September 5, 2008

The Drive to San Francisco

Friday night, I went to Applebee’s and had some food and a margarita. I discussed with my girlfriend what we were planning to do for our trip. The initial plan was to head north 6 hours to Monument Valley. However, the weather did not look promising for camping so we came up with a different idea, drive to San Francisco…

The Drive Begins

Around 10 pm Friday night, we loaded up the car and headed west. I drove for around four hours before I could no longer stay awake. So, I ended up sleeping in the car in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Indio, California. All I remember is sounds coming from everywhere and a security truck sitting at the end of the parking lot. Somehow, I actually managed to get about four hours of sleep which helped tremendously.

After waking up, I once again started driving. This time I drove through Los Angeles before making a few pit stops in Hollywood and Bevery Hills. It was cool to see the Hollywood sign again, along with Beverly Hills.

From their, I made the rest of the drive to San Francisco. It took over five hours to get to San Francisco from Los Angeles. The drive was pretty boring and there was not much scenery other than yellow grass and fields of produce. For the most part, it did not look any different than the rest of California that I have seen.

Arriving in San Francisco

I first arrived in Oakland, which is right by San Francisco. It seemed like a pretty big city, but I did not see much of it other than what we drove through. It looked a lot different than the rest of the drive, since there was a lot more trees and grass.

Once the Bay Bridge came up, I was immedietly stuck in traffic. There appeared to be a billion cars trying to access the bridge to San Francisco.

Traffic Coming in to San Francisco

It turns out there is a four dollar toll, which is what was holding traffic up. One I got on the bridge, I was able to see the skyline for the first time. I was very surprised at the skyline of San Francisco becuase it was much bigger than expected. It remined me a lot of Chicago.

One I got into the heard of downtown San Francisco, I was immedietly stressed out by the driving situation. There are cars flying everywhere and one way streets that are somewhat confusing. Throw in the fact that there are countless hills and it becomes even more difficult. The tipping point is when I noticed a trolley behind me and I have no clue how that worked. Apparently you have to share the road with them…

The Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge was the main thing I wanted to see in San Francisco, so we made it the first priorty after getting in to the city. I followed the signs until we arrived at Crissy Field, which overlooks the bay and the bridge.

View of Golden Gate Bridge

It is very cool to see the bridge, especially when it’s foggy and you can only see some of it. The only complaint was that I freezing by the bay. It was much colder than I expected it to be.

I also got my first glimpse of Alcatraz, which is really cool when you see it in person. I was expecting it to be much larger than it actually is but it is fairly small. Check it out:

View of Alcatraz

Where To Sleep?

It was not nearing 6 pm, and we were still in need of a place to stay. It turns out San Francisco is not only crowded on Labor day, but also expensive! I drove around for over 3 hours trying to find a hotel room within our budget. A lot of the rooms near Fisherman’s Wharf were going for over $225 a night, way out of my budget!

We ended up settling for a small motel called the Surf Motel, locaded on Lombard Street. Even this small motel charged $179, which is still steep in my opinion. Luckily they offered free wifi and a really crappy breakfast.

Time For A Cold Beer

At this point, I was exhausted from driving the whole way. I wanted nothing more than to unload the car and have a drink somewhere. Fisherman’s Wharf is where we ended up, which was just over a mile and a half from the motel. We settled on an Irish Pub, which had a few San Franciso Brews on tap. They also had some really good food for a decent prize.

Once I finished eating, it was time for some major sleep. And that was the conclusion of Day 1. Stay tuned until Monday for the remainder of the trip. It gets much more interesting…

2 thoughts on “The Drive to San Francisco

  1. Jeremy @ The Hawaiian

    Sorry about not getting back to you about a place to stay up there. I only know people in the South Bay, pretty much no one up in Frisco.

    $180 for a hotel room, shit! I know it wasn’t all that great too, just an average room. Man this trip must have cost a bunch. Glad you had fun and I’m looking forward to the updates!

  2. Bob

    Oakland does a great job of making their city look pretty decent from all major highways, but there are some extremely scary places once you get deeper into the city!


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