Day one of my Cali trip accomplished everything I had had hoped to achieve in SF. I was pretty much able to stick to my trip plan
by seeing all of the touristy crap very quickly and then hitting up the locals' usual spots. The BART took me from the airport to the financial district, from where it was a scenic mile walk through the outskirts of Chinatown to my hostel
. Since I was paying my life savings ($23), I was glad to see that they at least gave me a huge room
with an incredible view
I then departed down Broadway (the street my hostel was on) to the infamous The Embarcadero
. No, that's not a typo, that's the name of the street. Only in Cali do you find streets pimp enough to start with the word "The" and not even end in "street" or "avenue".
In any case, The Embarcadero
took me down to the über touristy Pier 39
and Fisherman's Wharf
...I was starting to feel pathetic surrounded by so many other tourists, but then I spotted an oasis in the desert, a safe haven for any Califonia man...tourist and local alike. Yes. The IN-N-Out Burger
. I ordered a double-double and fries. It was the first time I had ate all day, and my body was still on Eastern time at 4:30 pm. I could sit here and orate about how wonderful it was all day...but let's just say I could've taken a kick to the nuts and still been smiling.
Just down the street was Ghirardelli Square
and although I was done with lame sightseeing, I was guessing there would be some free samples...and I was right :). On the way back up the b**ch of a hill
I stopped by the crooked Lombard Street
and even the tourists on their cable cars
were laughing at me for making the trek by foot.
I finally got back to some even land, and spent the rest of my day playing soccer at a park
, walkin around Little Italy
, and haggling with old Chinese ladies over 25 cent trinkets in Chinatown
My place was right by all the action, so I grabbed a cocktail at Vesuvio
, the famous bar where Jack Kerouac and the self-proclaimed "mad ones" scribed away, and went back to my favorite restaurant
in Chinatown for a gigantic plate of Sesame Chicken. I then hit the town with some hostel-mates for a quick pub-crawl, but came back fairly early...since I had to be up early the next day and this Pacific time was messin with my head.
So now I'm on the CalTrain heading down to Mountainview, where some guy has kindly offered to pick me up and drive me to Sunnyvale. I've also just realized that I used Airtran's Student Standby
($69 to anywhere in the country), but don't actually have enough money to get home if there's no room on the flights for the way back. Hmm...we'll deal with that later.