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The Redemption of San Francisco

Posted by on August 9, 2012


TUESDAY, July 31st

San Francisco deserved another chance. I had idolized it way too long to leave this city associated in my memory with wind burns and frost bites.

To restock our food supply for the rest of the trip we visited the European Market on Clement Street.  I found a box of “Tallinn” chocolates that come from my hometown! Right off the bat San Francisco started to redeem itself. We walked out with a bag full of goodies. Dark bread, Gouda, smoked trout… and tons of treats we didn’t need at all.

I love San Francisco!

We drove straight to Haight Ashbury… or what’s left from it. Someone better get working on inventing the time machine. I want to see this place in the 70s.

Although, there’s still some Peace and Love…

Riding the cable car from Fisherman’s Wharf to Market street was a great way to see the town. We took a stroll downtown, walked up Grant Street through Chinatown and caught another ride on a cable car back to where we started.

At the top of Lombard, the “Crookedest Street in the World”

I know I used the words walked and drove, but these are really not the right words for describing getting around in San Francisco.

Most of the streets there are actually hills. Driving a car is pretty much the same as riding a small roller coaster. Do not drive behind a student driver going up the street and remember to chew gum when “landing”.

A very modest version of the incline.

Walking aka climbing around is best done in a decent pair of mountaineering boots. If you like heels or flip flops stay in the downtown area. Or… good luck. I love walking, so this was all fun for me. Based on the expressions on the faces of other tourists, not everyone agrees. Of course there’s plenty of other ways to get around. San Francisco has great public transportation and there are bike lanes everywhere.

Public Transportation

Before leaving town and finally heading east, there was one place left to visit. The Buena Vista. I don’t know what they put into their Irish Coffee, but I do know why their are world famous for them!

The REAL Irish Coffee

However, if you do want to know how it’s done, I was told there is a recipe on their website…

Crossing the Bay Bridge felt like the official start of the cross county trip.

Passing through the East Bay I was once again reminded of the incredible variety of natural beauty of Northern California. The constant change of amazing scenery is indescribable.

Classic view of the East Bay

Beautiful lake on the way to the Sierra Nevada

As if the gorgeous views weren’t enough, stopping at Ride Aid in Escalon, I walked out of the store with a $5 bottle of good Pinot Grigio! Rite Aid. Wine. What?! At this moment leaving the West Coast seemed a questionable choice altogether…

We planned to spend the next day in Yosemite National Park, so we were thinking of staying the night somewhere nearby. Groveland looked like a sensible place distancewise and what a perfect choice it ended up to be!

Groveland is a super groovy little town! In search for a cold beer and entertainment we accidentally walked into the oldest saloon in California. The place had a cool western vibe AND live music.

Had a beer and listened to live music…

at the oldest saloon in California

Everyone we ran into was very friendly and nice…

Got acquainted with some locals

On the way to “The White House” we booked for the night, we came across this little cafe that dared us to come back the next day… That’s where we were going to get out morning fix!

Sounded great for the morning!


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