Sunday, July 20, 2014

San Francisco: Day 1 - Wandering the City

Happy Birthday to me!
What a great birthday weekend. As all good vacations do, it flew by way too fast, and we wish we could have spent a week in San Francisco. We're already dreaming of coming back. But next time we'll fly, because driving in the city in rush hour is nail-bitingly awful. They definitely have Los Angeles beat on worst place to drive.

I wasn't sure if I'd blog while we're out of town, but we covered so much ground that I don't think I'll remember all the details in a week. We'll start with Thursday night, when Joe decided to see if there was a cancellation fee for the rental car by clicking "cancel" on our registration. Instead of asking if we were sure we wanted to cancel, the site got rid of our car - no questions asked. So we were without a rental car the night before our trip and decided to just drive up in Joe's truck. That actually worked out better because all of our stuff comfortably fit, and we could leave earlier. We drove about 7 hours (including stops) and wound up in San Francisco by 3:00. Ezzy was a champ in that long car ride. I think he cried like ten minutes total, took two mini naps, and spent a long time playing with empty water bottles. Success!

We rented a studio apartment through Airbnb and that worked out really well with us. Other than a towel shortage, I loved the place. As soon as we put our stuff in the apartment we put on some walking shoes and went down to the piers to explore. I told Joe that all I wanted for my birthday were some margaritas and cake. As you can see from the above picture, my birthday was a success. Throw in some clam chowder + a bread bowl and I had one happy tummy. Birthday Bonus: a Johnny Depp wax statue was just chillin' in the entrance at the Madame Tussaud Museum. 

After exploring Fisherman's Wharf, we headed back home - unknowingly taking the looong way. On the way to the piers, the ground was flat and it took under an hour at a meandering pace. On the way back we were hiking up steep hills and eventually wound up at Coit Tower at the top of Telegraph Hill. Gorgeous sunset/dusk views, but still 1.8 miles from our apartment - the exact same distance as when we'd set out for home an hour earlier. Not exactly the most efficient path home, but that's how we like to vacation. We get a little lost, explore at leisure, and just see where our feet take us. On the way back we walked through Little Italy, which I'm sure we wouldn't have gone to on purpose, but it had such great character that I'm glad we discovered it. There were colorful lights strung up across the streets, tons of cute restaurants, and a bustling night life. 

One of the most beautiful cities in the world with my favorite people in the world - what a perfect way to ring in my 31st year.

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