Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Travel Journal: San Francisco

"Your adventurous spirit will lead you on a fulfilling path"- Fortune Cookie

 I recently embarked  on an adventure to San Francisco, a life changing adventure and ever since I returned home to Charlotte I've thought about my trip during each waking moment! In my mind San Francisco= so much to do in so little time. So much to share about this trip so let's start at the beginning, shall we? Wanting to travel is a common vibe these days but is often hard to decide where to go. I have the serious travel itch but not always married to a place and timeframe but I was very particular this time around. From my research I learned that September is one of the best months out of the year to venture here and looking back I completely validate my choice.

My suggestion would be to enjoy as many days in San Francisco as possible but at least 3 days and thank me later. When making your travel plans make sure your itinerary makes sense. Especially if you are traveling from the east coast take a minute to consider the difference in the time zones. Now that you've set your travel, where to stay? Where oh where? This is important. I stayed in The Mission District and loved it! This area is upcoming with many young working people and so very eclectic. You may remember that I stayed in a hostel while visiting Chicago a few months back but decided on AirBNB this time. I selected a private room in the area and it was a great value compared to hotels. At about $100 a night it was a deal I couldn't beat. My host was so pleasant, room and amentities were as depicted, and apartment located centrally to just about everything.

Other areas to consider:
The Castro District
Union Square

I was fortunate enough to spend about 4 days in San Francisco and there are literally so many things to do. Each morning I'll popped up without a real plan and kinda moseyed around the city. This might not be the best idea if you are short on time! There are numerous tour companies that offer hop on hop off tour packages which are great but I decided to do things on my own. Many areas are walkable and if not grab an Uber, they are cheap! What do to really depends on what kind of traveller you are! There are things I did but also things I would consider must-dos.

Must Do's:
The Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Park
Painted Ladies-Alamo Square
Mission Dolores Park
Fisherman's Wharf
Bay Cruise
Union Square

You'll see from my pics all the things I decided to do but my favorite was walking the bridge. My initial thought was to walk halfway across the bridge but once I began I was simply pulled in by how majestic it is. Like literally majestic! I walked the entire bridge and even enjoyed the walk back. In second was my venture to Muir Woods National Monument. Here is where you can tilt your head back just as far as it will go in hopes of seeing the very top of beautiful redwood trees. Fun fact: redwood trees are the tallest on earth! Each place is such a different experience and so enriching its hard to narrow down further! I think I'm a kind of in between traveller who enjoys the window shopping of high end shops in Union Square but also the laying on the ground in the woods enjoy nature.

Now seriously I did have to eat in between all of this. There are so many choices but here's what i tried.

Places to Eat
Bi-Rite Market and Creamery
Scoma's (pricey. Tip- go during lunch)
In-N-Out (because duh had to try it)
Boudin Bakery

Every beyond what I shared there are so many things to do! I missed out on visiting wine country due to a overbooking snafu but I think that's what makes travel so great. There's always the option to come back and do more!

Last but not least to address the elephant in the room, and the reason why my parents were so anxious.....I traveled completely alone. This concept, especially for my daddy was very challenging and he simply couldn't understand why I would travel to the other side of the country by myself when something could happen to me. I see it like this, I am a single woman and while I have great friends and family members that could have gone with me its challenging coordinating with people who have other priorities. We all have one life to live and with those lives are differing schedules, and vacation days. More recently than ever I've been asked about a significant other and I can't deny I always thought I would be traveling the world hand in hand with someone. Perhaps that vision is still a part of my future but for now I'm loving living such fulfilling moment and not waiting!



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