These past few weeks I’ve been American, for both the Xbiz Awards as well as the AVNs. I decided to treat myself to a mini Holiday in San Francisco and it’s been an absolute blast.
I arrived in San Francisco a little worse for wear. Both Xbiz and AVNs are conferences/ conventions and I was struck down with conference flu in my second week. My first few days in San Francisco wasn’t really much of a holiday, more like “get healthy ASAP “. Lots of bed rest, water and some medicine.
Luckily, I’ve recovered in time to enjoy the latter end of my week vacation. Since I’ve visited San Francisco before, I thought I would take it more casually this time.
For my first healthy day, I decided to just walk around. In Budapest, that’s really easy to do. San Francisco, however, is a little bit bigger than Budapest. There are cable cars and busses that you can use luckily.
I first decided to just walk around my local surroundings. A lot of people think America and England are similar because we share a common language and history, sort of. That being said, life in America is very different to life in England and it’s certainly different to life in Budapest!
The little things
One of the reasons I wanted to just walk around where I’m staying as opposed to jumping in on sightseeing, is being I enjoy observing the little differences. Culture is different everywhere and if you have the time to immerse yourself in it, it’s great.
I enjoy playing “spot the difference” between what’s here in America, and what I get back in England. For instance, convenience stores are fascinating to me. There are a lot around here, with a higher saturation than I’m used to.
I like going in and seeing all the everyday things you can buy. Culture-wise, Americans and Englishmen have the same convenience store needs. Snacks, beer, limited amounts of groceries, energy drinks and cigarettes.
In America, people seem to really like their ice cream. So far, everywhere I’ve been has had a huge selection of ice cream. Mostly pint tubs, ranging in brands and flavours. Some I recognise, such as Ben & Jerry’s, others I’ve never seen before. I bought myself one that was “birthday cake” flavoured, complete with sprinkles.
There were other things I was excited to see as well. Tins of Campbell’s soup, which I only knew from Warhol’s famous painting, famed Lucky Charms my American friends in England have often told me they missed, and I also ate a Twinkie after seeing it glorified in Zombieland.
Another reason I’ve walked a lot whilst here is to play Pokemon Go. I know, that’s so 2016. Normally I don’t play it much, maybe opening it up if I’m standing around waiting for something. However, something made me open it up and it was exciting to explore the city via looking for Pokemon I wanted to catch.
I’m pretty behind on it, I never even got 70% of the first gen pokemon, and now we’re onto gen 3 I think? It’s been great sort of reliving that excitement the game originally brought in it’s initial release.
There’s also a lot more Pokemon, stops and gyms here. I’ve been hoping to get in on a legendary raid, but so far it hasn’t crossed my path.
The Touristy stuff
Ok I did get around to doing some touristy stuff. I visited Fisherman’s Wharf, which reminds me of any seaside town front. It even smelled like fish and chips! There was an old coin-operated arcade which was both fun and educational. I looked out for seals but didn’t manage to see any.
Many people suggested I visit Alcatraz. I didn’t have time, but I did look at it from a distance. There was also a cable car ride that I looked at, and a very famous chocolate shop called Ghirardelli that I ate a lot of free samples from.
Because the weather has been so nice, I was also able to visit Dolores Park. The park is fairly small and in a more residential area. It’s beautiful and has lovely views of the city. There’s also some really good ice-cream at the bottom.
I went to see Golden Gate Bridge. I’ve seen it before, but it’s probably my favourite thing in San Francisco. The bridge itself is so impressive. A lot bigger than I imagine, the red against a backdrop of blue ocean and green hills is always stunning.
I also briefly saw the painted ladies, a row of brightly coloured houses. For lunch, I sampled things from a Farmer’s Market in the Ferry Building.