Waking up from the night before, realisation soon set it that today we finally get to tick off San Francisco from our bucket list, and best of all, we get to celebrate the 4th of July there!
Also after 13 nights of camping on the trot, we finally get to stay in a hostel! Oh, what’s a bed again? It was only a three and a half hour drive to San Fran and before we knew it we arrived at the famous Golden Gate Bridge. Steve dropped us off where we quickly walked across it, taking in the amazing yet foggy views (the city gets really foggy during the summer months). It felt so surreal to be here!
foggy golden gate bridge, views from it
After soaking in the views, we quickly checked into our hostel and got ready to go out for a sunset boat cruise. It was so nice to dress up and feel glam! On the way to the cruise, we paid a visit to Fisherman’s Wharf, where a few of us got a light bite to eat. Me and Polly decided to try out a dish called lobster bisque in a large bread bowl. It was actually really delicious! From there we walked to the famous Pier 39, where we boarded our boat, grabbed a cosy jacket and plonked ourselves onto one of the nets at the front. Aside from not seeing the sunset (as it was so foggy), the cruise was so much fun! We all got two free drinks each, had a laugh and danced to the music blaring from the speakers!
fisherman’s wharf, lobster bisque, view of the bridge from the sunset cruise
It was then onto the first of many bars, where we all indulged in cocktails (and garlic fries for me and Polly). I’m not gonna lie, I am a bit of a cheapskate, so in one bar I walked up to the bartender and asked for the cheapest and strongest drink they had (little did I know just how strong this $3 drink would be). It tasted like a combination of tequila, fireball and Wild Turkey all rolled into one! But it did the job perfectly. At this point, we all split up, with most of the group heading home.
I made a couple of American friends at the $3 drink bar, and asked them what place they would recommend for us next. They suggested heading to a gay bar, and so we all set off (the boys didn’t know where we were going at this point) and in we walked into this bar, where they all played pool (I’m such a good wingman FYI), whilst I watched, had a couple of drinks and secretly laughed as the boys soon realised where we were, and were a bit startled after a trip to the toilets! By this time it was getting pretty late, so we said goodbye to our new friends and headed home via a takeaway. It was such a good night, and it was nice to let our hair down! Plus we didn’t do too bad, we ended up rolling in at 3am…
san fran’s streets, delicious brunch
Our first night in San Francisco was sooo good, and if this trip has taught me anything, it’s that I can surprisingly somehow still function without any sleep!
This morning I had a little lie in before heading out to explore on our free day with Polly, Marc and Rob. Rob led the way and took us through some dire-looking streets (and I mean the pee and weed smelling dire). However after a quick loop, me and Polly found a nice place for brunch at a cute independent café whilst the boys (who were pretty impatient with our wandering) grabbed a Starbucks. I have to say, our avocado, egg and toast brekkie was so lovely! Once we refuelled we headed up to Coit Tower, which had some amazing panoramic views of the city (we didn’t pay to go up it, but the gardens themselves still had spectacular views!)
coit tower and views
We then headed down to Fisherman’s Wharf to hit the arcades, where we met up with Dave (who came back from a trip with a few of the others from Alcatraz), went into a photobooth and watched some street artists perform. Me and Polly had a little dance and it was so nice to chill and have a wander.
Later that afternoon, we joined a few of the others for an ‘urban adventure’ through Chinatown and North Beach. Our first stop of the tour was to get our fortune read at a Chinese temple, then it was onto a local fortune cookie-making factory before completing Chinatown with a tea tasting session. Then it was onto a quick walk around North Beach where we saw some amazing graffiti and shops before hitting a pizzeria. (I’ve never eaten so much pizza on this trip, so I opted for pasta!)
entrance to chinatown, street, graffiti
After tea we headed back to the hotel, got ready in our 4th of July gear and headed out to the famous Cheesecake Factory. Their cheesecake slices were so massive that most of us shared a piece between us! Me and Marc opted for Reese’s peanut butter slice which was so nice, yet a tad sickly aha! As it was Rob’s birthday, Marc got him a pink tiara and a Frozen watch that he had to wear all night. We met up with Kirsty, Holly and Bobbi and headed to Pier 39 to see the fireworks which were okay – nothing to special (maybe it was the fog?) Once the fireworks had finished, we hit a few bars, which were a bit quieter than we expected, but we did find a dive bar with dollar bills all over the ceiling which was pretty cool. We decided to join in this trend and write on a $1 bill and sign it with everyone’s name on from trek and hang it up (it’s so weird now to think that our note is still there in San Fran…)
reese’s peanut butter cheesecake from the cheesecake factory, dollars on the ceiling
As the night was still young, we tried to find another bar so me, Kirsty, Marc and Dave headed out but we couldn’t find any near our hostel, so we grabbed a slice of pizza at a takeaway before heading back.
A couple of us weren’t really tired, so we hung out in the common room, drinking, chatting and playing pool until 5am (so hardcore aha).
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