Monday, January 13, 2014

San Francisco (Part 1)

Yay! It's finally time to talk about my SF trip!

DISCLAIMER: I wasn't thrilled with my photos during the trip, but I'll try not to criticize them beyond this disclaimer. I had rented a lens that was very helpful in terms of being flexible for my needs (and I don't regret it), but I'm not sure I loved the resulting photo quality. There were also lots of lighting issues, and the fact that you can't just stop anywhere you want while in SF. You have to make do and take pictures from the vantage points that present themselves. So maybe I didn't capture all the amazing photos I wanted, but I have lots of pictures and memories, and that's what's important.

Dania and I left on the morning of December 26th. Our first stop was UC Berkeley, because I had never been and was curious about the campus. (I think I'll link you up on some of these places that we actually visited in case you want more information.) My experience with Berkeley was always just passing it by on the way to SF, which isn't a very accurate depiction. It's a cute little town, and the campus is nice. And I'll probably say this a lot, but the weather was AWESOME. 60s and sunny.

We didn't know the best place to park, so we ended up in meter parking on one of the outer streets. I dumbly didn't put enough quarters in and had to walk back and refill it later. Meanwhile, we were trying to find a bathroom during Christmas break when everything was closed on campus. It was all a bit hectic in that sense, and we didn't see quite as much of the campus as we could have due to time constraints. But walking around on campus was nice, and in the end we found a bathroom and didn't get any parking tickets, so I guess it was a win!

It's hard to tell here, but I happened to catch both a bird flying past and a girl jumping through the sculpture hoop without even trying.

I love the trees and general foliage of the bay area. There's so much variety and nice feelings and memories attached.

Next stop (after much delay at the Bay bridge tollbooths and then the parking garage): Pier 39. This was our usual meetup place with friends several years ago, and we had to include it on our itinerary.

Lots of people had the same idea due to the holiday and nice weather. It was pretty crowded for a mid-week winter afternoon. We even ran into our former worship pastor/choir director!

We went to Bubba Gump for lunch, because even though it's touristy, it's also delicious! Huge thanks to Dania's sister for hooking us up with a gift card for this lunch. We splurged and bought these drinks that came with light-up glasses to take home!

We both ordered the delicious crab-stuffed shrimp that Dania introduced me to a few Bubba Gump visits ago. It's so good! I want this right now.

Of course we had to go visit the sea lions! Normally I can watch these guys for quite awhile, but the bright sun and flies were a little off-putting, so I just took a few pictures and moved on.


This cargo ship was so huge. El Gato del Goldeno is in the background, there. (Yeah, I know I said "cat.")

You can see the new part of the Bay bridge in the background. It's pretty!

More of the general scene on Pier 39. When spending a whole day there, there are lots of fun shops and things to see.

Next, we went to Lombard St. First we parked and got out to take some pictures after driving up many steep hills to get there. Dania was a little freaked since I was driving, and I know how it is when you're a passenger and don't know how manageable it feels. But her car did a great job! It was a little nerve-wracking to drive up such steep hills and worry about pedestrians, but everything worked out.

Then we went around to drive down it. I had never driven down it before, only ridden. It was very easy since things were moving super slowly and people aren't supposed to walk in the street, so I was able to take some pictures between turns.

After that, we decided to try Coit Tower since we were in the neighborhood, but there was construction and limited parking, so we turned around and headed back down. The road on the way down had this nice view, though.

And this one of Lombard.

After that we attempted to go to the Palace Hotel, but it was rush hour and really difficult to figure out a place to stop and park (let alone to avoid getting in an accident). Part of this is just me not being very experienced with driving around there. But while sitting in traffic, Dania and I took a few pictures of the scene. Here's the lovely Transamerica building and some green building near it.

We were both kind of tired at this point, too, and so after driving down town and passing the hotel, we just kept going. We knew we'd have to make some sacrifices in what we did/saw, and that was one of the casualties.

We decided to head to our hotel, which was in Novato (about half an hour north of SF). On the way up, we stopped at the viewpoint on the north side of the Golden Gate bridge for pictures. It's kind of an odd angle, but I missed the exit on the other one and we got a great parking spot here anyway. I practiced some night shots, but it was fairly windy and hard to get crisp photos.

We were very grateful to get to our hotel (which was nice!) and order room service for dinner. We ate our cheeseburgers in front of the TV and recharged for another day of tourism, which I'll show you next time.

PS These are just a select few of several other photos I took at each place, and I'm thinking about putting them all in a gallery for you guys to peruse, if you feel like it. Feedback welcome. I'll let you know the link if I do it.

Go to next post: San Francisco (Part 2)


  1. I've never seen an actual cargo ship that has my company's stuff on it, but the stock photos we use for marketing have ships just like that one! Maybe all cargo ships look pretty much the same and I just don't know? Or maybe that cargo ship makes money on the side as a stock photo model.

    I'm glad I don't live in a place as hilly as San Francisco. It looks scary!

    Such vibrant pictures!

    1. Haha.. good question. Maybe they contain something totally different but companies just buy ads on the crates. ;)

      It is a little nervewracking driving there.


  2. This brought back so many memories of our day there 10 (!!!!!!!!) years ago! I really want to go back.

    1. Oh yeah? I don't remember what all we did. :)

  3. Wow, fantastic pics! Pier 39 looks great. I knew about the sea lions but I didn't know there were THAT many 0_o

    1. Thanks!

      Yeah it seems like they've added more platforms over the years. I don't think it was that many before.

  4. I finally got a chance to look at your SF photos. Sorry so late. I think you are too critical of your photography. I think all the photos are beautiful! The photos of Lombard street tell their own story. The lighting on the Golden Gate Bridge is spectacular.

    Thanks, love, Mom

    1. Thanks, Mom. Well, go looking online and you'll see all the really good stuff out there that my photos look nothing like. :P



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...