Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco

Fisherman’s Wharf was cool, but also absolutely terrifying. One word, seagulls. I can’t stand them and there they were aplenty! I arrived in the area via the old style cable car on the Powell-Mason line. From where it drops you off it was just a five minute walk over to Fishermans Wharf and there are lots of shops along the way to distract you. It’s a great spot to pick up souvenirs and some of the vendors will barter if you try 🙂

20141207-155037.jpg
20141207-155629.jpg

When I arrived at the wharf I walked through the tight little passageway where all the seafood stalls have their grub on display for your salivating pleasure. There were so many stands with so many things! However, they all basically serve their seafood in similar ways. The sourdough bread bowls full of clam chowder looked to die for! I wasn’t really hungry so I just bought myself a little bowl of mixed seafood for the sake of it and decided to find a spot near the water to relax and eat it.

20141207-155243.jpg

Not so. The entire time I had any food I was on guard, certain a seagull was going to swoop down and fly away with my shrimp. They were EVERYWHERE. Then there were ticket touts trying to get me to buy tickets for all sorts of things. I finally found a spot on a bench and sat down. I even had a view of the bay and Alcatraz. I proceeded to eat, without much enjoyment because of my feeling of impending doom. Then for some unknown reason, a tour group decided to gather around me for their meeting. I sat encircled by the crowd of them thinking, is this for real? It’s not like they couldn’t see me.

20141207-155509.jpg

At that point, I gave up. I fought my way to freedom and walked over to the water for a better view of the prison island. Then, a nearby man threw a bunch of food in front of him, for the seagulls. Several swooped down and that was my final cue to leave the area. The walk was nice, especially since I didn’t have any food and was no longer a moving target. There is the famed Pier 39, museums, a shopping centre and aquarium. You can spot sea lions playing in the water, there are lots of photo opps and you can even rent a bike and ride along so you can see more of that stretch called the Embarcadero. I walked all the way down along it to the the Ferry Building. It was a very lengthy, but good walk.

