Monday, May 2, 2011

San Francisco Day One

Just over a week ago I set out and explored a major wold city for the first time by myself. And it was great, I did everything I wanted to and at the pace I wanted to. I winged most of it, but knew all the major trademarks I wanted to visit in this trip, knowing I'll be returning late June to make up the rest. 

 The first day I started off by standing in the line of the large spring break crowd to take a ride on one of the old school trams down to Fisherman's Warf. I finally arrived, ticked tram ride off the list and made my way through a whole street of restaurants and vendors that (unsurprisingly) served nothing but seafood. Taking the advice of a kiwi guy I talked to briefly at the hostel, I got some clam chowder,  ate half and gave what remained to some homeless guy. It wasn't too bad... considering it was seafood. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) growing up in Wisconsin has given me only a taste for things that grow on land. The chowder didn't hold my interest for too long...

I then made my way to the Boudin sourdough bakery. It was a nice looking place with all sorts of creative molds of sourdough bread and a nice big line to get them. They also had an impressive display of knick knacks and souvenirs to please all the folks back home. I didn't buy anything but a cookie, but the place was cool to have a look at. 

I continued on and walked along the piers until I made my way to the famed pier 39, known for it's amusing display of wild sea lions. I checked them out, watched them buck their blubbery bodies against each other then made my way to the shops along the pier. The first one was a candy store, which I usually avoid and don't buy anything at...buuuut when you see nearly fifty barrels of all different taffy flavors can you really pass it up? Yeah, i even caved in a bough a few. The rest of the shops were interesting, one having a huge variety of bath salts, again in barrels, that I painfully resisted. 

After doing some heavy duty window shopping I headed back and stopped at the Musee Mecanique, or the mechanical museum. It was a huge shed chock full of all these antique coin-operated machines.  I was told I had to see Laughing Sal, who I honestly found a bit frightening and scurried off pretty quickly to find some rather interesting old school movie type machines. I honestly did not watch any of those scandalous video ones actually regret it in hindsight, I mean how bad can 1930's porn be? Gasp! She prancing around in her full body knickers! 

Annnnnway, I then stubbled upon some rather facebook-esq machines that would tell you how hot you were, measure how hot your kiss was, or answer some generic question all by "reading" the palm of your hand. My favorite was the one from the 80's with the awkward drawing of a man cusping this girls left breast while staring deep into her hair. I obviously have been doing something wrong this whole time. I also learned I will not be marrying a blonde and I am blah. I knew I was finished there. 

After having dodging through all the vicious seagulls and segway tours I made the four mile hike to get a glimpse of the underbelly of the Golden Gate bridge. That's right, the underbelly. On the way I stopped at Giradelli Square, wandered through the extensive display of chocolate and observed a fountain of a busty mermaid breast feeding her merbaby while a group of frogs were busily having an orgy below. I'm still figuring out the symbolic significance of that...

Being a tad blustery I got a hot chocolate to accompany my Boudin cookie until I continued on my quest to the Golden Gate Bridge... or at least below it.  When I finally made it there it started getting late so I headed back towards a bus stop with some other poor chaps who found out the busses were running late due to Obama being in town. Kinda cool, if it weren't dusk, windy and freezing. 

When I finally made my way back to the hostel I had the best vegetarian pesto crepe, followed by a beer with some fellow hostel guests and had a wonderful night of barely any sleep (still hadn't adjusted). Woo!

Hang tight for another long post teeming with photos of my second day!


01 09 10