Disclaimer: long post, but lots of pictures!
After four years of living in California, I finally made it up to NorCal. Last weekend I visited the infamous San Francisco and I was head over heels in love. The moment I went across Bay Bridge Friday morning, I was already in awe of how beautiful the city was. Maybe it was the architecture, maybe it was the fact that I got all of two hours of sleep during that eight hour bus ride, or maybe I was partial towards the overcast, but I was very optimistic about my trip. For some background on why I was in San Francisco, I had no actual reason for being there. I simply wanted to go, found an open weekend, and had a very courteous friend, Ricardo, offer me a place to stay so I bought a bus ticket and made my way up.
On Friday, Ricardo was at work for most of the day so I decided to explore what I could in eight hours. I grabbed some suggestions for places to visit, took a power nap, and when I woke up, I packed my backpack and set out on an adventure. San Francisco is a large city, as one can imagine, but each notable area (Mission, SoMa, Fisherman’s Wharf, etc.) is walk-friendly which was really exciting for me. L.A. is not a walking city so to be able to put my headphones in and jaywalk, I got a luxury I haven’t had since London-with the addition of massive hills, of course. My first destination was Fisherman’s Wharf which was pretty awesome in my opinion. I’m not one for exploring the seas or even going near pools, but I loved looking at all the different personalized boats and standing alongside the Bay. It was also here that I got my first glimpse of Alcatraz and the infamous Golden Gate Bridge which took me to my next destination. I basically followed the bikers to get a closer and closer glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge without really knowing where I was going. After 45 minutes or so, I made my way all the way over to Fort Mason. By this time, the fog already settled so pictures came out poorly. I sat, ate my sandwich, then headed back to Fisherman’s Wharf to look for postcards. From there, I ubered to Union Square where I found myself at a financial crossroads of whether I wanted to blow my entire bank account or pick one store to kill time in. For those who don’t know, Union Square is basically the hub for all the shopping you’d ever need to do including a five-story Macy’s. I went with the latter, killed some time at Forever 21 then headed over to the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. There was a cool exhibit going on there called Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art that I explored until I walked back to the downtown area. After Ricardo got off work, we met up with a couple of his friends, grabbed dinner at a Chinese restaurant called House of Nanking (RECOMMEND FOR FOOD, BUT MILDLY RUDE SERVICE) and then we grabbed drinks at a bar called Monroe’s. Monroe’s was incredible: $1 drinks from 6-7 p.m., $2 drinks 7-8 p.m., $3 drinks 8-9 p.m., $4 drinks 9 p.m.-close. With each change of the hour, the decade of music also changes. Overall, it’s a great time with a fun crowd. Just make sure you bring cash! To end the night, Ricardo and I headed to a kickback briefly and then called it a night.
On Saturday, we got a early-ish start. We headed out for breakfast and stumbled upon Clarion Alley, a famous alley of street art in the Mission district of San Francisco. After getting pictures of the street art itself, Ricardo and I also took some shots because I always like to make it a priority to have a photoshoot whenever I’m with him. After that, it was basically lunch time so we ate a huge lunch and then grabbed ice cream afterwards. Next stop was Dolores Park in the Castro district which was loads of fun. Yes, we spent the whole day just sitting around, but the atmosphere was something you have to indulge in. Everyone is out just having a great time with music, drinks, dogs!!, and a wide range of ‘recreational’ activities. It’s a great place to just relax, but not somewhere to spend your whole day, that’s for sure. From Dolores Park, we headed over to Baker Beach to get good views of the Golden Gate Bridge and it did not disappoint. The beach itself was already beautiful with the stacked houses San Francisco’s known for built along the cliffside, but the Golden Gate Bridge is the main attraction. We walked further down to get a better view and also got some other views; it was a nude beach on one side. After the initial shock, we settled in and proceeded to take 100,000 photos. Eventually we got hungry and it was time to go. After dinner, another one of my friends, Rachel, met up with us and we bar hopped and then called another “early” night because we planned on grabbing breakfast before my bus the next morning.
On Sunday, Ricardo and I woke up early, took a walk down to Pier 3 and ate breakfast at The Plant. The morning flew by pretty quickly as I grabbed snacks at the nearby 7-Eleven and then hopped in the Lyft to Caltrain Station. My ride back to L.A. was very long and mildly miserable given the fact that during the second half, the A/C stopped and we opened the windows to blazing heat, but I kept my mind on all the things I can’t wait to do, or do again, the next time I go back to San Francisco. Believe me, I’m already counting down the days until I can go back again. ❤
Be sure to follow Ricardo on instagram for AMAZING pictures: @galvezricardo