Tuesday, July 1, 2014

I left my Heart in San Francisco

It's been several years since I've been home so it was definitely wonderful to be back for a while, especially to show my host family what I've been raving about all of these years. California has so much to offer. From the natural beauty of mountains, valleys, and beaches to the manmade fun of the Golden Gate Bridge and Hollywood. We wanted my host parents to see as much as they could in a week.

Our first stop in California was San Francisco, the home of up and downhill trekkers, Golden Gate crossers, and cable car riders. This place is supposed to be super wheelchair accessible. How? I'm not sure because the steep hills make it seem impossible. But it really did begin in this area.

We were starving when we got into town and were in the mood for Japanese food. We found a restaurant in the Union Square area called, Dojima-Ann, which was rated 4 stars and was decently priced. We were not disappointed as there was a huge selection of food on the menu, and all were so good and well-portioned. That was seriously one of the best Japanese places I've ever eaten at. Yum!

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We spent a day walking/wheeling through the Fisherman's Wharf, which was wheelchair accessible all the way through. It was a beautiful sunny, yet windy day. The wharf was packed with cars, trolleys, and seagulls, which added to the excitement of the day. There was music blasting along the road, tons of people just hanging out at bars, and street musicians chiming in too. The smell of the sea and fried fish were so familiar. Even though I was so full from Japanese food earlier, I really, really wanted fish and chips, but I had to discipline myself.

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So many beautiful boats!

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We explored the old U.S. naval ship from World War II, which was pretty grand {talk about vintage}. It was decked out with red, white, and blue flags all over, which I love. I'm a sucker for patriotic holidays because I love living in this country so much. We got to read about life on the ship and it didn't seem the least bit appealing to me. I couldn't imagine life in such tight quarters for months on end with other stinky, gross men. Germs, people. GERMS!

There were tons of little shops that sold iconic tokens of San Francisco and they were cheap! We found things from seashells to crazy seagull hats. My host mom and I LOVED it! We also serendipitously found many beautiful vintage cars driving about, which the boys really enjoyed. See, there was something for everyone to see. Even baby got a kick out of the seagulls that mommy wouldn't let him touch.

It was different to see trolley tracks everywhere along the wharf as they're rare throughout the rest of California. We were waiting for the cross signal at a stoplight long enough to see two bikers who were turning and get their wheels caught in the tracks and fell. Ouch! The city certainly needs to fix that because I'm sure it happens very frequently and is dangerous for other bikers as well.

We finished off the night by watching the sunset behind the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge. I have surely missed the California sunsets. I felt so relaxed and happy. What a beauty. If you've never been to California, take it from me, we mean business when it comes to sunsets. It's worth a spot on the bucket list, especially coupled with the Golden Gate.
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Well, no one left their heart in San Francisco this time around, except lots and lots of change {ouch it was expensive!} I was so glad we got to take my host parents there and that they enjoyed it. We didn't get to stay for long, but it was an amazing day at the Wharf. I could have definitely done a little more people watching and fish and chips eating. We'll have to plan more time to do more exploring around there. But it's always good to leave something behind to come back for.

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