November 16, 2011

sf on foot

Hills.  People have said it, people have said it like they mean it, I have heard it many times before, but the hills truly are something you have to see to believe.  San Francisco has hills!  A walking tour of SF, therefore, is a great butt workout.  I had no idea until this morning, when I used mapmyrun, that the walk I took last Monday was nearly 10 miles (ok, 9.45... close enough).  I am so relieved to learn this because Tuesday morning I woke up with a soooooooore tush, and I was worried that I was really, really out of shape. (After two days at The Bar Method, I am quick to add that the jury is still out on this fact.)

Here's a glimpse of what I did.  I had heard these words from friends and family-- their must-sees of SF if you will: "Lyon Street Steps," "Presidio," "Golden Gate Park," "Museums," "Haight and Ashbury," "Buena Vista Park," but I had no idea how well those things lined up for a day on foot.  I added "Full House House" to the list and bada-bing.  I did it.  

Check out the map below to see what I mean re: perfect walking route!  (I started on the top right, where the green dot is).

And here it is zoomed in a bit.  We had seen a bunch of the Presidio, Sea Cliff, and Golden Gate Park from the trolley, so I felt okay staying on the periphery.  

Lyon Street Steps.  A street so steep they had to put in stairs....

First set of "steps"... I would categorize this as a full fledged staircase.

Second staircase...

View from the top.  To the left is the GGB to the right of this beautiful house is Alcatraz.

And at the top of Lyon Street Steps is an entrance to the Presidio.

View from the edge of the Presidio.  Tanker in the distance in the Bay

And, into Golden Gate Park I walked.  Past the Conservatory of Flowers, into the California Academy of Sciences, and through the Japanese  Tea Garden  (Tip #5 [plan]: the Conservatory of Flowers is closed on Mondays. the Science museum has happy hours for 21+ Thursdays at 6pm, where you can see all the same exhibits with a glass of wine while listening to music!, and the Tea Garden has free admission between 9-10am Monday, Wednesday, Friday).

Conservatory of Flowers

Tea Garden

The roof of the CA Academy of Sciences is ALIVE!

Then I walked down Haight Street, where I had been told to look out on the left hand side for the Ben and Jerry's store, above which, around which, and down the street from which (before it was B&Js) lived the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, etc, etc, etc.  Kinda cool.  Interesting history.  Kinda full of drugs.  Kinda terrifying.

Down the street was the entrance to Buena Vista Park, where I climbed scaled the trails to reach this lookout, which had a veryyyyyy buena vista complete with a full city vantage, Golden Gate Bridge, and amazing angle of the national park surrounding the bay.

I couldn't visit SF without giving-in to the child inside of me,  i.e.,I had to see where Michelle, Stephanie, and DJ grew up.  Though I felt a twinge of nostalgia, if I were being completely honest it was a sight for sore eyes.  I'm pretty sure Danny Tanner would not approve of the state of his home's paint job... chippy, pealy, and tired looking.

And then it was downnnnnnn the hill for some much-deserved rest and recuperation.

For dinner, we ordered Vietnamese take-out from Sweet Aroma.  We shared the Imperial Roll (yum!), and I ordered the Pho Ga for my entree (Chicken noodle soup that is out of this world).  The addition of fresh basil was absolutely perfect.  And the best part? It was so affordable and HUGE.   (Tip #6 [eat]: order out or go to Sweet Aroma.  Two could share the soup and appetizer and spend under $10).

This was the day I went to sleep knowing I was in love with San Francisco.  I felt the first twinges of the "I have to move" sickness I am currently battling back here in Boston.  I loved walking around and seeing the city on my own.   It was amazing.

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