I definitely wasn’t wearing flowers in my hair when I visited San Francisco, the rain and wind would’ve dealt swiftly to them if I was, but I think it says a lot about a city when you can visit it during the worst weather ever, and still come away feeling like you wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
We were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of sunny California on the afternoon that we first arrived, so we took the opportunity to stroll around the central city and check out what the cookies were saying about our fortunes in China Town.
From then on though it was bone chilling wind and rain for the rest of our trip, and like I told the locals who felt the need to apologise on the city’s behalf, growing up in Wellington meant I was well prepared for the climate.
Despite the many moods of San Francisco’s weather we still managed to accomplish everything we set out to do there, including of course a trip to Alcatraz. Personally I think the moody sky added to what was a fantastic experience. I had very low expectations for visiting a prison (it was more a Mike thing to do), and was so surprised by how much I enjoyed the amazing audio tour that gave such an insight to life in Alcatraz. With my new found enthusiasm for the jail Mike’s now made a list of all the movies he wants to re-watch with me when I get home!
When we arrived back at Fishermans Warf we were caught in the biggest deluge ever, raindrops the sizes of water balloons started falling from the sky and left us soaked through. So naturally we ducked into a tiny restaurant to feast on clam chowder and hot coffee. I know I shouldn’t say this being from a coffee snob country like New Zealand and all, but there’s something about bottomless filter coffee and cream when you’re in the States, it just comes with the territory.
It of course also made for the perfect weather for one of my other new found loves, Irish Coffee at the mighty Buena Vista.
One of the things the weather did make me feel pretty disappointed about was the fact that we weren’t going to be able to bike over the Golden Gate Bridge, as it was one of the things I had most been looking forward to. Given how unpredictable the weather was being, we decided to get on a Hop On Hop Off bus tour that’d at least drive us over the bridge to the very beautiful Sausalito. I didn’t feel totally at peace with the decision and clearly some kind of higher power knew it, as just before our hilarious bus driver was about to hit the bridge, he stopped the bus on the side of the road to give the most passionate speech about how, despite the rain and freezing temperatures, we MUST get off his bus and walk across the Bridge or regret the decision to opt to stay dry and warm for the rest of our life times. Despite the vigor of his speech, Mike and I were the only ones to get off his bus, but man am I SO glad we did!! And despite having a precautionary bag full of ponchos, it didn’t rain on us once!
Despite it being hideously expensive, and often actually quicker to walk, I rode the trams as much as I could! After years of watching Full House it really would’ve been rude not to.
San Francisco really was the perfect start to our American adventure.