We went to San Francisco mainly to see friends, but did some sightseeing while we were there. It is a really beautiful city with a lot of park space and gorgeous cliffs. The Golden Gate Bridge looks great from every angle and put the Full House theme song in my head all week.
We first stayed at Anthony Chabot Regional Park on the east side of the bay. It was a little out of the way, but was full of eucalyptus trees and wild turkeys. We visited our friends Jeff and Sarah and their son in Concord, California. After enjoying their hospitality for a few days, we had them over to the campsite for dinner and a campfire.
Then we moved to San Francisco RV Park (a Thousand Trails Collection campground), which is on the coast south of the city, in Pacifica. There was a short trail near the campground with a great view, but there was a fence up on the coast at the campground because the cliff is eroding.
We visited parts of the Golden Gate Recreation Area, which is made up of dispersed sites throughout the San Francisco area. We started at the Sutro Baths ruins. The Sutro Baths were saltwater swimming pools built in an inlet in 1896, that burned down in 1966. Only a few walls and foundations remain.
Nearby, outside of the Cliff House, we visited the Camera Obscura. It’s a funny little building that was built in 1946, though there were prior versions there before. It projects the world outside the building onto a large bowl using a lens and mirror and natural light. It rotates around and the projection rotates on the bowl. After we went inside and saw it through a few rotations, Brian went outside so I could see him reflected by the camera obscura.
We hiked on the coastal trail in Land’s End park to the hidden labyrinth and a beautiful view of the Golden Gate bridge.
Another day we went downtown to Pier 39 and ate seafood and saw the sea lions just off the pier.
We walked along the coast to Fisherman’s Wharf, and stumbled upon the Musee Mechanique. It is an arcade full of vintage games. We played pinball, did love tests, arm wrestled, sat in the magic fingers chair, and watched weird little shows put on by mechanical figures. One machine had a sign on it saying “If you are easily offended, do not play this machine”. Of course we fed it our quarters, and it was just fart noises.
We visited Ghirardelli Square and ordered an ice cream sundae.
We experienced the hills in San Francisco walking to the crookedest street, and then ate in Chinatown.
We got there too late for Dim Sum, fortunately we had already had a dumpling-fest earlier in the week. The Peking duck was crispy and delicious, and the won ton soup was ridiculous, it could’ve been our whole meal.
We also went into the Mission district and walked down Castro street.
There is so much to do in San Francisco. We thought about visiting Alcatraz, but Brian had already been and we decided we didn’t have time during this visit.
It was so nice to catch up with old friends, most of whom I’ve only seen a handful of times in the last decade. We had some nice dinners, and really enjoyed catching up, eating, and drinking with Aaron and Sammi, Scott and Bonnie, and Colleen and Joey.
Grace and Julie gave us a great tour of Presidio Park. We ate lunch together at the food truck picnic, and saw Andy Goldsworthy’s Spire sculpture, a 100 foot sculpture made from cypress tree trunks.
There are quick stop restaurants in the bay area serving poke bowls, where we get to customize the bowl with the ingredients we like. It’s like a Subway, only with sushi ingredients like rice, raw fish, seaweed salad, and sauces.Brian immediately became obsessed. We ate at these places at least a half a dozen times in a couple weeks.
On our way north out of town we drove over the Golden Gate Bridge. We stopped just after at the viewpoint, and decided to walk over the bridge. I’m not exactly sure why, but this was so fun. The weather was beautiful and views were amazing, and we saw sea lions, dolphins, Alcatraz, and the city skyline. The only irritating part was the bikes on the bridge. Bikers are supposed to stay on one side and the walkers on the other side, but this didn’t always happen.
When we got to the other side, we went to the cafe and ate clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl with an up close view of the bridge. It felt very San Francisco-y.
Day 579 | Mile 61,031