36 Hours in San Francisco

Talk about a serious change of scenery.My mother harassed me all last year about a legendary family beach trip in the works. Although I’d rather spend my time sunning myself in Malta, Brazil, Barcelona or even Sweden or freezing Norfolk, when family calls, family calls- and of course, there’s actually no place like home.

So I began to (mentally) pack my bags and bought a ticket stateside. But then I realized: how often am I actually home? Since so many of my freelance clients live stateside- more specifically, in Silicon Valley- I decided to take a “jaunt” across the grand ol’ US of A to show my face to the West Coast. After all, better a 6-hour flight than a 12-hour flight!

So, I boarded a plane in London, laid over in Reykjavik (was super sad I couldn’t visit Iceland again on the trip to the States- I’ve been before and its a beautiful place), dropped my bags in DC and headed across the country to San Francisco.

Greenland, anyone?? Pretty cool view from the plane.

 

 

Literally one of the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen- this is above Yosemite. Like, 20,000 feet above.

I set up client meetings to fill literally the entire three days’ time I spent in SF (I learned the locals call it that, not San Fran as so many people call it. Take notice, tourists, if you want to fit in!) but I did want to get in a few sites. I went to San Francisco as a youth, but haven’t been in about 10 years, so mostly I wanted to refresh my decaying memory. Most specifically, I wanted to see:

1) the Golden Gate bridge
2) Alamo Square (sorry, but Full House raised me)
3) Gharardelli Square

Sadly, these places are all very, very far from one another.

Actually, let me digress for a second. EVERYTHING in the Bay Area is far from other things.

As I mentioned, most of my clients are in Silicon Valley. I therefore set up my meetings in Silicon Valley but, wanting to see these three San Francisco sights, set up accommodation and meetings with friends in the city. Turns out, Silicon Valley to SF is about an hour and a half by train. Of course, I suppose a Google Map search could have told me this but…I thought only us Londoners were faced with staggeringly long commutes. I guess its nice to know we have company halfway across the world.

ANYWAY.

After a day of meetings, almost asleep from jet lag, I checked in to my super nice hotel, Hotel Carlton (don’t let the slightly sketchy location sway you, the hotel is amazing, the staff are wonderful and I hear they have a happy hour with free wine at 5:30pm, although I never could make it due to my meetings!). I was asleep before my head hit the pillow but the upside was that by 5am I was wide awake. Time for a run.

They aren’t lying when they say San Francisco is hilly. But at least I earned my breakfast, lunch and dinner by committing to run to see Gharardelli and the Golden Gate. I got Alcatraz in, too. From afar, of course. I haven’t been that bad this year!

Alcatraz from Fort Mason Park.
Ghirardelli Square in the early morning.
The Golden Gate Bridge.
Fort Mason Park.

I really enjoyed my run, because unlike in London, the streets were actually relatively full at dawn, at not with drunken professionals hurrying home to sober up before work. Instead, SF seems to have a population very committed to health and the outdoors. I was in good company on my morning run uphill both ways.

There were also some very interesting sights, like this street sign- someone must have reprogrammed it during the night…

…and the fact that I actually have a street named after me in the center of town.

After my run, I cleaned up and scurried downtown for meetings. I suppose downtown SF looks more or less like any other American city- loads of skyscrapers. BUT, here, earthquakes are very, very likely, so I wonder: WHY build them!? It just made me anxious thinking of an earthquake erupting at any moment, and the buildings falling down.

Downtown SF.

The day passed quickly due to meetings, and before I knew it, it was early AM and I was awake way too early thanks to jet lag. Thankfully, I had one more place on my list: Alamo Square Park. If you’re familiar with the show Full House (you know, Danny, DJ, Stephanie and Michelle Tanner, Uncle DJ and Uncle Jessie? Basically where to Olsen twins got their start), you’ll know the picture below. I HAD to see the house where the whole fam “lived.”

I was clearly not alone in needing to see this, as Alamo Square Park was full of tourists, even at the eye watering hour I arrived via Uber.

Not wanting to appear completely obsessed and uncool (I did enough of that with boy bands in high school), I took a turn around the park before joining the flocks of people taking pictures of the “money shot” from the Full House credits. It is actually quite pretty.

 

 

But obviously eventually I had to join the mass of humanity and take my very own picture.

 

The row from Full House.

After that it was more meetings, including a meeting in the lovely weather by the bridge Oakland.

Overall, I liked SF, although I could never live there. Perhaps I’m speaking too rashly, as I literally had a whirlwind tour skewed by jetlag. However, I didn’t like how the center of town seemed to be the roughest area (right by my hotel, in fact) and how many homeless people, prostitutes and rubbish seemed to litter the streets. I also didn’t like how spread out things were, and how new everything felt (I may in fact be becoming a European with that kind of statement). Also, I don’t think I could live in a place where earthquakes are imminent. It did not do well for my anxiety and OCD.
Essentially, I’m an East Coast gal at heart, as great as the West can clearly be.
BUT, it was a great place to visit, soak up the sun, have some great Mexican food (try Loló in the Mission) and of course, have really productive client meetings.

Comments

  • Must Do’s Along the East Coast, USA

    May 14, 2016 - 1:34 pm

    […] vicinity, I tend to try to catch up with people from the entire eastern seaboard (or, in this case, as far west as San Francisco). You can’t blame a girl for multitasking/taking every opportunity to keep in touch with […]

  • RodolfoPebfm

    May 15, 2016 - 7:07 am

    So jealous. Looks fun.

  • Kaylee Chilton

    May 16, 2016 - 10:00 pm

    I wish I could go to “SF” as I now know the locals call it. Great pictures.

  • Kathryn

    May 17, 2016 - 2:53 pm

    Love your blog! Looks like an awesome day.

  • LaurenceKidw

    May 18, 2016 - 5:20 am

    This looks like an amazing trip!

    tami.blogspot.co.fr

  • Drew Castile

    May 18, 2016 - 9:42 am

    Howdy would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using?
    I’m looking to start my own blog in the near future but I’m
    having a hard time selecting which!
    The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and
    I’m looking for something unique.

    • carefulfeetme

      May 18, 2016 - 4:33 pm

      Drew, I’m using WordPress with the Chosen theme. It is great and v. easy to use!

  • Franklyn Bachmeier

    May 19, 2016 - 2:00 am

    Been following along and just have to say, best post yet! xx

    http://www.youngandfreeblog.blogger.co.uk

  • Dominic

    May 19, 2016 - 2:10 pm

    Looks like time well spent in the Bay Area.

    http://instagram.com/dominicshelley

  • Terrance

    May 21, 2016 - 2:19 am

    Really liked traveling along with you in San Francisco.

  • Helena Burdine

    May 23, 2016 - 3:03 am

    LOVE SF. So happy you had a nice time- especially that you got to go to Alamo Placita.

  • افضل شركة رش مبيدات حشرية بالرياض

    May 23, 2016 - 8:56 am

    !افضل شركة رش مبيدات حشرية بالرياض

  • Stephanie White

    May 26, 2016 - 1:56 am

    Looks amazing dear!

  • Brianne Marte

    May 26, 2016 - 1:58 am

    I’m going to SF next week, so thanks for this.

Leave A Comment