San Francisco, open your golden gate…

You’ll let nobody wait outside your door…

Judy Garland, anyone?

I had the pleasure of going to San Francisco this past weekend to visit friends.  It is such an incredible city!  I would live there in a heartbeat if I had megabucks and felt comfortable ditching my car permanently.

We booked a hotel at the last-minute, so we had our choice between a haunted Victorian mansion or a futuristic hotel in Japantown.

The mural in our room.

Guess which one won out?  I am ALWAYS up for haunted mansions, but I don’t think I will ever convince Jonathan to ghost hunt with me.  Although, that Japanese mural haunts me in my dreams.

We saw the “painted lady” houses, made famous by Full House (secretly, I never liked that show).

When people ask what I did on vacation, I’m usually compelled to say something like, “Oh, we went to this famous landmark, visited this famous museum, saw this famous district, etc.”  But most of my vacations are spent walking around the city and getting to know the local culture.

Acting as the “passive traveler” has changed my life.  Instead of taking cities by storm, I let the culture, the people, and the sights seep into me.  It’s hard to leave a new place without learning or feeling something new.

It’s how I like to travel, but it certainly doesn’t make for very interesting stories.  So, the Full House houses are all you’re getting. 😉

The best thing about San Francisco is that the views are breathtaking from almost everywhere in the city.

Oh, they aren’t beautiful where you’re standing?  Walk up 1 block.

Where have you vacationed recently?  How do you like to travel?  

-Mads

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11 thoughts on “San Francisco, open your golden gate…

  1. Sounds like a great little getaway! It has been too long since I did that, but I am like you and when I go to a new place I enjoy taking in the cities culture and experiencing it as much as possible like a local. Those are more fun and refreshing for me than sticking to a strict agenda to see all the “important” sites.
    Much love,
    B

  2. I went to San Francisco in high school for a mission trip and seeing the city was absolutely amazing. I am so glad that you got to visit last weekend. I had a thought in my head last night that maybe when you graduate from school you will end up living there. And I love it 11/10.

    p.s. Love the latte art!

  3. I LOVE San Fran! I’ve only been one time, but it was such an electric city. I wish I had more time to wander about. Shame about how much it costs there! Next time I go, I really want to see Alcatraz.

  4. I hated Full House, too. There were way too many things wrong with it. How it stayed on for so long… I’ll never know.
    We spent our honeymoon in San Francisco, and we love it, too. It’s definitely on the Top Ten Places We Would Live If We Had Infinite Funds. I’d love to go back at some point and do the things we weren’t able to do then.
    I’m actually hoping that we can take HRH to San Diego this summer; she loves zoos and the beach, so it’s the perfect location. She’s a little young for Disney, but I’ve got big plans for her 6th (golden) birthday.
    Like Kat, I love the latte art – that’s pretty awesome!

    • We honeymooned in SF, too! Love that town. We tend to vacation like locals. If we can find a great view and park, we’re good. I always think I should be doing something more educational with the boys while on vacation, but they kind of just like to hang out, too. We live in a resort area, so everyday feels like vacation. We hit little towns all over the coasts just for fun. Or last real vacation? Toledo, OH. No lie. We went for a Professional Bull Riding event. Try not to be completely horrified by that fact.

  5. When we travel, I like to do a blend of “planning the highlights” and relaxing like a local. I want to make sure I see the best of a city, but I also want to spend time getting lost in a neighborhood. I spent 2 full days wandering aimlessly by myself through San Fran’s Chinatown and Little Italy, and loved every minute of it. When TCP wasn’t working, we hit the tourist spots like Alcatraz, the piers & Coit Tower at sunset. Our biggest adventure was riding mountain bikes from Pier 51 over the Golden Gate Bridge and down into Sausalito, where we grabbed the ferry back to the pier. What a thrill to ride a bike over that bridge! Also proof that if I can do it, anyone can.

  6. If I had to choose one city to live in for the rest of my life it would be San Fran. From the views to the FOOD to the culture, it all makes me happy.

    I agree with you completely about being a passive traveler. I love going to local coffee shops or record stores just to see the regular folks.

  7. I LOVE San Francisco. The food is fantastic, the scenery is amazing, the weather? Chilly. A bit too chilly sometimes but I love breaking out the trench.

    Cute picture! I love it.

  8. Looks like a fantastic trip doll 🙂

    I want to go back to SF so badly and take it all in. Last time I was there was in SF was like 12 years ago – a little to far gone to really remember what happened – not to mention I wasn’t old enough to drink or go anywhere really super adult and awesome.

    I’m definitely looking forward to my next vacation – my honeymoon- which it sounds like will be to Alaska. Another place I haven’t been too in 17 years…

  9. The best SF excursion – From a local who takes out of towners there.
    Take the ferry from the Embarcadero (Market St. & Embarcadero) to Sausalito. Window shop in Sausalito, have lunch. Come back on ferry to SF. Get bus ticket as you leave ferry terminal. Take bus down Embarcadero (north west) to pier 39. Window shop pier 39. See the sea lions. Walk to Fishermans wharf. See the fishermans’s wharf bushman who scares people for tips. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFsoEeCKnlE
    From there it is a short walk to Lombard street to see “the crookedest street in the world”.
    If you are really adventurous (want to stand in line for an hour or more) you can catch a ferry at the top of the hill back to Market street. Or you can walk down other side of Lombard and catch bus to Golden Gate Bridge.

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