California Dreamin: Hello, San Francisco

We arrived in San Francisco on Wednesday morning after having had the most fitful sleep the night before. You would think that being up half the night and a 7:00 am flight would be a recipe for sleep on the 6+ hour plane ride, but it was not to be. I don’t know if it was my own adrenalin, fear of flying, excitement for the adventure that lay ahead that kept me awake on that flight or what it was. But, I sat there for the better part of six hours wondering what was in store for me when we touched down and made our way out in to the California sun.

“How was your trip?” people ask. I don’t usually know how to answer that to properly do justice to the experience. I could say it was 40 different things and answer the question correctly, but not fully. Now as I type this, I think that the best I can say is that it was… life. It was amazing, it sucked, it was fun. It was easy, hard, hot and cold. It was too long and not long enough. I was happy to be away but missed home with every ounce of my being. It was indeed a slice full of life.

Wednesday June 11, 2008 New York to San Francisco, Ca

Let’s get the pre-requisite tourist landmarks out of the way Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Lombard Street, Fisherman’s Wharf & Pier 39. They’re all here, they’re all touristy and I loved them all.

The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco A cable car meandering its way past a bike rental shop Alcatraz off across the bay

We pulled up to our hotel in Japantown sometime around lunchtime on Wednesday. Although leaving New York so early was hard, I was thankful to have the entire afternoon to do a quick tour of the city since we’d really only be spending 24 hours there.

Hotel Tomo had a neat vibe with its great murals, fun décor and Godzilla movies playing in the lobby.

Hotel Tomo in Japantown, San Francisco Under the big crab sign at Fisherman's Wharf

Scootcar Rental San FranciscoWe unpacked some of our things and headed off on foot, huffing and puffing my chubbles up those famous hills for the first time to where? Why, Fisherman’s Wharf, of course. Where else would a tourist go right away? 😀

There actually was a method to my madness. A few days earlier I had found a place called “Scootcar,” that offered rentals of 50cc scooter based buggies in which you could tootle around the city. Since we’d be on 2 wheels for the following 9 days, it seemed like a brilliant idea. But, like most of my brilliant ideas… brilliant it wasn’t.

To say that a 50cc baseball carrying two people, drum brakes and San Francisco’s hills aren’t exactly the perfect marriage would be a bit of an understatement. I played navigator while Kenny dislocated his hip pressing the brake pedal to the floor to try to keep us from careening into traffic.

Of course one of our destinations in the death defying Scootcar was Lombard Street’s crooked-est section. I won’t lie. I feared for my life.

Lombard St, as curvy a road as they come

This beautiful piece by glass artist Dale Chihuly was perched in the courtyard of The Legion of Honor.

Giant blown glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly at the Legion of Honor

Streetcar bus near Fisherman's WharfI found San Francisco to feel less like a “big” city and more like an outer-lying borough of a large city. It’s very sprawling but the buildings feel kind of low with beautiful neighborhood pockets that are a feast for the eyes. I would definitely like to go back again and spend some time exploring all that the city seems to have to offer outside of its outright tourist venues. I’d love to just walk the streets, look at the gorgeous Victorians and just feel the cities’ energy. It’s very beautiful.

I try to see love everywhere. Ice cream drip heart~

The streets are filled with ice cream drip love

More Posts From This Trip:


Rachael is the whimsical writer behind the 20+ year old Girlie Motorcycle Blog. As a freelance blogger, she is on a mission to inspire laughter, self-examination, curiosity, and human connection. Girlie Motorcycle Blog can be found on several Best Motorcycle Blog lists.

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3 Responses

  1. novos says:

    There’s a couple of roads you missed… come back soon and we’ll try and ride a few more of them! 😀

  2. Chloe says:

    i lived in s.f. for 10 years and traveled most of these places, albeit in a cage (i just started to ride). your travelog has moved me & i wish i had done such justice to my time there. btw, yours is the best moto blog i’ve seen. you are so good with words and photos & i love the graphics. thxs.

  1. September 18, 2011

    […] that time with a day up front and the tail end of the trip for hanging around in San Francisco. Our first visit in 2008 left such a great impression on both Kenny and I that we were very much looking forward to walking […]

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