Tuesday, May 18, 2010

San Francisco Day 3

On Monday Preston's work conference began, so I had some time on my own to go exploring and shopping. Shopping was a high priority on my list, since the day before had been a record high for San Francisco, and I had only packed long sleeve shirts. The weather cooled down for the rest of the trip, but I did buy some cute clothes at H&M (it's like Forever 21) and Nordstrom (my favorite store). The Nordstrom there is absolutely incredible. It's four stories tall. I was in heaven! The cute girl that helped me even sent me a thank you note when I got home, and said that she hoped that I had had a great vacation! They also had some great boutiques and jewelry stands by our hotel. I walked for hours while Preston was in his workshop. I could probably navigate my way around the heart of San Francisco better than I could Salt Lake.
This is Chinatown. It was a half-mile or so walk from our hotel. It was exactly like the name sounds. A mini China. It was unusual to feel like the only caucasian. It wasn't as nice as I had always imagined in my mind, but they still had lots of great shopping, and fresh produce markets.

After Chinatown, I walked to Northbeach, which is the mini-Italy of San Francisco. They have one of the top ten pizza restaurants in the country there. After having a slice of pizza for lunch, I hiked up to Coit tower. It was quite the hike, but was well worth it. I didn't want to pay to take the elevator to the top, so this is a view from the base of the tower. I wish I had actually taken a picture of the tower. It was very pretty, you could see the whole bay.

After the tower, I ended up stopping for a delicious pastry at an Italian bakery in North Beach, and then hiked down to the ferry building. Here you can see the Ferry Building and Bay Bridge. All of the piers are odd numbers on one side, and on the other side are even numbered piers. I must have had a sweet tooth, because I also decided to stop for Italian gelato at one of the cute shops in the ferry building.

After Preston got done with his conference, we decided to do another highlight of the trip, biking across the Golden Gate! This picture shows just how enormous the Golden Gate is. I can't believe that a cruise ship fit under the bridge!

It was about a seven mile ride to the bridge. They claimed that it was all flat, but there were a few hills around Fort Mason that we had to ride across. This is a picture as we got close to the bridge.

Riding across the bridge was such a thrill! I loved every second of it. Preston says that he can cross it off his bucket list. It is such a different experience then driving across it. The part that made me laugh though is since they were doing renovation on parts of the bridge we passed several outhouses as we rode by. I asked Preston when we got across how many he counted, and he seemed perplexed. They had painted them the same color as the bridge, so they blended right in. They looked like all the other utility sheds and so Preston hadn't even noticed them. They also have several phones for emergencies on the bridge, so in case there is someone looking to commit suicide, they can talk to someone who will try and talk them out of jumping. I must say it would be quite the jump.

After we biked across, we decided to bike to Golden Gate Park, which is supposed to be a lot bigger than Central Park, and borders the ocean. However, our map was not drawn to scale, and so when we stopped to ask a local resident walking his dog, we were still four miles away. Four miles uphill that is. Since it was getting dark, we decided to just explore and then head back to the hotel. We happened to ride right by the Palace of Fine Arts. Since the bike shop was closed we stored our bikes with the concierge, and then headed to a delicious Italian restaurant for dinner.