My trip to San Francisco was pretty much the opposite of roughing it. My travel buddy and I forwent a hostel and instead ended up in a lovely hotel on Union Square with her family. The two of us ventured out and through a little art show on the square and stopped off in Chinatown where I invested in an ‘I ❤ SF’ T-shirt for a whole $1.88 (+ tax), marking myself out as a proper tourist.
We then took a sneaky peak in Tiffany’s. I love the movie and had never seen one in real life. I was sure the bouncer wasn’t going to let us in but we made it inside, felt very out of place, and went back outside again. We ended up at the cable car station and went for a ride, up and down the many hills of San Francisco and we ended up by Fisherman’s Wharf.
The first place we visited was a World-Mart where we found actual PG Tips tea. After three whole days of no tea, we were getting desperate. I think we may have scared the sales assistant. Two British girls, rushing towards him, asking where the tea was and then making shrieking noises when we spotted it.
Afterwards, we went down to the seafront and found views of Alcatraz and the Golden Gates, before making our way to Pier 39, stumbling across a break-dancing show on the way. In an attempt to do as the locals do, we treated ourselves to a corn-dog. I not sure I see the appeal. On Pier 39, we found a shop called Antiquities which turned out to be full of memorabilia, full of guitars signed by the greats. I think we both considered just spending our travel money on them. Once we’d returned to reality, we wandered to the end of the pier, posed for a photo and then caught the cable-car back. This time there were no available seats so we had to cling onto the sides. I’m not sure health and safety would let us do such things in London, so it was a bit of an adventure.
For dinner we went to the best named restaurant in history: The Cheesecake Factory. It was as good as it sounds. I never used to be that much of a cheesecake fan, but after that night, everything changed. The main courses were huge, mine even defeated me. We ended up getting our cheesecake to go. This turned out to be the best way to do it as we spent the night with a cheesecake picnic in front of the Blind Side. Our flavours of choice were Oreo, Godiva chocolate and banana. The day that restaurant finds its way to the UK, I will be a very happy chappy.
The next day was a testament to the song lyrics “always take the weather with you” as that appears to be what we did. We brought rainy England to sunny California. It poured. But that didn’t put a dampener on our day. (Geddit?) We found an Italian restaurant in North Beach for lunch, before stopping off Haight-Ashbury, which seemed to be San Francisco’s equivalent to Camden- minus the market and the lock. We braved the rain and ventured into the shops. The highlight was finding a shop called Amoeba Records, the single greatest music shop I have ever found. They had everything, CDs, DVDs, T-shirts and lots and lots of vinyls. Sadly this was not the time to buy. But I know where to go when I return. Finally, it was time to head back to San Jose.