Lessons Learned in SF

For 2 full months, we are traveling the country. I imagined that we would see the sights at our own pace and relax whenever we wanted. It turns out that “relaxing” is a lot harder than it sounds! In fact, I had hoped have time to write a new post every 4 or 5 days – obviously I’m a tad behind on that goal.

California seemed to last forever! Hollywood, Yosemite and Monterey were fabulous, and I couldn’t  have been happier on our early morning drive into San Francisco. The plan: drive in and jog in the park then find a hotel and check out the city. As we’ve been learning this trip….things don’t always go according to plan.

We got about as far as jogging before running into a big problem (no pun intended). Nearly every hotel in the city was booked, and the few that were available were drastically out of our budget. I ended up finding a great deal across the Bay Bridge in Oakland – a Hilton with great amenities. Jake insisted that we go to the hotel first so he could have the “peace of mind” knowing that we were checked in. The trip from the park to our hotel across the bay: 2 hours!

The Hilton was great and well worth the drive into Oakland. They even shuttled us to the BART and we took a train into the city. San Francisco was overwhelming. By this time it was after 2:00pm and we were angry with hunger after such a late start to the day. We ate at Ike’s Sandwich Shop, a dive that Jake had seen on TV a few months ago. The sandwich we shared was great and our moods were much better afterwards too.

Next we walked along Embarcadero and out onto the Piers in San Francisco Bay. I had hoped to catch a cable car ride around the city (something I had been looking forward to this trip). Unfortunately, it was too late in the day to catch a ride. Bummer! Instead, we walked over to Chinatown in hopes of scoring some authentic cooking. While Chinatown was bright and full of life – the restaurant we chose could not have been a worse choice. We literally walked into the only place in Chinatown that requires a minimum per person charge…. I was more upset by the server who insisted we order more than enough food for 2 healthy people even after we more than exceeded the minimum charge.

After dinner, we walked around the city before heading back to the hotel’s fitness center for a workout (arguably the most enjoyable part of the day). I’ve been to San Francisco before and I know how great it is. However, we also learned a good lesson for the trip. A city like San Francisco is ideally experienced when you have at least 3 days to enjoy it, a bigger budget…and a pre-booked hotel room. I’d love to go back one day again now that I am more fully prepared for the experience.

See you soon San Francisco!

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