When we left Yosemite, we actually stopped in Tracy to visit relatives on my mom's side of the family. We stayed with my great aunt and uncle who I love to visit with. We got to see both of their kids (my second cousins) and their children as well. I wish that we lived closer to them. They're so much fun to be around and the little kids provide endless entertainment. We went out for dinner and then played with the little kids in the backyard as the sun was going down. California is funny how hot it can get during the day and how quickly it cools off in the evening. If we had a little more time I would have loved to spend a few days with my family there but I appreciate the time we did have.
So after Tracy we left for San Francisco, our last stop of our trip. One of my good friends from high school, Will, lives there. He became our unofficial tour guide for the next couple of days. I like to call this portion of our trip "Trespassing with Will'. He showed us all the awesome "untouristy" (that's a word right?) places. We also met up with another friend, Sophie, whom we had dinner with!
Will took us to see the Sutro Baths ruins, which was at one point in the late 1800's a large swimming pool area. The sea soon took it over and now the ruins remain which are creepily cool to explore.
Next up he took us to Land's End. It's this park up on the bluffs where if you trespass in just the right area you end up on a cliff overlooking the Golden Gate bridge. The view was absolutely serene. If I lived in San Francisco I would spend an awful lot of time sitting up there in the sun. San Francisco has a really nice climate. It can get a little hot in the middle of the city but if you're by the sea it's absolutely perfect and beautiful. There usually is a nice breeze coming off of the water but the sun is still shining its warmth upon you.
My dear friend Will.
We hit Twin Peaks afterwards. Side note- we're 99% the vice president of the US drove right by us, evidenced by an entourage of police and secret service vehicles. Twin Peaks gives you a spectacular view of the city from above. That evening we joined Will and his friends at a biker bar where we sat on the patio and met fellow humans who are excited about life. We retired somewhat early as we had been all trip back to our room to rest for the next (and our last full day) in San Francisco.
Tanner and I awoke the next day and began our day with walking through China town and down to Pier 39, which was about a 5 mile round trip not to mention the additional walking we did around the Pier. We got our exercise in this trip let me assure you. I loved walking through China town and seeing the community and culture. It's a lot different than New York's China town where I feel the general ambiance is to get tourists to buy things they don't really need (like turtles... that's a whole other story from my 16 year old traveling self). Here there were a bunch of markets with fresh food and other services that people use on a daily basis.
Pier 39 was pretty cool. I went there when I was a lot younger with my family, but coming back with Tanner was really nice. Favorite part of course is watching the sea lions. We stood there for probably at least 15 minutes just watching them. I could watch them all day. We ate fish and chips, and of course we had to get some ice cream. We walked around for the better part of the afternoon before heading back to our hotel to freshen up a bit before dinner.
Tanner has always been hesitant about trying sushi, and our plans were to have sushi with our friend Sophie. We ended up walking to dinner from our hotel. Lo and behold, Tanner didn't die from the sushi. He actually enjoyed it, but as evidenced by the photo below he didn't want anyone to know. After dinner we met up with Will, his girlfriend and her roommate and hung out at their place for the rest of the evening. Sometimes with such a busy trip it's really nice to have some nights where you just chill and don't worry about hitting every tourist destination. It was also really fun to reconnect with Will, whom I haven't seen for a few years now. We used to be really close in high school, always in orchestra together since about 7th grade I believe.
The next day our flight left at 3pm and we had to return our rental car around noon. So we spent much of our day at the airport/on an airplane. California is gorgeous and I understand why everyone wants to live there. I love having family in the area we can visit and I'm hoping that we can go back after not too long. This concludes my posts about our trip! It only took me 2 months... I've already got the travel bug itch again (not sure if that ever goes away) and have some ideas up my sleeve for this winter. It's a blessing to be able to travel and also something I realize that I put in high priority as far as money management goes. To see the world is a great gift and I'm going to take advantage of that.