After my loneliness drama last night, I had an okay – ish sleep.
The room I’m in, if you leave the windows open it’s so noisy because we’re right next to the street.
If you close them than it just ends up being stuffy and hot! The girl who was sleeping next to the window shut them so I kept waking up in a sweat from the heat 😥
I ended up waking up before my alarm and went and had a shower. A cold one might I add! I was shivering under the cold stream and couldn’t bring myself to go fully under. It was 7.30am and they’d already run out of hot water 😣 I did however accomplish shaving my legs.
Once I was all ready, I skipped breakfast (still not feeling too hungry) and headed on my walk to meet the group for my day tour with Dylan’s Tours which started from fisherman’s wharf.
Along the way however, I passed the Dylan’s Tours shop (where all the buses are) and ended up meeting my tour guide for the day. His name was Eli and he needed to get some ‘gas’ before the tour started so I just ended up going with him.
I don’t think i will ever understand the difference between gallons and liters here if I owned a car! Back home we don’t even call petrol ‘gas’. We call it Fuel or Petrol haha!
We picked up everyone else on our tour and then headed off to the Mission district. I learnt that the Mission is often more warmer than other parts of San Francisco. The micro-climates of San Francisco create a system which means each area can have different weather at the same time. Where The Mission is located, it’s more sheltered from the wind and the fog which comes in from the West so ends up being warmer.
It’s also famous for Mexican food and homeless people unfortunately…
Our tour driver was telling us that you can judge if a Mexican place is good because it’ll be open till 3am and there’ll be lines out the door.
They amount of homeless people here is crazy. Apparently years ago there used to be medical facilities/homes for disabled people with no money and now that the government has stopped funding that there’s more homeless people on the street then ever before. It’s apparent when you drive through there as there’s many people with shopping trolleys and people sitting on the sidewalk 😯
To continue on with the tour, we drove through Castro which is in Eureka valley and one of the first gay neighborhoods in the USA. It also hosts the GLBT History Museum which is the first stand-alone museum of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history in the United States.
I can’t remember the place where we stopped but we did have a walk through an alleyway and saw heaps of cool murals and paintings from local artists.
After our stop to look at the murals we drove up to Twin Peaks which are two prominent hills in the center of San Fran. I took some pictures of the wonderful view from the hills and of Twin Peaks Boulevard which runs a figure eight around the two peaks.
Once we’d finished our sight seeing at the peaks, we drove through Haight Ashbury and looked at all the nice houses. Haight Ashbury is like the ‘hippie’ scene of San Francisco.
Throughout the 1980s the Haight was more of a ‘comedy center’ when a small coffee shop opened and became a full time comedy club which helped launch the careers of Robin Williams and Whoopi Goldberg.
After that we drove through Pacific heights and I took some more pictures of houses!
I swear I’ve taken so many in San Francisco that i’d love to live in.
We also stopped for a short break and I got a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream 🙂
I made friends with a couple, Ross & Kathy on my tour bus. They’re in their 60’s (so a little bit older than me ;)) but they were so good to me the whole day. They pretty much took me under their wing and made sure I was alright the whole time as they knew I was travelling by myself. When we stopped, Ross bought me my ice cream which was around USD$8 For 1 scoop!
I felt bad! (that’s like $11 in New Zealand dollars, more than a whole tub!)
I also got to see some pretty expensive houses on the drive!! I saw the Mrs doubtfire house from the movie ‘Mrs Doubtfire’ with Robin Williams. If you’ve never seen it before, it’s basically about a man called Daniel (Robin Williams) who’s wife suddenly divorces him. In the divorce the judge grants the wife custody of the children since Daniel hasn’t got a place to live or a steady job.
Daniel soon finds out that his wife is looking to hire a house-keeper so ends up going under-cover as a woman and applies for the job so he can see his children all the time.
