Hi everyone! Hope you’ve had a good week and weekend! The Hoch and I were with my aunt and family in Baltimore earlier this week. We enjoyed a Mother’s Day feast of Maryland Blue Crabs, grilled corn, ribs, baked beans, hush puppies, and deviled eggs on Sunday.
Monday we went for a much needed run and washed Hoch’s car along with packing for the long haul (no more living out of the car!). And then Tuesday, we were off to start our big travel the world adventure starting with a short stop in San Francisco!
We decided to add San Fran to the trip because neither one of us has been before and Hoch’s brother, Ki, lives there so we had a free place to stay! Ki is travelling to Korea with us as well.
We have only been to California once before and it was for a short trip to San Diego last summer. Both times, we have struggled to get on the Pacific Time Zone schedule. In San Diego, if we made it out to 10pm (1am East Coast Time), we high fived and called it a night. This trip has been no different and is a small taste of the jet lag we are about to experience! I pretty much woke up every morning around 5:30-6am no matter how late we tried to stay up the night before. My body slowly started to adjust as the week went on (just in time to get all out of wack again).
So to be honest, I did not do my research on San Francisco and really had no idea what to expect or where to check out with the exception of what I’ve seen on TV (Full House anyone?) and the movies (The Sweetest Thing, who remembers Cameron dancing up those hills?).
Anyways, we sort of winged it while still seeing some of the popular spots. Ki lives in an area called the Richmond District, which is on the west side of the peninsula. We took both the trolley bus and regular bus several times to see and walk around the different neighborhoods in San Fran and eventually decided to rent a car for a day trip out to wine country. On a side note, the public transportation is pretty decent, but one thing we did notice is that they did not seem very strict on payment. Several people would walk in through the back door without a pass or ticket and just sit down as if they had paid, which they clearly did not. Of course we always paid, but I think we could have easily gotten away without paying which seems odd to me.
The weather was chillier than I was anticipating and always started out pretty cloudy, but would transition to a beautiful sunny day by the afternoon. I learned the hard way and ended up with a little sunburn our first day out (I will spare you of any pics, but I actually tanned through the hole in my ripped jeans which now looks like a light bruise on my leg).
Here are some photos of some of our adventures in the city:
On Friday, we decided to go for a run, which ended up being more of a hike through some of the trails and along the beaches around the Golden Gate Bridge. It was pretty windy, but again a beautiful day to see the bridge. I was a little underwhelmed by the length of the bridge, for some reason I thought it was super long, but it is only 1.7 miles long (nothing like what the TZ bridge will be ;)). It was still cool to see and we walked to the first pier and back and by the time we got back to Ki’s place, we ended up running/walking about 6 miles.
Since we did so much walking during the day, by the time night time hit, we were usually pretty tired. So we only made it out on the town on Friday evening. We decided to check out an area called The Haight. We did a mini bar crawl and ate dinner there. This area is very hipster like and similar to East Village in NYC, but much smaller. To give you an idea, we got off the bus, saw a guy playing a guitar on the street, a homeless guy yelling at a wall, and a girl trying to sell us a weed as we walked by her all within one block. It was interesting to say the least. We ended up eating at a place called the Alembic. They had test tube size beers (no joke), cocktails, and an eclectic mix of gourmet, high cuisine. The Hoch convinced me to try the duck hearts and bone marrow. Yeah it sounds horrible, but it was not and I figured I might as well start getting used to eating different things. FYI Hoch really loved both, so if you’re into that kind of thing, check it out when in San Fran!
After dinner, we went to a few of the bars in the area. All the bars we went to were pretty busy, but if you were walking on the street, it looked dead which was a little odd. Anyways, we had a good time, but were in an uber heading back to the apartment before 10pm. Yeah, we just can’t party like we used to.
Saturday we rented a car and drove out to wine country. We were debating doing this and almost decided to stay and explore the city more, but I am soo glad we did! It was my favorite day of the trip. We drove to a small winery in Sonoma County, did a self-guided tour and tasting, drove to Sonoma for lunch, went to another winery in Napa Valley for a second tasting, and then ended up checking out a local brewery before heading back to San Fran. So it was not a full day of wine tastings (we did have to drive), but it was really cool. I am not a big wine person and I still thoroughly enjoyed it. If you like wine, you NEED to come here! The countryside is beautiful, just imagine rolling hills and vineyards everywhere. We enjoyed the drive as much as the tastings and the town of Sonoma is super cute with shops, restaurants, and more wine.
We decided to take a longer route, Highway 1, which runs along the coast of California, back down to San Francisco. Let me tell you, it was crazy. The maximum speed limit during this segment was 35mph, the road was super curvy, and it was along a cliff with no guiderails for a large portion of it! It was a little nerve wrecking (though I was probably just being a chicken). My phone had died at this point, but I did get some video on the Go-Pro that I want to edit/compile to share with you.
We stopped at Stinson Beach for dinner at a place called the Sand Dollar Restaurant. It was established in 1921 and was a cool, local spot with seafood. Two guys played jazz music in the corner, a dog chilled on the porch, and all sorts of people came and went for dinner and/or drinks. After dinner, we went for a short stroll on the beach and then made our way back to Ki’s place to pack and get ready for our flight to Korea.
Today, we are off to try In-N-Out (supposedly this is a must when in Cali) and then head to the airport. I will try and edit the Go-Pro videos during the flight and put together a San Fran video to share once we land! It is a 12 hour flight, so I think I can fit it in ;).
Until next time (In Korea)!
-To be fair US 1 was indeed batshit crazy. As the driver and roadway engineer I was amazed that a stretch of road like that could exist in this country. I did, however, thoroughly enjoy the drive.
-The weather here is reliably consistent in terms of temperature year-round, but presence of the sun is definitely a major factor. This may sound dumb but I swear it’s hotter and brighter here.
-Ki lives like you’d imagine a bachelor would. I’ve been there, but now I’m older and better than him so I can judge.