Another early morning
Even though we hadn’t set a single alarm this trip, we had been waking up near the crack of dawn which had allowed up to pack in a ton to each day. This morning was no different, although we wish we had brought a way to make coffee. After packing up we hit the road with our mind set on finding a diner. It was a short drive into Los Gatos, a small town just outside of San Jose, where we found breakfast before heading off for San Francisco.
We were surprised at how rural the highway was between San Jose and San Francisco. I think we both expected to see more sprawl like Los Angeles. Instead its a lot of rolling hills and water. Getting into San Francisco, the actual city itself is not that big despite having just under a million residents. By the time we got in it was still fairly early in the morning and we had until 4pm to check in, plenty of time to check out the highlights!
Welcome to San Francisco
As we got into the city we started seeing the signs for the Golden Gate Bridge. Figuring it was as good a spot as any to start we followed the highway in. We probably couldn’t have planned a better route if we tried. Simply just following the signs took us through both Golden Gate, and Presidio Parks. Again not having any expectations for the city we were quite surprised by the amount of green space. We passed through a tunnel in Presidio Park and were treated by the Golden Gate Bridge.
We decided to skip crossing the bridge today, as we knew we’d need to cross in the week anyways. We hopped back into our car and got onto the 101 pointing us right into the heart of San Francisco. Still with no plan put together, we figured we’d just roam around the city for a bit and see what we came across. We were pleasantly surprised to find out the the 101 turns into Lombard Street once you get out of Presidio Park.
We were being very… Efficient…
Well that was two landmarks off our list, and from our vantage point on Lombard we could see we were only a few blocks away from Fishermans Warlf, so off we went. Our fairly loose plan had us doing most of these Highlights tomorrow, but we were just banging them out this morning, and within a couple minutes we were parked a short walk away from Pier 39.
Pier 39 is a tourist hot spot filled with all the touristy things you’d expect, novelty shops, buskers, chain restaurants, and sea lions. The place was packed but we made our way through the grounds to catch a glimpse of San Francisco’s famous sea lion colony. Again another fairly quick stop, apart from the Sea Lions the pier itself a bit of a gimmicky tourist trap. One thing started to become apparent though. We planned on spending the better part of tomorrow exploring San Francisco but at this rate we’d be done by dinner time.
San Francisco in a day
We made our way back to the car and realized we still had a couple hours before we could check into our Airbnb and we’d hit most of the places we wanted to in San Francisco. We really want to try and get over to Alcatraz, but unfortunately tours for the island can sell out months in advance and where this was so last minute we’d have to leave that for next time we were here. Dayna was keen to find the painted ladies, and I wanted to take a spin through China Town. We figured if we could cross those two off our list we could spend tomorrow outside of San Francisco and not feel like we missed anything here.
Calling it day a bit earlier
We were pretty impressed with how much we were able to see today, and with how many long days we already had this trip, we decided to call it quits and head to go check into our Airbnb. This time we would be staying just outside San Francisco in Brisbane California.
Dayna found someone renting out a separate downstairs apartment and although it might not of been as unique or quirky as the last couple places we stayed, it was 2-3 time larger than most hotel rooms for a lot less. We checked in, found a bottle of wine our host had left us, grabbed some chinese food and had an early night.
Some of the plants the had had along the road in Brisbane
Back yard of our Airbnb.