Sunday, November 2, 2014

San Fran

Wrapping my final day in San Francisco. Here's the update:

After arriving at O'Hare in Chicago, I checked in, did the security screening, and headed to my gate-- thinking I was late. The scheduled boarding time came and passed. About 15 minutes before we were supposed to depart, a flight attendant comes over the speaker and tells us he is sorry for the delay, but he would like the pilot to say something. I kid you not.... this is what he said:

"Good morning everyone. We, uh, have a bit of a special circumstance this morning. Upon arrival from this last flight, we must have hit a bird or something during the landing process. See that left wing... the light is dangling off there a bit. We're just waiting on the tech to come out and look at it. It is by no means dangerous, but we can't go anywhere if its still dangling off like that."

So we were delayed. I ended up being re-ticketed onto another flight, and there was a little bag drama. My bags stayed on my original flight and ended up arriving about an hour after me. However, it took 4 trips between the Delta and United baggage customer service kiosks. They were in 2 different terminals requiring a 10 min walk and 7 or 8 min train between.

My creation!
When I finally made it to the HI San Francisco Downtown hostel and got all check-ed in and situated. They must see a lot of comp guests there, because they seemed utterly unimpressed with me (and fairly unwilling to answer questions). All that weirdness was forgotten when I met the really nice Community Engagement manager, Elle. She was by far the friendliest person there and just so happened to be running a pumpkin carving program. I made it a point to sign up for as many programs as I could manage at each hostel. I has applied for a Community Engagement position, so I wanted to make sure I was participating as many as my schedule would allow. Over my 2 days in San Fran, I was able to do 2 hostel-run activities: the pumpkin carving and a great walking tour of the Mission District. The Mission tour was combined with the HI San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf hostel guests. We started with, Zeitgeist, a local bar, and then walked over to the Armory. Apparently, the place that used to house armament is now home to.... porn. Interesting.

Our next move was the actual mission building. We didn't go inside, but we were able to see the outside and the grounds. After that, we moved on to Clarion Alley: this really cool alleyway lined on both sides with murals. At the end of the alley, we were only a 2 minute walk from this really awesome Mexican place named El Toro. I got a massive, delicious burrito. 

Dolores Park
The last stop on our tour was the Dolores Park. It was a bit of a hike up, but worth it once we saw the beautiful view. The park was full of people, despite the relatively cool weather. Overall, the tour was great. It was nice to get the sense of wandering around the area, but since we had guides we also got a lot of great information about the architecture, history, and local subculture.

Sea lions at Pier 39
I split off with 2 guys from the tour and headed over towards the waterfront. I was after a good view of the Golden Gate Bridge, as I  hadn't yet been able to see it yet. The area by the piers was really hectic. We walked to the end of Pier 39 since we had heard it offered the best view of the bridge AND there were sea lions! I never got a good view of the bridge because the weather by the water was hazy.

We decided to walk back to the hostel which ended up being a bit further away than I had realized... and I ended up being well over 10,000 steps for that day. Thankfully, I got a good night's sleep and was able to get up early enough to hop over to Alamo Square and grab a few pictures of the Painted Ladies and the Full House house and park.

Now, I'm en route to Portland via Seattle!

The Painted Ladies in Alamo Square

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