After what seemed like an endless flight, I arrived in San Francisco no worse for the wear. Meeting my friend at baggage claim was reward enough for the day of travel that I had just had. Let the adventures begin.
The first stop was the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Sure, I’ve seen the pictures, I know what the bridge looks like, red and very large. But reality is always different. Maybe it was the excitement of the day, but the bridge somehow seemed smaller and not as impressive as I would’ve thought. After crossing, we parked and embarked on walking across the bridge. I wasn’t prepared for the blustery chilling winds. I was quickly whipped into submission and by the time that I reached the halfway point ready to turn around. The view was definitely impressive. I watched the fog pour over the hillside and down into the bay area making the bridge ominous.
My friend lives in Fairfax, where the weather is warmer and the city is nestled into the hills lending charm to town. Fairfax is a quaint little town that bleeds over into the next one making it hard to distinguish where you are. It seems that the area was “settled” by hippies and the green movement is all around you there. Cyclists and pedestrians in Tallahassee are constantly in danger, but here (as in most of California it seems) people actually share the road and don’t seem to mind.
My “Golden” adventure was fabulous. I enjoy partaking in common tourist adventures; however, I was also given the opportunity to partake in non-tourist activities. My ultimate goal when traveling is to try and see the city as if I were a local- what would I do, where would I go, etc. Having my own personal tour guide and adventure enthusiast, we did some decidedly non-tourist activities.
I hiked outside of the town of Bolinas, where I was able to experience the beauty of the Pacific while sipping wine, noshing on cheese, while sitting in front of waterfall on the side of a mountain- that was of course after the 4 mile hike. I enjoyed a German themed celebration at The Tourist Club- which isn’t really a club for tourist. After hiking the Dipsea Steps, we enjoyed polka music, brats, and of course beer. Earlier in the day, we had ventured to the farmer’s market and picked up local produce for dinner that night, which turned out to be fabulous. I also had the opportunity to see a few sights that even most residents of the area don’t get to see, such as one of the original ferries that used to taxi people across the bay. Also ships that are now out of commission and waiting for their next life. Warehouses that were built during WWII, that are sitting abandoned and steadily crumbling into the water. I also took a quick tour of Berkley and Indian Rock, which affords an amazing view. From this vantage point one can see Oakland, Richmond, Berkley (obviously), and San Francisco.
Although my mom was disappointed in my lack of tourist sightseeing, I am not. I accomplished a lot during my visit and wouldn’t change anything that I did. It also occurred to me that while I’m trying to accomplish my list of adventures, I too am participating in the adventures of my friends. No matter how big or small the adventure- bring it on! I’m ready to jump in and get messy!