Saaaaaan Francisco: the city that was at the top of our list for med school, that quickly went to the bottom. Why, you ask? Because you pay for everything with your first born, and then your second born, and then possibly your third born. Thanks, but I'd like to keep my future babies. It was beautiful, though, and that almost won my heart over. Then I had to pay $50 per night for parking at my hotel that I already paid $150 for. Anyways, moving on from the money aspect which probably annoyed me more than it should have since we were at the end of our trip and counting out pennies for the toll-fees for the bridges...
So let's back up to the drive from Ashland to San Francisco. In between the vast open deserts there were gorgeous little lakes and rivers and mile after mile of windmills.
This water? Truly was that blue. It popped up out of no where on the drive that had consisted of plenty of brown thus far and I was like, 'WE HAVE TO STOP! IT'S SO BLUE!' I honestly don't know if I've ever seen water so blue in real life.
After plenty of more brown scenery, we got to a bridge.
And then another bridge.
Aaaaaand then another bridge.
Fortunately I really like bridges, especially huge ones, so I had fun driving over them.
Once we got to the hotel, The Good Hotel (which was actually a good hotel), we didn't do anything but hangout in the room. By the time we drove through traffic and unloaded all the expensive things from the car, we were exhausted so we just ate some snacks and watched TV. Don't let the room number fool you, we were really up two flights of stairs, down a skinny hallway that barely fit the handlebars on Vince's bike, and around two corners.
In the morning, we woke up to go ride our bikes on the gnarly streets of San Francisco. I didn't anticipate the 13 miles (edit: Vince said it was 20 miles) we rode up and down the craziest hills ever, but it was fun. We started down by the pier, which had a lot of little touristy things.
We quickly found an In-N-Out and ate there because we hadn't eaten yet. While I have no photographic evidence, the place was SO packed. There were close to 40 orders in front of us! But, in good In-N-Out fashion, we didn't wait longer than 10 or so minutes. From there we headed to the Golden Gate Bridge, which was honestly a miserable but beautiful ride.
It was so so windy and my ears are really sensitive to wind so I had a massive headache. We were pedaling and felt like we weren't going anywhere! Even Vince was having a hard time. Once we got to the bridge, though, it wasn't so bad. The wind was still there but we were no longer riding directly into it, and the beauty of the bridge kind of overrode all the other thoughts in my mind.
We went on the pathway on the bridge, and this is where all hell broke lose. So we stopped at the crisis hotline phone to take a picture of the sign as well as get some of Alcatraz Island.
We set our bikes against the wall in a little corner completely out of peoples way. All of the sudden, this tourist guide comes up to us completely overdramatic telling us to 'MOVE THE BIKES NOW.' We quickly started moving towards our bikes and he picks mine up and essentially throws it out of the way! It got caught up it Vince's bike and they both took a tumble. Immediately, I was like, 'FUCK YOU. Don't touch my bike!' At this time, my bike was pretty much brand new and I was being protective of it. He proceeded to yell at us telling us we had to move because he was doing a guided tour, to which I promptly replied, 'Oh, so you own the bridge now and can tell people where to go? You can't stand five feet to the right of this spot where there is more than enough space?' At this point, his entire group was staring at him like he was the biggest ass and one apologized to me. Fortunately, at the start of the bridge, there was a little shop that sold tours, and luck would have it that he worked for them based on the fact that they all wear red jackets and he was wearing one. Vince made a complaint against him and then I was able to relax again.
The rest of our day was much better. After the bridge, we stopped in a grassy park because my legs were tired, I needed to take my pants off because I was hot (I'm sure I had shorts on) and I needed my gluten free cookies.
We rode along and ate at In-N-Out once again before heading back towards the hotel. The ride from the hotel to the water was simple because it was all downhill, and as we headed back to the hotel I realized that is would all be uphill. Like, uphill.
At one point, I had to walk because it was so steep I couldn't actually peddle my bike. When I started walking, I for sure thought my legs were going to fall off because I had to walk on the balls of my feet and not put my heel down because it was that steep. It was insane! There were plenty of pretty house and great views to distract us, however, like the typical pretty colored houses that line the streets.
And some sadly burned houses.
We managed to make it to the top of the hill only to ride down an equally steep hill on the other side which landed us by the library and City Hall. City Hall had this lotus flower blow up thing. I don't know why it was there, but it was pretty.
After that we went to the hotel room to change before going out to eat. We found a restaurant online that was completely gluten free called Pica Pica. It was about a mile and a half away so we just walked there. SO AMAZING. We both got Maize'wiches and then some empanadas to share. They were both some of the best things I've ever eaten.
On the walk home we took another route which put us at City Hall again, as well as by the subway system which I wanted to see because I had never seen an underground train before. It was so clean, unlike the NYC subway! (Not that I've ever been.) I mean, the floors were literally white.
This led us to the edge of the Castro District. I was wondering why there were so many ads up of gay bars, almost naked people, drag queens, porn theaters, and the 'Man Eating Lesbian Club'. Then I saw a trolley go by that said 'Castro District' and it all made sense! (Though I have to say that the majority of the Castro District is NOT like this.)
We got to one area and the entire street was just people doing drugs. Right there, out in the open, crack was being smoked, cocaine was being snorted, and weed was being rolled. I was like, 'What. The. Hell. How do we always walk through places like this, Vince?!' He laughed at me and said that I was lucky to be with him because I stuck out like no other in my $300 bright red Patagonia jacket, my $150 tennis shoes, and my white skin.
We quickly got out of there and went back to the hotel room. We relaxed there for a bit and took showers, then walked to Whole Foods before it closed so we could get stuff for dinner. Apparently a lot of houses are being renovated because there were tons of sidewalks covered in scaffolding.
We came across a road block of police cars and asked an officer what was going on, and he said President Obama was in town! He was staying at the hotel a couple blocks from ours and the officers had the whole area blocked off.
On the way back from the market, we saw a place that had a bunch of machinery, like welding tools, cutting tools, etc. Vince was curious and wanted to see what it was, and it ended up being a place where you pay a monthly membership and you can use all these tools worth millions of dollars. A lot of people go there to make prototypes for new inventions! So we talked to the guy for a bit, mentioned Obama was in town and he told us a crazy story. Apparently, one of the guys who was building a new toy, kind of like a four person teeter totter, was trying to put his project in a big van. As soon as they started to put it inside, a bunch of men walked up and told them to immediately go back in the building. The guy hadn't cleared it with the police yet so he wasn't allowed to go anywhere with it. Then the guy proceeded to point out the hotel rooms that had snipers in them! It was freaky.
We promptly went to the hotel room after that and relaxed while eating our goodies before going to sleep.