San Francisco has always been one of those destinations that have called out to me. Maybe it was my addiction to Full House as a child, or my love for cities by the sea, but for whatever reason it always held a spot on my mental list of “Cities I’m Dying to Visit”. During our cross-country road trip of 2009, I finally had a chance to see it in person.
If I’m planning a multi-destination trip, I have a tendency of allotting only a few days to each city I’ll be visiting. I also have the habit of trying to cram in as much as possible into however little time I have — especially if I’ve never been there before. Because of this frenetic trip planning I’ve only ever spent two or three nights at the most in cities such as Rome, Nice and Paris. These destinations easily deserve at least a week’s allowance to explore their neighbourhoods and sights.
In my “older years” I’m finding myself more drawn to leisurely stays with no set itinerary. I can easily go to Vancouver for a week and do absolutely nothing yet still feel completely happy and fulfilled. If I had the time and money I would jump at the chance to return to San Francisco to do the same thing.
We had a very ambitious itinerary set for our road trip, so due to this go-go-go format we had no choice but to allow only one or two nights for each destination. Frisco was given two nights and we were booked in a room with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge.
There are certain things I remember about San Francisco, like visiting Alamo Square and seeing the line of houses that appear in the opening credits of Full House; or visiting Alcatraz; or going to the psychic whose storefront faced our hotel room window (it was all a ploy, I tell you!) — but there are certain things I feel like I missed out on. I can remember San Francisco, but I can’t remember San Francisco, if you get what I mean.
Despite all of this I still had a blast and loved being able to spend what little time we had in this amazing city. There is one thing I’ll never forget, though: we had just arrived and were driving around, trying to find our way to some place (I told you I can’t remember everything), and Jana turned a corner to go up a one-way street. Within seconds we were retreating back down said street in reverse gear — the street was so steep that Jana nearly had a panic attack from envisioning the Jeep tipping over backwards. I’m pretty sure we got some head shakes and “stupid tourists” remarks once they saw the Ontario license plates. We laughed about it afterwards, but I swear that street had a 45 degree grade*.
*Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating about the severity of that street, but I was just prompted to Google “street grades in San Francisco” and I found this article. The first paragraph proves my point about the tourist thing.