I Left My Heart in San Francisco…Part 1

Neither of us had been to San Fran as adults, so we were both looking forward to this trip. More than anything, we were looking forward to sleeping in. We haven’t had a day off in quite a while.

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We bought cheap tickets through Southwest, they are sometimes as low as $50 from San Diego to San Fran. We did the whole Priceline deal for our hotel rooms, so they were around $100 a night or so. We stayed two nights in San Diego so that we didn’t actually have to do anything the day after the wedding. We flew out in the afternoon on Monday.

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We took Bart (I was told that there is no “the” before Bart, which I think is weird, but I’m a southern Californian who puts the definite article in front of everything) from the airport to Market Street in the heart of the Tenderloin. Our hotel was only supposed to be a few blocks away, but we started walking the wrong direction and ended up walking a mile in the wrong direction. Right when we got out of the train station, we were bombarded with street music (which was really good!), very animated homeless
We stayed at the Wyndam, which was a decently priced, nice hotel. It reminded me of a European city with its old style buildings and fashionable, yet cold passersby. If you don’t rent a car, you walk a lot. If you stay in the tenderloin, then you walk a lot in the tenderloin. Tenderloin = lots of homeless people. Walking a lot at night + lots of scary homeless people = scary and annoying. Typically I have a lot of sympathy, but they seem to have chosen that lifestyle in San Fran, it comes with the territory.

We walked, a lot. We got an app for my iPhone to help us navigate, but spent more time looking at a paper map than the app. It never really worked well, always losing us on the map and it ran the batteries down really fast if I always used it. I’d rather keep it handy for emergencies and for photo editing. We should have spent more time researching when we were in our hotel and plotting out where to go, rather than trying to be spontaneous and sometimes not eating breakfast until 12 PM because we were lost.

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We visited most of the tourist traps, like Haight and Ashbury Street. I took a class on the 60s in my undergrad and we both love the music of the 60s, so this stop was a must. Unfortunately, its lined with tourist oriented shops and long gone are the hippies. As to be expected I guess. What do you know, there was a Ben and Jerry’s on the corner…

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One of Phillip’s favorite novels is Jack Kerouac’s On The Road, a seemingly autobiographical novel about a beat on a hitchhiking journey across America, set in the late 40s, early 50s. San Francisco is the promise land for a freewheeln’ character named Jack. Much of his focus is upon the feelings and experiences of his friends that he meets up with during his travels. A colorful story, Phillip and I enjoyed reading about his his spirited life as we tootled around San Fran. We made a point to swing by Jack Kerouac street in Chinatown and visit one of his old haunts–Vesuvios. We gandered at the array of old photographs on the wall of the like of Bob Dylan and his friends. They all hung out here. We enjoyed a cocktail early in the afternoon and headed next door to the City Lights Bookstore. Left as you can get, this bookstore published beat literature and was the mecca at which traveling beats would replace their old copies of On The Road. We bought Darma Bums, another Kerouac classic, and went on our way. We felt like free spirits for a few hours, then ended up back in the busy downtown of our hotel.

Stay tuned for our next honeymoon post: Adventures in coffee, continuing your education…San Francisco’s single cup revolution.

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