Travel Blog: Breezing Through San Francisco

DSCN1572San Francisco was such a blur! I only stayed there for two days which definitely didn’t feel long enough. I arrived at 8am and my AirBnB wouldn’t be ready, even for me to drop my bags off until 12:30, I found out. After an overnight bus ride, I was pretty out of it and desperate for 3 things: bathroom, coffee, and I stumbled into Red’s Java Café, which sounded like a place to get coffee. (The java and café in its title led me to that assumption…you know what happens when you assume…) This place was near the dock and turned out to be nothing short of a burger dive bar! You can only guess there were very slim pickings on a vegan/health-conscious diet. I settled on French fries, orange juice and plain hot tea. The staff were super friendly, though, even though some didn’t speak English or really know what a vegan was.
Following my odd breakfast, I hailed a taxi to the Mission District where the AirBnb was. Again, I was overwhelmed by the sweet disposition of the driver. With baggage and all, I headed to nearby Precida Park to kill some time. It was located right at the end of the block. I sat there watching dogs run freely around the park. Two adorable pups came my way and I began to chat with their owner, Chinoy. He was a very nice 19-year-old, who worked at a local smoothie shop. We talked for a while before I finally got to go to the AirBnB to check my bags. I met my friendly host Lisa and her equally friendly dog, Strummer before I headed to Patxi’s Pizza, which was about a thirty minute walk. Their specialty is Chicago-style deep dish pizza, with vegan options. I have been crazing Chicago deep dish lately and this hit the spot. They only make it by the pie so I had half of it leftover.

Alamo Square right across the street from the 7 Painted Ladies.

I attempted to walk another forty minutes to see the 7 Painted Ladies, but after climbing up three large hills with pizza in hand, and realizing I wouldn’t give myself much time to get ready to meet up with the friends I was meeting up with, I headed back to the AirBnB. I was way too wiped out from no sleep anyhow. I took a shower and very sluggishly got ready before heading downtown to Millennium, an upscale vegan restaurant. Haha, all I had done in San Francisco so far was eat! Believe me, it was more spread out than it sounds.
Anyway, I met up with Ellen and Carlos (you may remember then from Portland where I had originally met them) near the busstop. We walked over to the restaurant and there was a bit of a wait. Dinner was terrific! The Chinese bun appetizer we shared was better than my meal – I remember that much, but I can’t remember what I ate exactly!
After dinner, we spent the night walking around and chatting through the downtown area. We walked through China town, which was very subdued, but I saw a girl dressed up like Chun-Li from Streetfighter, and that made my day for some reason, haha.

7 Painted Ladies

Ellen was flying back to Portland the next day and Carlos was heading to Vegas, so I had to say goodbye to them at the end of the night, but we’re all friends on Facebook now, which is nice to be able to keep in touch. I was relieved to be able to take the bus back to the AirBnB after midnight without any hiccups. It’s nice to be in a city with convenient public transportation! I missed having a nightlife after living in Florida for a year.
The next morning, I didn’t wake up as early as I had wanted. I needed to cram as much in as possible since it was my only real day to sightsee! I headed to the Painted Ladies first. After trying to explain to a tourist couple that not any of the 7 houses were used for the actual house in “Full House”, and that they were just used in the picnic scene for the opening credits of the show, I decided to head to the real house and the house used in “Mrs. Doubtfire”.

The house from “Mrs. Doubtfire”.

Somewhat of an uneventful mission with a ton of uphill walking. The “Mrs. Doubtfire” house had a little shrine to Robin Williams out front. There were two trees with stone gardens around them. On the stones people had written messages to Robin like “RIP” or “Thank you”, along with quotes from “Dead Poets Society” and other movies.
After seeing the houses, I took the bus to Fisherman’s Wharf. I spent more time there than I expected to. I really enjoyed the vibe in spite of all of the tourists and overpriced food with few options for me. I walked around, enjoying the piers, view of the ocean, mountains, and Alcatraz, which I did not care to take a tour of. I, of course, loved seeing the sea lions on Pier 39, but they were mostly napping while I was there.
Before I could venture off to the Golden Gate Bridge, which I had intended to walk across, I needed to charge my phone, or else I’d be lost. Without google maps, I wouldn’t know how to get anywhere on during my travels! It’s been my best friend. By the time I left the Wharf, it was almost dark. I figured since Ghiradelli Square was so close, I would be stupid not to check it out before heading to the bridge. It turned out to be kind of a waste, though. It was charming, yes, but I wasn’t going to eat at any of the restaurants, and the only thing I could have at the original Ghiradelli store was the Twilight labeled chocolate. All of their chocolates were so over-priced, and I could walk into any Wal-greens and get some. It also hit me at this point that we live in a world where entertainment and things to “see” involve food! I feel like something might be wrong with this… I love food and all, but no wonder obesity has increased so much over the years!

Tribute to Robin Williams in front of the “Mrs. Doubtfire” house.

Finally, I took a bus to the Golden Gate Bridge around 7:30. Since it was already dark and my phone didn’t have all that much juice, I decided against walking across the entire bridge. I walked about halfway. I’m sure it would have been visually more appealing in the daytime, but oh well.
The buses back were nothing but a hassle! My phone died, making it very difficult to navigate. It didn’t help that one of my connecting buses stopped running at 7! I gave up and hailed a taxi, not making it back to the AirBnB until midnight-ish. I ate my leftover pizza for a super late dinner and called it a night. The next morning I was slow to rise once again. I had to pack, shower, and get some interview questions sent out. I was frustrated from the bus issue the night before, so I called a taxi, even though I really wanted to save money, but I was also cutting it too close to my Greyhound departure.
Overall, San Francisco is definitely an awesome city I felt comfortable in. It was definitely my favorite so far! I just wish I had more time to explore it. Well, next time… 😉

Sea lions


Golden Gate Bridge on a foggy day.

Fisherman’s Wharf at sunset

Ghiradelli Square


  • Sandy Lo

    Sandy Lo’s personal story is inspiring. She started, StarShine Magazine, an online publication in 2001, at the age of 18. She wrote her first novel in 2009, “Lost In You,” followed by the “Dream Catchers” Series. She was the first person ever to professionally interview Taylor Swift and has received personal endorsements for her books from members of boy bands Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees. Recently, she has been seeing some tremendous momentum in book sales on Kindle. She has been included on the “50 Writers You Should Be Reading” list by The Authors Show, and “Dream Catchers”, “Breaking The Moon” and “Indigo Waters” reached the Top 100 Best Selling Coming of Age novels in Amazon’s Kindle Store. What makes this even more unique, is that Sandy relocated from NY to Nashville in order to write “The Watch Dog,” which is set in a fictional town outside of Music City. “The Watch Dog” reached the Top 10 Ghost Stories on Amazon. Aside from her writing projects, Sandy is also a freelance digital strategist.