The Bus, The Bike & The Boat

Day 1; San Francisco; July 3rd 

Civic Centre

5am is not a time I like to be awake at tbh so my first experience of jet lag was pretty grim. 
Emily did however make the experience a little more amusing by talking to me in her sleep, well I say talking, she was basically having a go for no reason. Bitch

"Hello picky"
"Why am I being picky?"
"Picky, you're being picky for choosing this time' 
"Da fuq?"
*Rolls over and continues snoring*

Eventually she decided to wake up and claimed she didn't remember calling me picky, hmm.
Breakfast time & we wanted to try out a place called Custon Burger which was on the same street as our hotel but was jam-packed so we settled for Caffe Moda just across the road.
Bacon, egg & cheese bagel for me & the most amazing mint chocolate iced latte ever! 
We settled into seats next to the window - first mistake of the day

Now I knew San Francisco had a pretty big homeless population but you can't quite appreciate how many until you're actually there! 
So we're tucking into our food and I notice a homeless man across the street,
walking in the middle of the road ... maybe he's just trying to cross?
he then drops his jeans ... maybe he lost his belt?
& then his boxers ... running out of excuses
& then turned and decided to have a sh*t all over a tree
Thank F there was a car blocking that final view! 
Nope. He kindly walked round the car and & back onto the road with boxers down his ankles.
Not what I wanted to see whilst eating tbh. 

 So with that image fresh in our minds we decided to make our way to the Civic Centre to buy ourselves some Big Bus tour tickets for the day. We were originally going to cycle the whole of the West side of SF but once we started on the bus we were so glad we didn't ... there are ALOT of hills in SF!! 
Our first stop was at Alamo Square to see The Painted Ladies
So we're taking pictures of these pretty houses for a good 5/10 minutes and then Emily says 
"Right shall we go see The Painted Ladies now?'
Apparently someone didn't do their trip research! 
Still not entirely sure what she thought The Painted Ladies were?! 

The Painted Ladies
Haight Ashbury
We decided to walk to our next stop; Haight Ashbury 
second mistake of the day
It didn't look that far on the map ... lies
So after a very very long walk in all sorts of directions we finally found Haight Ashbury; a quirky and hippie-filled area full of colourful buildings & the faint smell of weed in the air. 
The biggest clue we had arrived was the man pushing a double pram full of cats

A walk through half of the Golden Gate Park was next and a visit to the Japanese Tea Gardens;
$8 entrance fee but worth a visit, it is so so pretty! Bought my first (& most pointless) souvenir of the trip ... a ceramic swan chopstick holder :/ Because you know I use chopsticks ALL the time!

Japanese Tea Gardens
View of The Golden Gate Bridge from Vista Point
Back to the bus & we met Peter, an old man of about 100 who gave the best commentary of SF.
Our drive took a while because of traffic but we eventually got our first glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge! Karl the fog was trying to eat the bridge but the views were still incredible! We drove over to Vista point & back across and the wind was hilarious!
Top deck of the bus trying to hold onto all your belongings & take pictures at the same time. So many fabulous wind-swept selfies!
Across the bridge we hopped off at the Palace of the Fine Arts; stunning!
Such a cool area with beautiful buildings. I could have stayed there for hours and sat on the grass and watched the world go by. But that would be counter-productive and we had a lot more left to do and see that day!

A quick walk away we hunted down Yoda for Emily!
She was ready to go home now, seen what she came for now could catch a flight back.

Palace of the Fine Arts
Yoda Statue 
The bus, minus Peter this time :( took us past all the cool stops; Union Square, Coit Tower, Pier 39, Chinatown & then to Fishermans Wharf. 
Now we made a bucket list a while ago (for more details please scroll back to previous posts on my blog ;)) and one was to cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge. 
We rented bikes from Blazing Saddles and started our "1.5 hour" cycle to Sausalito 
It was 10 miles of wind in our face and Karl covering the bridge & took a lot more than 1.5 hours! 
Cycling across the bridge was pretty awesome though because of the views of the Pacific but also pretty scary because you could be blown off the side at any moment!!

Cycling from Fisherman's Wharf towards the GGB
The sun came out on the other side so a lovely downhill (& then uphill which the brochure failed to mention ... not the only time this will happen on the trip) cycle into Sausalito. For anyone travelling to San Francisco I highly recommend putting a day or 2 aside to spend in Sausalito! It is such a beautiful little town which we unfortunately didn't get to explore that much of. 
Apparently everyone in California had decided to cycle across and get the ferry back that day too because the queues for the ferry were ridiculous! 
Hours dragged on and there were rumours were flying around of no more ferries and that we'd all just have to die there.
But alas more ferries were called on for aid & we eventually got back to return the bikes, at bloody 9:30pm! 1.5 hours my arse! Raking the money in that day!

We hadn't had lunch and i'd cry if had to settle for another Subway so we started our power walk to Union Square in the hope that The Cheesecake Factory was still open. On and on we walked and me being tired and hungry and pessimistic decided to call it that it won't be open. 
Alas I was wrong, god bless you Cheesecake Factory for staying open until 12:30!!
You're getting all the positive reviews on trip advisor for that! 
Food ordered & when it came ... OH MY GOD. 
I have never seen a bowl so big & full in all my life. 
Welcome to America!
I had the spaghetti meatballs & didn't even get through a third.
It was also on our bucket list to get cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory so we ordered some to go.
Eventually made it back to the hotel and bedtime was called at 1am - love a 20 hour day :/ 
I had a few more earthquake experiences so settled in hoping for a few more hours sleep! 

Meatballs at The Cheesecake Factory
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