If you’re going to Fishermans Wharf, these are my recommendations: eat inside. As tempting as the lovely views and beautiful weather are, it isn’t worth it. Get a bike, you’ll cover more ground and it’s just a fun, nice way to explore the area and San Francisco in general. Runaway from all men holding food. Unless that’s you… In which case, hurry up and eat your food x_x Add all the events during your visit, good and not so good to your memory bank so you can laugh about it later. Ha, ha. Ha.

~~~The Wandering Pier

Riding the Cable Car in San Francisco

For $6 you can jump on the traditional old style cable car in San Francisco and take a ride up to Fisherman’s Wharf or hop off at the windiest road in the world (Lombard Street). This one is definitely for the tourists. An out of towner special. You can get on or off at any stop, but in order to get the full $6 worth, you might as well ride from one end to another or stop off at a good point of interest. Also, if you’re not boarding at a starting point, there may not be room for more passengers, because they get pretty packed out.
20140803-144729.jpg
There was a long line, but it moved along moderately and after a 20-30 minute wait I was able to board. However, this was in May. At peak times of year, you should expect to wait longer. There is more than one route as well, so make sure the cable car you’re boarding is the correct route to get you to your destination.
20140803-145539.jpg
I opted to sit outside to get what I considered the fuller experience. Inside was pretty crowded and of course the views were more obstructed. On the outside it was pretty exciting, sitting on the edge and whizzing by people and traffic. You can also stand and sort of hang off the side of it, as I’m sure you’ve seen in many a movie!
20140803-145848.jpg
20140803-145957.jpg
I found the whole thing pretty exciting, as flashbacks of the opening of Full House played in my head. Ah, nostalgia. It really felt like a scene in a movie, after seeing it so many times on screen. Our driver was also pretty hilarious. As we peaked the highest point of the ride and went over the hill, a lovely view of the ocean greeted us, lined with the buzzing streets down below. Gliding down the hill was like an extremely mild roller coaster, though we did have some speed behind us *wheeeeee*!
20140803-150139.jpg
20140803-150659.jpg
At the last stop, everyone alighted, including the driver. He then assisted the other staff members with manually turning the cable car around, using the rotating plate it sat on, on the road. I thanked the driver and went off to explore some new territory.

20140803-150847.jpg

Hotdogs, Garlic Fries and Baseball

My friend bought some baseball tickets for us to hit up a game while on our Californian road trip. When we worked in Korea together, for two seasons we tried to go, but for one reason or another it didn’t happen. I was most pleased when he told me he had gotten tickets to see the San Francisco Giants! I was excited about the game and also about crossing it off my bucket list 🙂
20140809-165051.jpg
We arrived early and each got a souvenir apron upon entry. Yeahhh! Then there were some players doing signings, so I got an autograph from a player. Unfortunately, I still don’t know his name. Sorry! We walked around the stadium and I took in all the sights as we slowly made our way up to what would be classed at the nosebleed section.
20140809-165256.jpg20140809-165532.jpg
This turned out to be a major blessing. In my opinion the view was pretty good, but aside from that we had a fantastic shaded area. It was an extremely clear day in the bay, which I’ve heard is not often the case. So with the clear blue sky came the blazing sun.
20140809-170605.jpg
20140809-170845.jpg
The atmosphere at the ballpark was jovial and of course my own excitement meant I was buzzing. I was forewarned that baseball games could go on for quite some time and could get boring too, so I was mentally prepared for that. I sat with the kids and read their baseball books with them. By the time the game started, I had a good idea of some things like foul, foul lines, bases loaded and a force out.
20140809-170042.jpg
20140809-165802.jpg
As far as games go, this one was great one for a beginner (and regulars too I’d guess) as it was punctuated by some exciting plays. The Giants were playing the Minnesota Twins and kicking their butts. I cheered my little baseball newbie heart out, “Let’s Go Giants!”. During the seventh-inning stretch (that’s the break in the middle of the 7th inning) we went to get a couple snacks. A hotdog which we HAD to get because we were at a baseball game. And garlic fries which we HAD to get because we were at a baseball game in San Francisco and this is apparently a must. They were nice, but boy were they garlicky. I really like garlic, but even for me it was a lot.
20140809-171315.jpg
We returned to watch the remainder of the game, which from the score, it was clear that the Giants were set to be the victors. The experience I had was pretty much exactly as I thought it would be, based on numerous movies and tv shows. It was a fun day out and definitely something I’d be up for doing again. Let’s Go Giants 😉

20140809-171445.jpg

The Golden Gate Bridge

The first time I set eyes on the Golden Gate Bridge, I was with some friends driving to San Francisco from Sacramento. It was a truly beautiful Sunday afternoon and we’d had an enjoyable ride down. As we approached the bridge, I was in awe of it. We drove across it, heading to my next stop in California and I really couldn’t believe it as it was happening.
20140822-170319.jpg
For years I had seen this iconic bridge on TV shows and in movies and now I was just causally driving across it. It was unreal. I looked back over my shoulder, peering at it in wonder, as we drove on into San Francisco.

20140822-170219.jpg
A few days later my friend and his housemate drove me to the bridge so I could really see it. This is redundant, but I’ll say it anyway- it is MASSIVE! This modern wonder actually lived up to and surpassed my expectations. Luckily for me, it was a clear, gorgeous day at the bay, so I was able to see some fantastic views and get some great shots.
20140822-170442.jpg
20140822-170608.jpg
After taking in the view from where we had parked, we took at stroll onto the bridge. I didn’t really feel like I was that high up until we stopped to peek over the railing. My goodness, the drop was immense. When you look up to get the full height of it, your head has to tilt right back to see it all. For me it was definitely a wonder.
20140822-172239.jpg
20140822-170918.jpg
20140822-172433.jpg
When the picture taking reached it saturation and the evening chill descended upon us, we made our way back to the car. I was most pleased with our little outing. If you ever get a chance to visit the fabulous city of San Francisco, make sure to dedicate some time to seeing the Golden Gate Bridge. Go for a walk across it or you can rent bikes and ride across. From my experience I think you definitely won’t regret it!

20140822-172623.jpg

Visiting the Golden Gate Park

20140626-173410.jpg

I had the afternoon free, so I decided to head over to Golden Gate Park. The hardest part about that was picking what to see. That place is massive! I checked the map and decided I would realistically be able to see about 2 areas of the park at a leisurely pace. I settled on the botanical garden and the Japanese tea garden.

20140626-171737.jpg

20140627-111206.jpg
The botanical garden was free that day~ yay. So I got myself a map and set off on my stroll. The park was largely divided by regions/countries of the world, along with some other categories.

20140626-171930.jpg
20140626-172134.jpg

I wandered through it all. I was particularly interested in the garden of fragrance, because I love the smell of fresh flowers and fragrant plants. I also wanted to check out the South Africa area, since I missed out on going to the botanical garden in Cape Town earlier this year and it’s suppose to be pretty impressive.

20140626-172341.jpg
20140626-172537.jpg

20140626-172648.jpg

After taking in the sights and smells there, I headed over to the Japanese garden. However, given that you had to pay to enter and they had less than an hour before closing, I decided to give it a miss. From the outside it looked pretty though ^_^
20140626-172825.jpg

I would love to go back to San Francisco in general and when I do, I’ll be making the Golden Gate Park a priority. With bike riding, a conservatory of flowers, lakes and a Segway tour, why wouldn’t I? Check it out if you get a chance. Go back if you have already been. You know you want to.

20140626-173105.jpg
20140626-173238.jpg