(12/6/10 preface: so I am WAY behind in blogging and this post should have been up 2 months ago when I started it but better late than never I guess! As per my normal, expect an influx of pictures)
I was fortunate enough to meet my mom in San Francisco for the weekend recently. She had a pediatric conference and I was in need of some me time so it worked out perfect. I flew in first then had fun watching and waiting for her.I've mentioned that I love airports right?
Then it was off to navigate BART which is their subway system that leaves right from the airport. I also love riding the subway when we visit big cities...I'm serious, I do. We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott and had a very nice room with a pretty good city view.
My mom's only request while we were there was to go to Fisherman's Wharf and get clam chowder. So we put on our walking shoes and that's what we did. (I have to tell you, I am stubborn and have always liked wearing my cute shoes when traveling but my mom convinced me to ditch the boots and wear tennis shoes this trip. I took her advice but it kills me to see myself wearing tennis shoes with nice jeans. My feet on the other hand thanked me. Silly and vain I know, but true)
I couldn't believe how steep these streets are!
This is the view from the restaurant we had our chowder at. See all the seals? I felt bad for them but my mom assured me they were happy seals...not so sure.
After dinner we walked the embarcado past a view of Alcatraz, a cool old pirate ship, then to Ghiradelli Square.
The next day didn't start off too well. My mom left early for conference and after throwing my hair up and a jacket over my pajamas I headed down to get breakfast. I stopped at the pool on my way and my card wouldn't open the door so I stopped at the front desk to get a new one. They asked to see my ID then told me they couldn't help be because the reservation was under my mom and not me. They said I would have to call her which I could not because she is in conference and my phone is in the room. After taking my card then telling me again they couldn't help me I responded with "you mean to tell me I'm going to sit in this lobby in my pajamas all day until my mom gets back?" The front desk lady just looked at me and didn't say anything. I couldn't not believe it but yes, I spent the next 3 hours in the lobby in my pajamas waiting for my mom to come back for lunch. When she saw me I just started to cry and explain. Ohhh was she mad! She lit into that lady like there was no tomorrow! So moral of this long story is...although I've NEVER had an issue like this before, always add your name to a reservation if you didn't make it so that you don't get locked out of your room too! Can you believe that?!
Anyway, after finally being able to get dressed and ready, we found a yummy Mexican place for lunch. Look at the size of these tacos! We had to eat them with a fork. We filled up quickly and still had a whole plate left so we gave it to a homeless guy who we had seen a few times.
After lunch we did a little shopping before my mom had to get back to the conference. Once she left I slipped on my running shoes, hooked up the ipod and took advantage of the beautiful weather and did a little exploring on my own. It was perfect, so refreshing, and just what I needed! It felt so good to be outside in the sun and in a new place and just be spontaneous and run where I wanted and see what I wanted. I ended up running along the pier and got a great view of the Oakland Bridge up close and personal.
I also had a great view of the cool buildings (did I mention I love big cities?)
Then I found this neat back staircase that ran between some homes. I wasn't sure where it went but had to check it out. This is the view from the beginning of the stairs...
Now a bit higher and the view just kept getting better.
See that pretty purple tree on the right? Here's another shot of the petals, are they vibrant or what?!
I seriously felt like I was in the secret garden.
It's crazy to think that these stairs are people's sidewalks to their homes.
Here's the view from the top of the never ending stairs
Before I found the stairs I had noticed this monument while running, little did I know those stairs took me right up to it!
It's called the Coit Tower and has an amazing view of the city.
This is a panoramic view from the tower (except I don't know how to connect the pictures)
After taking in the view I set out to find my way back to the hotel. It was neat to not really know where I was going and just take my time finding my way. I loved running between the cool buildings and up and down the steep streets with beautiful row houses. Finally I made it back and my mom and I had dinner overlooking Union Square which is where they have a bunch of high end shops.Not bad for a day's work huh?
The next day we rented bicycles and did an 8 mile bike tour of the San Francisco Bridge. We rode from the Fisherman's Wharf, across the bridge, and into a little city called Sausalito. The hills were killer and required pushing the bikes sometimes but the views were worth it. (sis, I kept thinking what a great Ironman course it would be).
On our way to the bridge
Looking back at the city
It was funny but sad, as we rode along the bridge there are a bunch of "Don't jump, there's hope" signs and telephones next to them if you need to talk to someone...I don't plan to do anything crazy but looking down, that would not be my way to go!
Made it over the bridge!
After crossing the bridge we had a yummy pizza and salad lunch then loaded the bikes on a ferry and took a ride back to Pier 39 just as the fog set in.
After returning the bikes we did a little more sightseeing together. We made it to Lombard Street which is better known as the "crookedest street". There were a ton of tourists and the walk up there is as steep as it looks but it was pretty cool to see.
We also checked out some more potential real estate options...Hah! I wish
Our legs were screaming at us by the time we got back to the hotel so we took a few minutes to soak in the hot tub then climbed in our beds.
The next day mom took off to conference early so I put the running shoes back on and headed a different direction than before. It was farther than I expected but I found the street of houses that might just remind you of a certain sitcom in the 90's. Any guesses?
Well if you guessed Full House you'd be right! These are the "pink lady's" and are kept in impecable condition. I took the picture from a park across the street that again had great city views. (Bonus for me it turned out to be a dog park!)
On my way back I stopped at a cute little cafe and enjoyed breakfast in the sun.
I also enjoyed watching this lady try to hail a cab for 20 minutes while thinking to myself, if you didn't have those $200+ heels on you probably could have walked there by now :)
Spotted this fancy schmancy site on the way back. Not sure what it is but pretty nice huh?
My mom and I met up for lunch then after walking her back to her conference for one more session I visited some of the shops at Union Square including this 4-story Forever 21 store. Pretty huh?
Afterwards I killed some time with an incredibly over priced movie by myself (never gone alone before) then met mom for a quick dinner and we began our trek back to the airport for red-eye flights home.
This was an aweome trip and I'm so grateful that my mom invited me. It was great one on one time with her and very much needed one on one time with myself! Thanks Mom! See you in Boston next year :)