This house ended up selling for 31 million when it went on the market. 😮
The person who bought it was a top plastic surgeon who specialized in transgender surgery. (Funny considering who Mrs Doubtfire was portraying)
Recently a disgruntled patient of the new home owner (a transgender woman) tried to set fire to the house as they were unhappy I guess with their services but they’ve since been arrested.
We also did a drive through this place called Presidio which served as a military base for 3 nations. It’s so big! When he said military Base I didn’t realize there would be so many houses.
After that, we went and took some pictures outside the golden gate bridge!! 😄
The wind was blowing too much in my face for a good photo. And this bloody fence was getting in my way haha.
When we’d finished taking some snappies, we headed over the bridge to the cute neighborhood of Sausalito which is at the northern end of the Golden Gate Bridge.
We only did a drive through but it looked like it had some good shopping! It’s a ferry ride away from the main city of SF otherwise you can drive across the bridge.
Sausalito also has lots of houseboats, more than 400 houseboats in fact!
Then it was off to Muir woods!
Its a unit of the National Park near the Pacific coast and is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation area. It protects 554 acres of old growth Coast Redwood with only a few still remaining in the San Francisco Bay Area.
There were 2 walks you could go on, a 30 minutes one or a 1 hour walk.
I ventured off by myself and did the 1 hour walk which actually only took me 30 minutes.
We had to be back to the van by 3.15pm so we could head to another look out and get an awesome picture of SF according to our guide.
When the tour was over, we had a choice of where to be dropped back to and when we got to fisherman’s wharf Kathy asked if I’d like to join her and Ross for dinner so I happily accepted and got off at the same drop off point as them.
Ross wanted to get a free chocolate from the Ghirardelli chocolate store so we went there (as when you walk in you get a free chocolate haha)
We then headed off down the road along Fisherman’s wharf and stopped for drinks at a restaurant.
I felt very spoilt as they paid for all my drinks and food all of tonight!
It was funny because I ordered a cider at one of the places we went to and Ross assumed I wasn’t drinking and kept insisting I get a wine or something. After much confusion, I realized he thought I meant an Apple Cider that I’m assuming kids in America get in their lunch boxes that have no alcohol in them.
However Cider in New Zealand is a very popular alcoholic beverage for my age group. It’s cheap and a lot nicer than beer (in my opinion) they come in flavors like Wild Berry, Strawberry & Lime, Pear, Apple and Orange & Ginger.
Eventually the bar tender found an alcoholic Apple Cider at the back of the fridge somewhere. I now know to order a Vodka and Soda from now on to be less difficult.
When it came time to grab some dinner we walked along the pier until we came across a Japanese restaurant. I hate seafood (even fish) so you can imagine how hard it was to find a place on Fisherman’s Wharf that didn’t sell seafood.
Poor Ross and Kathy probably thought I was the fussiest person in the world. The Japanese place we found was good though, we had wine and edamame beans and some other Japanese dishes which were really good.
I don’t think we left till after 9pm as we kept eating and drinking.
By this stage we’d all talked our ears off so we left and walked along the pier a bit more. I stopped and bought a magnet for my travel collection and also a magnet for them so they can hopefully remember me!:) It was the least I could do especially as they’d been so generous towards me.
We all took a taxi back and they dropped me off so I got to my hostel safe and sound.
Kathy has my email address as I don’t have a SIM card yet so hopefully we will do something on Saturday together.
Ross is a Dentist so he’s here for a lecture for a few days – hence why they’re in San Francisco.
I’m going to Alcatraz early tomorrow morning. It’s like 11pm here and I’m so tired I hope I have a good sleep tonight!
When I got back to the hostel 2 new girls from Australia arrived but they’re heading to Las Vegas tomorrow. I talked to them for like 20 minutes and we got along really well so I’m gutted they’re leaving now. (Look at me getting all excited when I make a friend haha)
Anyways, shower time!
I hope there’s some hot water 😯
(I uploaded this the day after I wrote it coz the Wi fi at the hostel was so shit!)