With only two nights and one full day to explore San Francisco, things were tight and I’m didn’t organise wisely. Despite all this, I still managed to fall in love with San Francisco, and luckily didn’t get banned so hopefully it’ll have me back one day. Welcome to my American Road Trip Part 2
We arrived in San Francisco around 8pm, but camera guy was exhausted from driving such long distances in weird conditions, on the wrong side of the road. I was less tired, but also more excited, since it was my decision to go to San Francisco at all.
For the first night, my long time friend Brody from San Francisco was free to go to dinner. I have made several friends over the years, online and otherwise but this friend and I have a funny backstory. I don’t remember how, but we met briefly online, then lost each other’s contact. I then managed to hunt down his email using the key words “San Francisco Wood Art” on google and trailing through a lot of etsy stores.
On our way to the lounge/restaurant type place I encountered my first dead body. Sort of. We were walking through an alley way since the restaurant’s front door is there, and there was an ambulance at the entrance of the alleyway, and two men came through wheeling a bed/table thing that had a person on, completely covered over with a white cloth.
I’m sure this doesn’t sound that exciting or fun, and it wasn’t, but it’s also the first time I’ve ever seen a dead body, or at least, a dead body under a white cloth. It felt almost surreal that that was what was under there. We kept walking along, but I think the image made a deep impression in my mind.
Oddly enough, that didn’t affect my appetite at all and instead I poured over the limited but delicious sounding menu. I actually have this test of friendship, and that’s to see how people react by just how long I take to decide on what I eat. My best friends and I have easily spent 30 minutes just debating over a menu.
Brody didn’t mind at all that it took me nearly 20 minutes to decide on meatloaf and tomato bisque. He in turn ordered the brussels sprouts salad and beef carpaccio. The food was delicious, and I have to admit it was my first time eating tomato bisque but I hope I get to eat it again soon! The brussels spouts salad was probably the most surprising for me, since I don’t normally like brussels spouts, yet this was one of the most delicious salads I’ve ever eaten!
I then went back to the hotel and slept like a baby, San Francisco sleep early! Well I sleep early and that’s enough. One thing I’ve noticed about America is that everywhere I’ve gone, there’s been a great mattress and super comfy pillows. It’s hard not to get a decent night’s sleep over here, and I wish England’s nice bedding didn’t cost a small fortune, since I’ll miss my comfy night’s sleep.
My first and only full day in San Francisco had a plan like this:
- Go to Yank Sing for breakfast (at request of cameraguy)
- Visit the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory
- Explore Chinatown
- Go to Japantown
I know the list doesn’t sound very San Francisco Orientated, but that’s just how things came to be. Yank Sing was a delicious DimSum restaurant that perhaps caters to tourists and business people, but it was a fun experience, especially for camera guy who had never been to a more traditional Dim Sum place. It was hard saying no to all the foods being carted around our table.
On the way to finding the fortune cookie factory, I got distracted by a traditional Japanese sweetshop. Like eating, I love going into sweetshops or food shops and just browsing for a while. I love japanese confectionary because they are so different to the western counter parts. Instead of hard sugar, most of the sweets are made from a base of sweet bean paste. I ended up buying a variety box which I’ll eat with my little sister who is also a fan of them!
Chinatown was much, much bigger than I had ever anticipated. I felt like I was actually in China, with all the street signs and shop signs in Chinese. The park had tables with old men playing mahjong and women doing Tai Chi to a radio, just like they do in Asia. Even the graffiti had oriental twists to them.
I showed my camera guy the fish stores, which had tanks of live fish and turtles swimming around. I explained that when you go buy fish, you pick out your fish and they butcher it up right then and there. For some this is very squeamish but it’s the freshest fish you’ll get!
San Francisco is hilly! And blocks are a lot longer than they look on the map. We decided to walk from Chinatown to Japantown, not taking into account how hilly the trip would be and exactly how far away the destination was. Add that to a sunny, cloudless day and let’s say we wasted a lot of time walking and getting sweaty.
Well it wasn’t a waste of time so much, I think a lot of people don’t realise how fascinating it is to outsiders to simply take in the architecture of American cities, all of which are so similar just different to each other. It was also nice being somewhere so hot and sunny. It felt like summer time in England.
I had a taste of my first “Caramel Vanilla French Coffee” which tasted nothing like coffee. I also had some “Watermelon Ice Tea” which tasted neither like water melons nor ice tea. Both were delicious and thirst quenching though! America, you have very sweet drinks, but I’m not complaining!
Japantown was my favourite place. I’ve never felt closer to being in Japan. My eyes lit up at all the Japanese food stalls and merchandise. I had blue fin tuna (the fatty cut) for only $6! I debated on spending the rest of my holiday money on a bento box. I spent the rest of the day walking back and forth, basking in love for Japan.
It sounds stupid, that I went all the way to America to be in a fake Japan, but honestly, it was a breath of fresh air and not something I’ll be able to do in England. It was there that I met up with Tifa who was just as beautiful and lovely as I remembered from the AVN expo.
She took me to the cheesecake factory where I ate Guacamole. I don’t remember much of what we talked about, but I think that’s a sign of friendship, when you can spend hours together and not remember anything either of you said. I finally ate some cheesecake from the cheesecake factory, and now I know what all the fuss is about. My next destination is Los Angeles, and I sure as hell hope there’s a cheesecake factory there!