Monday, December 20, 2010

Be Sure to Wear Flowers In Your Hair...

...unless you have dreadlocks and don't want people to think you're more of hippie than they already do.  

Guys...nine months ago I told my friend Julie "I just want to get in a car and drive to California" and now I can say... I got in a car and drove to California. I am so happy to be able to say that. This trip has been so incredible in so many ways, and in time I will probably realize how it's amazing in so many more ways. I have learned so much about who I am, who I want to be and the life I want to live. I'm rambling. SanFran was awesome. After another beautiful drive up the coast I arrived at the airport to bid farewell to my Nissan Versa that helped me through my travels - a lot of PB&Js were made on that dashboard. I took the BART to the Civic Center and a cab to the corner of Baker and McAllister where Nate, dear Nate, met me. I took a much needed shower and met him and his girlfriend at MiniBar which was right down the street. Everyone here was so welcoming, I tried myself a nice local brew (and then some) and was sure to get a good night's sleep before the next day's events. 

I had a full day of being an obvious tourist. First thing I did was walk to Haight Street and have breakfast at Kate's Kitchen. Amazing. The west knows how to do breakfast. Afterwards, I needed to walk off the eggs and biscuit so I wandered over to Alamos Square and took a gander at the Painted Ladies. 

Anyone? Flashback? Full House was a staple growing up so this landmark was a must see, for the view, but also for nostalgia purposes. After this I got on a  bus to Chinatown and walked around a for a few hours. I would have loved to get some dim sum but was still really full so people watching and window shopping had to do. Anyone visiting SF should go to Chinatown. SF has the largest population of Asians in the US and the shops here are a filled with a mix of souvenirs and the real deal items catering to the population.

From Chinatown I walked down to Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 35 where I watched the famous sea lions that have made the docks their home, saw the "Bush Man", and watched people shop in overpriced stores. A bit down the way is an awesome arcade filled with antique, coin operated machines. I didn't play any of them but really enjoyed seeing them all. 

There were hundreds of them - a definite stop if you're in the area. Nate picked me up from the arcade (which made me feel like I was in middle school) and gave me a driving tour of the area as we worked our way to the Golden Gate Bridge. He's lived here for almost a year but hasn't gone all the way across the bridge so we did it together! 

This was an awesome leg of the trip.  I felt like I did a lot of the touristy things I wanted to do, but Nate also showed me around the neighborhood and I got a sense of what it was like to live here too. I didn't get to do everything I wanted but know I will be back. San Francisco marked the end of my western movement and I have begun the eastward trip back home. I'm still a bit behind on posting but rest assured you'll hear all about the Zephyr trip, Chicago and Cleveland all in due time. Right now I'm on a Greyhound bus headed for Buffalo, NY where I will be meeting up with my Dad and brother for a trip up to Toronto. Ay?

Bus love (though I think someone farted),


E. Y. Baynes said...

Yeah Bea!!
We got your postcard a few days ago. and i'm so pleased that your trip has been//is being wonderful.


Emily Pardoe said...

Oh Bea!! PROUD