s something about this post, you know?
I just read it again for the first time in years, and it just resonated in my bones, like a clanging bell, before making itself at home and settling in for the ride.
This post reminds me why I love to travel. Why it’s in my blood. Why I’ll never get enough of it.
To be honest, after reading last time’s instalment I thought to myself “Man, I am actually a really boring person. Do I really want to keep sharing these memories?”. The answer is a resounding ‘Yes’. Even if I didn’t care what you, my dear readers, thought, I’d share it just for me. You can almost see the difference in the two feature photos – comparing this post’s photo to the last one, it definitely looks like there was some tangible evolution of Emma Stuart in the few short days I was in San Fran.
“Yes, I know the posting has been irregular, but really, did you expect any less? I’m on holiday here!
Wednesday started with a trip 9 blocks up to the closest grocery store, Trader Joe’s. And by up, I mean up another one of San Fran’s famous hills. When we got there we were pleasantly surprised to see fresh food and meat, as well as a plethora of processed food, enough to warm any American’s heart. We decided on spaghetti for that night’s dinner, and basil pesto chicken sausages and salad for the following night. The ingredients for both of those dinners cost us less than any other single dinner or lunch out we had had so far… Why did we wait so long to do this!!!???
After returning our goods to the hostel kitchen, we went down to the reception to wait the half hour or so before we headed to our free guided walking tour, starting in Union Square. While we were waiting in the reception, another tour guide from a DIFFERENT tour sat near us and proceeded to take our emails. Before I knew it, Ryan had signed us up for a different tour (still free though) on ‘social movements in San Francisco’. Though I didn’t appreciate the change of plan without asking my opinion, I grudgingly accepted that it may be an interesting topic so went along with it (only grumbling a little bit). What followed is what I can only describe as a three hour intensive lecture on the social and economic cycles of world history since biblical times, with a little bit of walking thrown in. To be honest, I didn’t appreciate feeling like I was back in my school of social sciences degree, however I do have to give it to the preacher (sorry, guide) – he was definitely passionate. For the knowledgeable people back home, he was a self-professed Georgist. If you don’t know what that means, I suggest you look it up!
After that insightful morning we headed to a sandwich diner for lunch. I have been trying to make healthy choices when selecting my food (not an easy feat in the US), however when my crepe with salad arrived with a side of fried potatoes instead of salad, I decided ‘when in Rome…’. Ryan’s take on our food at the moment is that he’s ‘bulking for the Inca trail’ so at least I’m not alone.
What followed that afternoon was, in a word, fantastic. And not for any amazing reason or event, it was just a really great afternoon. We hired bikes, and spent the next 6 hours riding all over San Francisco. We rode downtown, through Golden Gate Park, up some ridiculously steep hills (OK, I’ll admit it, I walked the bike up some ridiculously steep hills), stopped at some cool lookouts, and finally, over the Piéce de Résistance, The Golden Gate Bridge (or as I keep accidentally calling it, the Gateway Bridge).
After crossing the bridge, we rode through this little town called Sauselito and stopped for ice cream, then caught the ferry back to San Francisco to ride the last 4ks back to the bike shop.
Despite getting a bit lost, Ryan falling off his bike trying to do a burn out on some gravel, me giving up riding the hills, missing the ferry coz I was too busy eating ice cream, and having to wait half an hour in the frigid cold at 5.30pm for the next one, it was all worth it. Even having to race to the bike shop because they closed at 7 ( we didn’t get there till 7.30 but they were only just closing up!), it was still the best time I’ve had since we’ve been here. I feel so appreciative to be able to go on these adventures, to be care free and forget the daily grind (at least for the moment). And that’s something I’m going to try to keep in mind for the rest of the trip.”
My kingdom for a free ticket to travel the world.