Travel Thoughts by Kim
Let’s go on an adventure together…. to San Francisco!
I cannot tell you how happy it has made me to write about and relive my past adventures this past year or so in these articles. Because of Covid, I have not been on a major adventure since January, 2020! But, I go somewhere in my imagination every couple of weeks with you all and get to remember all the amazing things I have seen and done – pre-Covid! I was concerned I’d run out of things to write about before I could get back into going to new and exciting places, but I’m still here and still at it!
This time, we’re going to San Francisco together. I have written about parts of my 2017 West Coast Adventure a couple of times before. Part of that trip included five days in the San Francisco area after the cruise ended. This was actually the second time I visited San Francisco. Many years ago, I tacked on a long weekend at the end of a business trip to Los Angeles so I could visit a friend who lived near Sacramento. She took me on a day trip to Lake Tahoe and another day trip to San Francisco. We just spent one day there doing mostly things around Fisherman’s Wharf, but I did get to ride a cable car, ate fresh calamari for the first time, and saw the Haight / Ashbury corner. So, this time, I was determined to see as much of the city and surrounding area as I could….and, I DID!
I stayed at the Cow Hollow Inn on the corner of Lombarde and Steiner Streets (eight blocks up Steiner from that corner is the house from Mrs. Doubtfire – Robin Williams actually owned and lived in that house, until he got tired of people knocking on the door and asking for Mrs. Doubtfire). Mitzy at Orleans Travel got me a great deal on the room through Expedia and it was a large, bright, clean room with very friendly and helpful front desk staff. It was also in a great location for getting around, too. I recommend it, if you’re looking for a hotel in San Francisco. And, while I’m making some recommendations, I had the BEST breakfast EVER at the Home Plate Restaurant on Lombarde Street – about ½ a block down from Steiner. A must try if looking for a great breakfast.
I took advantage of a 48 hour Gray Line Hop-On-Hop-Off ticket to get around the city the first two days. It was an inexpensive way to hear a bit about the city from several different tour guides (one in particular that was WAY cool – he’d have fit in perfectly in the ‘60s) and it gave me a ride up on the top of an open bus in the warm sunshine to just about anywhere, whenever I wanted to go somewhere for 48 hours. I also had two day trips booked – one to Muir Woods / Sausalito and another to Sonoma / Napa Valley – I’ll write about those adventures another time.
I loved every minute of my time in San Francisco – it is a colorful and exciting city with so much to see and do. I was told afterwards that I should have been a bit more cautious in my typical way of wandering around all independent, like I’m invincible, but I had a great time. The architecture everywhere you look is just incredible and, of course, the Golden Gate Bridge is an awesome sight – it was all like a magical playground for someone with a camera around her neck!
Just a few highlights – not counting the two day trips that I’ll do another article about another time:
Definitely loved “The Haight” – a neighborhood made famous during the Summer of Love in 1967. Talk about colorful and eclectic – it’s an old hippie’s dream! Hahaha! I saw where Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, The Beatles, and many others lived or hung out during the Summer of Love. And, of course, I took a selfie on the corner of Haight and Ashbury Streets. It was made extra special because I was there in 2017 – the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, so there were extra cool things to see around The Haight and in Golden Gate Park.
I also enjoyed spending quite a bit of time at Fisherman’s Wharf. I especially loved seeing the Sea Lions. There were hundreds of them all lounging around on the docks at the end of Pier 39. They love it there and have become quite the tourist attraction. I sat on a bench for about an hour or so just watching them. It was fascinating! Fisherman’s Wharf was also where I picked up the bus that took me to the Coastal Starlight Train that I took to Seattle when I was done with San Francisco.
Another awesome place I think everyone visiting San Francisco should see is the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. It was absolutely stunning – the flowers and the gardens and the peaceful settings throughout made for the perfect way for me to spend my last day in San Francisco. I strolled through the gardens and relaxed near peaceful koi ponds and had a lovely lunch with delicious Jasmine tea. Do yourself a favor – if in San Francisco, plan at least a couple hours or so in the Japanese Tea Garden, as well as the rest of Golden Gate Park.
I’m so glad I allowed a full five days to explore San Francisco and the surrounding area. The seven day cruise was amazing, the overnight train ride to Seattle was really cool, and the few days I spent in Seattle were very nice…..but, those days in San Francisco were really quite special, in deed.
Visit my blog for all the photos from colorful San Francisco and the beautiful Japanese Tea Garden: