Wednesday, June 19, 2013

San Francisco without Mum (Part Two)

So I said goodbye to Mum - very sad. The way I've written these it kind of sounds like I'm about to let loose (the 'without Mum' in the title) but unfortunately I'm a very boring traveller as I have neither the funds nor the friends in the various cities! So my first night and day in the hostel I basically did ...nothing.

It was the first time I'd been in one city for more than 4 days since May 14th! So I determined to spend at least one whole day lounging around watching movies, reading and just generally being as horizontal as possible. I lasted until 6pm, at which time I went for a run. I don't even like running. This is how much I suck at having nothing to do.

Luckily I also met a girl called Deena at my hostel and she was a girl with a plan. She'd been in San Fran a week already and had a 'manifesto' - a very detailed list of things to check out and places to eat written by an ex-local. The three of us in the dorm on were named Nina, Deena and Mina. It was a little ridiculous!

So I largely jumped on Deena's bandwagon for my time in The City - turned out to be a pretty good decision! The first night we met up with Andrew, the boyfriend of a friend, and his workmate and did a little bar hopping. Given that we were being led around by locals I paid no attention to where we went and thus couldn't tell you! However, I have a sneaking suspicion that one of the bars was called 'Twang' - a country themed one. I do know the last place we ended up though - Bob's Donuts! Here I got to experience my first freshly cooked doughnut with cold milk - I felt very American!

On Friday, following more advice from the Manifesto, we popped into Tartine to get some of the best baking in the city before heading over to Doleres Park for a picnic in the sun. Both are in the Mission district which has its own micro-climate  - one which is much warmer than the rest of San Fran - so while it made for a beautiful day my shoulders were a little pink afterwards!

Saturdays the Ferry Building and its surrounds play host to a farmer's market. Deena and I wandered down to browse and returned home much later laden with cheese and produce! Cowgirl Creamery inside the building hosts some of the more delicious cheeses in San Fran - I indulged in some quince jelly as well - while just down the hall Blue Bottle reportedly does the coffee. Unfortunately the long queue, a testament to the fact, put us off so we went without.

There is a butterfly hiding on one of these flowers!

Acme Bread - another recommendation from the manifesto

Just outside the ferry building was a myriad of fruit stalls and we went for some peaches and an avocado. I also picked up some apple butter because I'm a sucker for anything with apples and spice.

Look at the size of these!!

Korean tacos

This guy had so much style!!

Sunday Deena and I met up with Beth, one of the girls from the picnic, and went to explore the Bay Area, preceded by a quick stop for another picnic at the Presidio. Mainly our picnic was just wine and ice cream, though Beth did get a salad to snack on. But hey - that's a pretty good picnic, huh?

The booze trolley. 

After that we drove over the bridge and headed into Marin County. We visited the houseboats which are worth a visit on their own, wandered around the small towns, checked out some more redwoods (more - I know!) then stopped at a little place for some tacos on the way home.

We got Mina on board on Monday and the three of us set out the cycle the Golden Gate - the third type of transport I'd used to cross it - I really take this tourist thing seriously! We cycled through Crissy Field and over the bridge. The round trip took about two hours, and began with a lot of uphills and headwind, so we got a decent workout!

We went home to rest (well actually, Deena went shopping) before heading out to Amelie for a glass of wine and another trip to Bob's Donuts! We can't stay away!

Right now I'm just at the hostel, killing time before I catch my bus. The three of us rhymers all leave tonight, Mina for a residency in Michigan, Deena for Portland where she is exploring before heading down to the Amazon and me for Vegas with Maja!

P.S. - I didn't manage to publish this quite when I wrote it so right now I am actually on my bus - good on Greyhound for having wifi. I got some Korean lunch with Mina that afternoon though:

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