When I woke up with the sun shining through my window on the first day in SF, a feeling of some kind of sensation went through my body. Like a mix between curiosity and “I have no idea of where to start but I’ll just go with it and see where it takes me”.
The original idea consisted of letting this Sunday be an opportunity to explore the city on my own terms, without having an actual plan. What did cross my mind though was to experience the famous Alamo Square, and its ‘Painted Ladies’. This is THE place that I personally always have connected SF to, and it has always been on the top shelf of my bucket list, at least on the one that consists of geographical spots (a lot of spots on my complete bucket list consists of sports, things and other attributes not connected to a geographical area).
This idea came to a halt though after my quest for finding a new love, in the appearance of a longboard that is, got me caught in Zumies (the biggest local board shop in downtown SF) for no less than three hours. Maybe I was a little drained of energy (at least regarding the one inside my head) ’cause when I got out, in the unusually hot weather for being SF (30+ degrees Celsius), my unconscious mind decided it would be a good idea to walk up the steepest freaggin’ street I saw. Yes, I’m fully aware of the stupidity that flows through these words and I’m smart enough (how ’bout that contradiction) not to argue against it, but the “maybe there will be something interesting on the other side”-thought that always keeps me company while I’m out walking just wouldn’t let go.
Being the curious motherf-r I am, of course I couldn’t stop just because I reached the top of the hill. No no no: “hey, let’s continue and see what’s awaiting down at the other end” (I’ll probably never stop being “not surprised” by my own way of thinking). I usually pride myself over having a very sharp sense of direction but this time I was clearly way off – what I thought was heading in the direction of Golden Gate turned out be in the opposite one of this big, little hill called ‘Cisco’.
Suddenly, or yeah, an hour later or so (everything is in relativity to something else, right?) I ended up in Fisherman’s Wharf. The same Fisherman’s where EF is situated, and a guided tour of the area would be executed the following day. Even though my “treasure hunting” didn’t end up where I’d planned (though I had no plan, as I already explained) I still made sure to make the most out of it. To walk down Pier 39, with a view of both Golden Gate (at least I got to see it from a distance) and Alcatraz without even having to turn your head is kind of breathtaking, even though you might not want to admit it to yourself.
My hope on being able to reach Alamo Square before dark was still alive, but then I saw the sign of ‘Bubba Gump Shrimp Company’ and had to admit defeat; being a fan of Forrest Gump, of course I had to take the opportunity of eating at this famous place, originated from the classic Tom Hanks-movie (yes, my favorite actor is indeed Mr Hanks). Mahi-Mahi with shrimps in bourbon sauce and mash was exactly as f-n sweet as it sounds. The shrimps in particular was d e l i c i o u s. What wasn’t as sweet though was the (lack of) time remaining before I was supposed to be back at The Hub for the information meeting regarding new residents. Those already worn-out legs had to bring it for real, I can tell you that. Damn.
On my way back I walked up (and I need to stress UP) Hyde Street to catch a glimpse of the EF San Francisco Language Center, trying not to find myself wandering without destination the next morning. Don’t ask me how I did it, ’cause I was literally just a couple of feet off the entrance of it, but, nevertheless, somehow I managed to miss it. Walking up the steepest part of Hyde I was sincerely rewarded for my troubles, being greeted by a beautiful sunset over, once again, Golden Gate. You really had to be there to catch that beauty.
Having encountered, and conquered, the Hyde “deathtrap” I found myself running into classic Lombard Street, with its historical serpentine passage. For me, this was another thing on my bucket list; ever since watching the Disney classic ‘Herbie’ (and that is the original, of course), I’ve always wanted to experience this fascinating street and its unique serpentine. To be able to cross this “bucket” off my list without even trying was something I definitely hadn’t expected, and that made it a little harder to actually “grab” the feeling of succeeding in doing it. But, nevertheless, another experience that made this day one that goes down in history, regarding my personal lifeline.
Time was still running out though so I only had time for a short “visit” before I had to continue the hike of off Hyde. Sweaty as a newly fried drippin’ slice of bacon I managed to get back in time, and be able to take care of some “had to be done before school starts-business” as well.
Golden Gate, Alcatraz, Pier 39, Bubba Gump and Lombard in one day is not half bad. And Alamo Square will still be there waiting, patiently, while I will live to “die another day”.
〈 Sep 10 〉