TBT: I Left My Heart in San Francisco

06:30 Alyson Tart 0 Comments

I told you before about our Euro-trip for Paul's graduation. Three weeks jaunting around on vacation.

Then came my graduation - a slightly less grand scale, due to the fact that Paul was working and low on vacation, plus I had to start beginning of June. Therefore, 4 days in California.

For some reason, California has always held a certain appeal for me - perhaps it's the film industry (as a film major, although perhaps not aficionado), the climate, although I think after my lessons in Istanbul, it's probably the water.  Regardless of why, I was excited for my first time in California.

We stayed in Union Square, in the middle of it all. Perhaps Paul's nightmare with all the shops surrounding it, including a Tiffany's. This was a great place to stay in the city, and gave us easy access to get around to all the sites.

We checked out Fisherman's Wharf to see the famous seals and have some true San Fran fare - clam chowder in the sourdough bread bowl (or chicken noodle soup in my case). The wharf is a fantastic place to walk around and people watch as well.  We walked around to the Ghiradelli shop as well, happy to sample some chocolates and buy some to take back.

We also took the ferry over to Alcatraz and get a tour of the famous prison. You can get an audio guide to tour you around the inside of the building and point out the most famous parts, including the recreation of the prison break-out.  Outside of the prison, it is weird to see the beauty of it now, with some parts in disarray, but having been taken over by flowers or local plants. You also get some great views looking back towards the city.

To break-up the sightseeing, we spent the next day on a trip up to Napa. There are plenty of options for day trips out there (the wine buses), but luckily we knew someone in the area, so we had a ride up there. We checked out several wineries, including Pine Ridge (which is where I found my favourite white wine), Silverado, Cliff Lede (great champagne) and St. Supery, where we got a tour of the wine making process. I wouldn't have called myself a wine fan at the time, although my tastes have since evolved, but even if you aren't a fan of drinking, the views in the area are fantastic.

For our last day in San Fran, we saved the best for last. We had found a tour that took you around to the famous sites from movies throughout the city. Everything from Mrs. Robinson & Full House, to the famous car chase of Bullitt, to Lucas Studios in Presidio. For a  movie major and fan, it was fantastic to get a glimpse of the real life sets.

We spent the rest of the afternoon on bikes, wandering around the city and biking (halfway) across the Golden Gate Bridge. We got a last glimpse of the water and city skyline before heading back to the airport.  There's something about that city that captured my imagination and heart.

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