This Saturday I figured I needed to get out of my house and do something — Saturday worthy. Just about everyone that I have talked to in San Francisco has reminded me that the weather I am experiencing now is not normal and I should treasure it. Thanks for the advice folks, but it makes me nervous for what normal is?!
I looked up some things and decided a good first starting point would be the Embarcadero, which is on the eastern side of the peninsula that is San Francisco. It was included as part of the San Francisco marathon so I knew it would be a nice place for a run.
Seeing my route on the map puts into perspective how large (or not large) San Francisco is. My back and forth route there was a total of 4 miles so that red line is really just 2 miles long. I think San Francisco feels much larger than that though because of the many neighborhoods it has. You go from one place to the next a few blocks down and you almost feel like you are in a totally different place!
At one of end of the run was Pier 39 (and if I had got just a little bit further, I would have hit the famous Fisherman’s Wharf and Ghiradelli Square).
On the other end was the Bay Bridge, which is very nice to look at as well. It definitely must be an icon as well — not just the famous Golden Gate Bridge.
I hadn’t really heard of this but basically it’s a building with great eats inside kind of similar (except not really a market) as Reading Terminal in Philadelphia. On Saturdays, there is a large farmer’s market around the building though which makes it lively. It also makes me feel like I might be coming to run here often on free weekends to take advantage of some of this great food. Not only was there great looking produce and prepared foods, but also flowers galore! Not only were there flowers for sale everywhere but there were also a LOT of people buying flowers as part of their Saturday market shopping.
I met up with an old friend from my college years as well as a new friend introduced my some mutual friends, and we started a wonderful whirlwind day after that. It was nice to not think about anything and not have any deadlines or time constraints — our day ended up being quite full with activities!
We next walked to Chinatown in downtown San Francisco, passing through and by the Financial district — so we got the scenic tour. We ate at a restaurant there that was delicious and clearly very popular by all the guests that streamed in.
Then, we drove across town to the other side of the peninsula to see the ocean. This was Lands End. This is where the Sutro baths and a famous restaurant (I’m sure because of the gorgeous view) called Cliff House is located. We walked around, and I was very surprised to see the Golden Gate Bridge!
The huge waves were .. well, huge. Not exactly Saipan’s lagoon. I didn’t touch the water, but I’m sure the freezing water would have reminded me that I’m no longer in Saipan anymore as well!Then, as we rounded the corner on an easy little dirt trail — there was Golden Gate Bridge!
After that, we went to a smaller Chinatown-like area called Clement near the house of one of my friends to look around. I got a few small trinkets and mentally made a note of the grocery stores and restaurants I might have to frequent in that area! Of course, it was almost required that I make a stop to get some milk tea at Quickly.
We chatted the afternoon away this way and then went to Burma Superstar — a Burmese restaurant that has been voted as the best place in San Francisco in the recent years! There is definitely a culture of good food here, which I am sure I will get to know as I get to know the city more.
We started off with their famous tea leaf salad which is a smorgasbord of wonderful flavors that was mixed right at the table. Dinner was a wonderful Burmese curry with coconut rice and Burmese noodles — quite a new cultural and delicious experience for me.
So, it definitely sounds like a lot for one day and at the end of it, I was surprised at how many places I had gone in one short day in San Francisco. I am hoping that while work will definitely be all-consuming at times, I will continue to be able to share these new experiences with you! I’m thankful for new experiences (even if they make me miss the things of the past more) and being so fortunate to be able to enjoy all these new things. Up next: formal orientation and the start of work. July 1st, here I come!