SF: A photogenic city

I spent the first couple days in SF exploring the area based on my friend’s suggestions. Kaitlin & her husband Daniel have been gracious hosts, and I can’t thank them enough for the hospitality shown by them.

I checked out Baker’s Beach Wednesday evening after I got in. It was warm for a while… and then all of the sudden, there was a chilly wind that made me so cold, I put on three layers of shirts! I watched the sunset until I couldn’t tolerate the cold anymore.

Thursday morning, I woke up at 5AM. Thank you Eastern and Pacific time zones. I was in denial for an hour, and then gave up on sleep and went on a run instead. I ran through the Golden Gate Park to get to the Ocean Beach, where I explored some (abandoned?) cliffs and prayed that I didn’t get poison oak and/or ivy. It was early enough out that I saw some fishermen finding their catches for the day.

Starting my sightseeing day in Chinatown, I was underwhelmed by the Chinatown gate. The decorations are pretty neat though.
Following NYT’s “36 Hours in San Francisco”, I went to the Port of San Francisco and walked along Embarcadero. There’s a marketplace in the Port, so I went around and tried all the samples of olive oil. Delicious, and it reminded me of my adventures of Spain and Italy.

I looped over to the Coit Tower for a 360 view of the city. Even without going up, the tower and surrounding grounds are beautiful. There are frescoes inside the tower to showcase California’s history and agriculture. Of course, up top, you see the views!

Venturing over to Lombard Street, I quickly realize how hard capturing a photo of the winding road is. It seems way more fun to be in the cars going down the winding road. As much as I dislike the steepness of the hill, in my opinion, the pedestrian stairway is harder to go up. But once again, being on higher ground means a great view of SF.

I made my way over to Ghiradelli Square, where behold, so much chocolate! It reminds me of my time in Brussels, where it seems like chocolate shops are around every corner. One of the cafes presents a brief self-guided tour on chocolate making. It also tells viewers of the history and founding of the U.S. based company Ghiradelli (which I didn’t know beforehand).

Finally, I make my way over to Fisherman’s Wharf. The area is touristy, and flashy at night. For dinner, I treat myself to Boudin’s famous clam chowder bread bowl. Literally. So. Much. Sourdough. Bread. The shop itself is so cute. They have themed breads that they also sell. It’s also equipped with a bread-making factory. Most of it, you have to pay for, but there’s a section of it that is free to view to the public. Plus a giant alligator bread. Can you tell they really take pride in their sourdough bread?

Since I was in the area, I decided to stay and watch the sunset around Pier 41. Next pier over on Pier 39, I could hear the sea lions with their “blup blup blup blup blurrrp blup blup blup blup blurrrp…” which became annoying after a while. Whenever they were silent, I enjoyed the peace they gave me. But the sunset? Beautiful!

I can tell why people love living in San Francisco. There are the parks, the beaches, and great views of both nature and civilization. I woke up early (again) on Friday, so I went on an exploring run/walk/hike through the western side of Presidio Park. WOW. The Pacific Ocean looks immense… beautiful. The Golden Gate Bridge is massive, but set with a mountainous backdrop? Breathtaking. And out to the left, you can see the white homes of SF.

Next up: training begins! Time to meet my teammates and kick off the run!

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