Have you ever stepped foot in a new place and realized, almost instantly, that you absolutely loved it there? That’s what happened to me in San Francisco this past week. We had spent the day driving through the Redwoods and I was exhausted, dead on my feet. But when we drove over the Golden Gate Bridge, I instantly woke up. It was like a shot of adrenaline!
It’s hard to describe the feeling I got when we crossed the bridge. Perhaps it had to do with the history of the bridge, or how famous a landmark it is. All I can say is that if you have the option to drive over it, you should definitely take it.
Since it was so late, we only had dinner on our minds. On our way to dinner, we passed the Painted Ladies which was on my to-do list mostly from watching Full House religiously growing up. The park across the street was closed, so I had to snap a photo from the sidewalk. You don’t get quite the same impression as you would had I been head on, but they’re still a pretty spectacular sight to see.
After putting in a a few hours of work at the Morning Due, we set out to explore as much as we could. With only one full day in the city we couldn’t see everything we wanted to, but we made our list of top attractions and crossed off what we could.
Our first stop: the 16th Street tiled steps! Before Ryan mentioned it, I didn’t even know these existed. The risers of 163 located at 16th and Moraga are covered in tile designs, and are seriously out of this world. The project was started in January 2003 and unveiled and celebrated on August 27th, 2005. Over 300 neighbors helped make the tiles alongside artists Aileen Barr and Colette Crutcher; 220 neighbors actually sponsored handmade tiles embedded in the mosaic.
Since we went relatively early in the morning, we had the steps to ourselves. We climbed to the top and slowly made our way down, taking photos from each landing.
Our next stop, the Golden Gate Bridge Visitor Center! The man behind the bridge, Joseph Strauss, was both an engineer and a poet. The art deco touches from the towers down to the lights made the bridge stand out, at least to me, as much as the famous red color. The bridge officially opened in May of 1937 and was at the time the longest suspension bridge in the world at 4,200 feet.
After reading about the Bridge, we took the trail from the visitor center to Chrissy Fields, walking along both the beach and the path and enjoying the sun. My favorite part? Not the sun, not the sand, not even the Golden Gate Bridge which we could see in the distance. No, it was the hordes of dogs playing on the beach and swimming in the ocean. Dogs are prohibited on the beached in Seattle, so Sascha only ever saw them from a distance unless we drove to special parks with beach access for pups.
For dinner we went to Chinatown for dim sum. We walked around a bit and looked in all of the shops catering to tourists. We bought a few small tokens to remember our experience and headed over to Li Po Cocktail Lounge to try some famous Chinese Mai Tai drinks. I was a bit nervous watching the bartender mix all of the different liquors together, but it was so delicious I wanted a second one!
That night we drove up to Twin Peaks Lookout to see the city twinkle below us. It was a gorgeous sight, and the perfect way to end our trip.
Up next we have some time in Arizona and then we are on to Texas! Do you have any suggestions for San Antonio or Austin?
Until next time!