Tuesday, 22 May 2018

San Francisco, part the second!!!

After leaving my Contiki family, I still had a few days left in San Fran. Here is what I have been up to:

After breakfast/brunch with some contiki friends, I checked out of the hotel and headed to my new hotel (Villa Florence, right by the shopping area). It was around 1 pm by then already, I unpacked everything, favetimed a few people and then went shopping. I started at Sephora and made my way to Westfield Mall, it‘s huge!!!! Some shopping, coffee and a late lunch. Of course I spent a few hours in there. I headed to Whole Foods to get some dinner, checked out a few stores on the street and then had a chilled night at the hotel: food, beer, HGTV, NHL hockey, new nailpolish, editing and posting pics, writing blog posts and reading, just perfect. I also did some planning for the next few days.

In the morning I took it slow, because I was not feeling that well. I went en route to Coit Tower eventually, taking the F line and then I walked up to the tower, that was quite a walk. The view from the tower is totally worth it though! You can see everything and it was a beautiful day, loved it up there. I then walked to Lombard street, down and up. When I walked the sirens went off, I didn’t reall know what to think, but then a male voice said it’s just a test, so weird. I stayed at Lombard street for a while and took some pictures and videos. From there I walked down to the water, hung out at Ghirardelli Square, bought some presents and then took a taxi to Alamo square. I just sat on the grass and looked at the Painted Ladies (victorian style houses). I then heard that my tour for the next day got cancelled!!!! 😳😬 That really made my angry and dissppointed!
I walked back to the city, looked at city hall and then decided to go to the tour company, who I am with Thursday. I was able to switch the tours and go with them on both: Sausalito (Wed), Carmel/Monterey (Thur). Afterwards I went back to the hotel to relax for a while. In the late afternoon I went to Union Squre, looked at the shops there and also went into some others. I also bought a little suitcase to travel home with. Since I was feeling worse, I went back to the hotel and spent the evening there with food, tv and a good book.

Early morning start with a coffee of course. It took a while before we went en route to Muir Woods. I booked my tour with GrayLine, our driver was also our guide. We first drove through the city and he gave us a lot of extra information. We also passed the Mrs Doubtfire house and this time I was sitting on the right side and was able to take a pic. Then we went over the Golden Gate bride through the hills down to Muir Woods National Monument. There we had over an hour to explore, which was great, I absolutely loved walking through the woods, the sequoia trees are so fasciting!! On we went to Sausalito, a cute little town. I walked around a bit, enjoyed the way and then took the ferry back to San Fran. There I walked to Ferry Building Marketplace and had lunch, clam chowder for the secdond time, I also enjoyed a little beer with that. Then I got a coffee and took the bus to Golden Gate Park. I just walked around the park and explored a little bit. Apparently the shuttle only runs on weekends, which is a real shame. I would have loved getting a golf ball for my dad at the golf course there. The guy at the bike rental lace was not friendly at all, so I went back to the city, looked into some more shops and got dinner. I did a lot of walking, so I was exhausted and ready for bed.

Mrs Doubtfire house

Another early start on my last full day in SF, this time for a day trip to Monterey and Carmel. I have to say this was probably one of my fave things during these three weeks!!! Our guide was very nice, called us all „Miss Switzerland“, „Miss Canada“ etc. He talked a bit too much though for my taste. The drive down to Monterey was beautiful, the coastline is stunning. We stopped in Pescadero to take some pictures and then again in Davenport for a coffee/pastry stop. Afterwards we drove through Santa Cruz and headed towards Monterey. There we had two hours to explore. I walked around at first, then went into the Gold Pebbles Beach outlet stores, where I got some presents for my dad. Then I headed to a dolphin statue, I saw on the way in. There was actually a hotel and I had lunch at a restaurant called Schooners. The view was fab and lunch was perfect, a little salad and beer. I sat right by the water and actually saw seals swimming in the sea. After that explored some other shops, bought some souvenirs and got a Teavana iced tea at Starbucks. We continued our journey along the coast and believe it or not, but it got prettier and prettier. Time for the 17-Mile Drive!!! Several golf courses and great view points, I absolutely loved it! We saw some seals on a big rock, The Lone Cypress and stopped at Pebble Beach golf course!!!!! I looked at the 18th hole, took pictures and looked at the shops, yes they had more than one! I hope mum and dad like what I got them. Then we went en route to Carmel by the Sea. We only had an hour there. I wanted to go into some shops, but apparently they are not there anymore 🙁. So I walked to the beach and took some pictures there. On the way back I discovered some cute little houses, they have a lot of details, so adorable. Then I went into a tourist shop and got some more souvenirs. 10 minutes left and I finally found the Tommy Bahama store, acidentally I might add. Well, they didn‘t have the shirt for dad, but I got something else instead. Getting back into the city took a while, but oh well. I had dinner in my room and packed everything, ready to leave the next day. The drive was actually quite interesting, because it was not only sea, but also farmland (artichokes, starwberries, cherries etc) and mountains. We also passed AT & T Park on the drive back, that was great!

After checking out at the hotel I headed to twin peaks in the morning. The view up there is breathtaking!!! I took some time, walked around and explored. Back down I spent some time in the Castro district, before going downtown.
Back in the city I did some more shopping and had a late lunch at 415, located in the Westfield Mall.
Then it was time to say goodbye to SF, to Cali and America. I had the most amazing time and I‘m very grateful for all the memories I made, the once in a lifetime experiences and all the people I met on the way.

During the first two weeks here I was always surrounded by a lot of people, which was fun and I wouldn‘t want to miss this for the world. I was happy to have a few days to myself in San Fran afterwards though! However, you know what?! I really started missing them and wanted to share my travels with them!

Thanks to my #contikifam!!!!!!

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