Friday, May 7, 2010
San Fran Arrival
I was able to get away for a few days to breezy and beautiful San Francisco for a much-needed break after an intense term of school. Christina and I packed a lot of activity in the 4 days we were there and I will attempt to document our activities in the next few posts. I didn't indulge in anything choral related there but I definitely made it out to see a couple of shows :)
Upon our arrival and hauling our packs to our hostel, we took the cable car down to Fisherman's Wharf where we proceeded to find some lunch in an open market-like area. Christina has never tried any shellfish of any sort. Perhaps I should have been more sensitive to this fact before asking her if she wanted to split a crab as she watched one being placed into the steamer right next to her with tentative fear. Maybe crab and shrimp cocktail and some clam chowder instead. No exoskeleton to deal with. It's always good to start off less intense :) Christina was a great sport and was keen to try any and all things I threw her way as her culinary experiences have been limited due to numerous killer allergies in her household.
Following our lunch we walked through the wharf and decided to check out a bike rental place: Blazing Saddles. I've wanted to bike the Golden Gate bridge since the first time I've visited so I was definitely interested. However, upon arriving at the bike rental place, I realized that not only did I want to bike the bridge, I wanted to tandem bike the Golden Gate bridge! I wasn't sure if the timing would work out, they said it would take 1.5-2h, I looked at my watch, just after 4 pm. The route included biking across the bridge to the seaside town, Sausalito, on the other side. From there we could take the ferry back and the last boat left at 630 pm. It was totally possible to do! I looked at Christina with ecstatic enthusiasm and our eye contact was consensus enough. Yay for spontaneity!
I tried to sit at the front but my short legs proved to be too short to ride in the front so the seat of prestige went to Christina. I sat at the back and tried to keep the bike from wobbling. It was tough to steer or do any sharp movements but we got the hang of it once we started cruising. We climbed some pretty intense hills and I do believe it was easier to bike them since we had the power of two to push our bike forward and we even passed a biker on a hill who cursed us for our speed. The ride was just gorgeous! Right alongside the Marina waterfront and we got to use the unpopulated bike lane sidewalk on the bridge so we could just enjoy our ride. We also had super friendly locals help us along the way when we weren't quite sure which path to take. I highly recommend biking the bridge. You get to go through a beautiful part of San Fran where cars aren't allowed and you can choose to tour at your own pace. Upon arriving in Sausalito, we locked out bike to a traffic sign and took a water pit stop at a local grocery store. I just loved the freedom biking gave us. We could spend as much time as we wanted, whereever we wanted, and we could take photo stops along the way! It was just such a speedy and unique way to experience the city.
After taking the ferry back to the San Francisco side from Sausalito, we walked over to Ghiradelli's Square which houses the beloved San Francisco Ghiradelli's chocolate factory. There was a store attached to a dessert bar but we weren't feeling particularly hungry for a sundae at this point. We decided to check out the chocolate milling process and peruse the cute boutiques in the square which included Kara's Cupcakes where cupcakes are made from local organic ingredients, an adorable tea room Crown and Crumpet, wine tasting places, stationery stores, and restaurants. However, most shops were closed so we made a mental note to return. Especially since Christina fell in love with a polka dot teapot in the window of the Crown and Crumpet store.
After our chocolate viewing we took a harbourside tram back to downtown and had some Thai food before turning in at our hostel for the evening. It was a very eventful day considering we only arrived that afternoon!
Stay tuned for more posts!