Happy Saturday Friends!
As I said last week, I’m breaking up my friend’s SF Trip into 3 posts because, well I talk a lot and had a lot to say about her visit, so here is day 2 of the trip! here is part 1 if you haven’t checked it out yet.
The second day we conquered actually a lot. We went to Chinatown, North Beach/Little Italy, Coit Tower, Levi’s Plaza and Downtown all via walking and then ended the day at Japantown for a little bit. When I saw “all via walking” I literally mean we walked all the way from Chinatown to Downtown.
We started the day by exploring Chinatown and as someone who does not really travel to that part of the city a lot, I was kind of a tourist myself. It was really nice to just go wherever and say “hm, let’s see what’s this way,” partially because I have poor navigation skills.
After Chinatown, we ended up walking to North Beach and eating lunch. Honestly, I did not even know that Chinatown and North Beach were connected because I was like “ohh there’s North Beach! I guess we don’t have to take the bus there!”
After lunch, though now I think it was a bad idea, we walked around and found Washington Square Park. We also saw the signs for Coit Tower, which we were not originally going to go because it seemed like it was out of the way when I was planning our days but since it was practically in North Beach we said “adventure is out there!” and went up.
LET ME TELL YOU, Filbert Street should be changed to Death Hill because I took 3 steps and I was already feeling it in my calves. Literally, the hill was so steep that there were steps engraved into the side walk. That was not even main part to get up to Coit Tower either! After going up Filbert Street is where you start the stairs to go up to Coit Tower. I really regret wearing skinny jeans, actually pants in general, that day. But hiking up Death Hill was totally worth it, the view from the tower was amazing.
After Coit Tower, we walked down the back area where the actual signs for Telegraph Hill was and saw some stairs and said “adventure is out there!” and followed them. We didn’t know where they would lead us but we really didn’t care, we just followed them and hoped that we wouldn’t have to go back up them.
As we were walking down these random back stairs and spotting a kitty cat, we remembered that we saw Julius Castle from the Embarcadero yesterday and thought that it was probably somewhere around that same area. So Virginia pulled out her trusty Google Maps on her phone to find out where it was and luckily we didn’t walk too far because it said that we were about 3 minutes away by walking. Unfortunately, we we had to back track a bit and go back up all the stairs that we had just come down. That’s when I finally thought “okay, I want to take my pants off now.” After feeling like I was going to die in my jeans and walking back up the stairs, we finally found Julius Castle.
For those that don’t know, like I didn’t at first, Julius Castle was a restaurant that was pretty swanky in its heyday, but it there was a fire a few years ago and it seemed like it hasn’t been touched since the fire. Although, I read some articles about it, when we stopped at Starbucks afterwards, to find out what it really was and it sounded like some people were working on trying to get it open again. If it ever does reopen, I would totally want to go because I think that it’s so cool that it’s kind of hidden behind Coit Tower and it has an incredible view of the piers and the Bay.
Like I said before, after seeing Julius Castle, we took some random stairs that lead us down to the backside of the Aquatic Park. But instead of walking back down there and seeing the Wharf again, we just walked along Battery street in search of 2 things, a Starbucks and a bathroom. So we eventually found a Starbucks to replenish ourselves because we did so much stairs and walking already that our legs wet shaking so bad. But unfortunately that Starbucks didn’t have a bathroom.
What kind of Starbucks doesn’t have a bathroom? What kind of messed up shiz is that??
Anywhoo, after a Starbucks break, we walked around and somehow, ended up at Levi’s plaza, which is soo cool! The main building had a very modern and clean design, they even has a store inside, though I didn’t buy any because Levi’s are freakin expensive. Although, I did take a picture of the seats from Levi stadium, I thought that part was super cool.
After checking out Levi’s plaza, we walked along Battery Street to get to downtown, but honestly I wasn’t even sure if we were going the right way, I was just guessing. However, my guessing skills didn’t fail us yesterday at the Wharf so I was a feeling little confident in myself.
We eventually made it to downtown after we walked through the Embarcadero or the “Financial District.” Honestly, I always try to avoid the Financial District because I am always in jean and a t-shirt and everyone else is wearing suits and stuff and I hate feeling so under-dressed and like I don’t belong, so this was the first time in a while that I had been the Financial District. I also forgot that a lot of skyscrapers that make up the SF skyline are in the Financial District, so I guess going down there isn’t so bad.
After a quick stop into Daiso, which now I regret not buying anything because I love that store, we continued walking and went to Westfield. I was surprised that Virginia was shocked by the size of this mall, I mean yeah, it’s big, but the one we have near school is really big too. Maybe she was surprised by the fact that it was 3 stories with a Nordstroms on top? I think I’ve just gotten too used to the mall so I’m kind of like “meh” when it comes to the mall.
Then we walked up to Union Square, where it was super packed. Actually Union Square itself wasn’t packed, but getting up to Union Square was packed. We walked up Powell Street to get to Union Square and the end of Powell, where we crossed the street, was where the cable car turnaround was. You can imagine my face when I saw that the whooole sidewalk was full of tourists waiting in a ridiculously long line to pay $6 EACH, to ride these cable cars.
Union Square, in my opinion, shouldn’t be a tourist MUST-SEE, but I can see why people like it, it’s just not a very “whoa! that’s soo cool!” type of place, in my opinion. That might have been because it was a weekday and there wasn’t much going on, but sometimes they will have small concerts there and those are pretty cool.
When we were done there, I asked Virginia whether she wanted to go home or check out Japantown since it was kind of on the way to go home. She chose Japantown and I was kind of excited because I love going to Japantown. The first place I took her and I thought that she would really enjoy, was the bookstore there. The Kinokuniya Bookstore in the mall in Japantown is so big and so nice, but I guess I forgot that about 80% of the books are in Japanese, I mean obviously they would be in Japanese, but I thought that we would see more books in English. It was okay though because I knew that she was also looking for souvenirs for her family and I thought that maybe she could at least find something for her little brothers there because they have a lot of anime and manga and comic book type stuff as well as a lot of novelty toys and stuff. Then I had brilliant idea to get happy face crepes at a little place that was across from the arcade, it was brilliant until I realized that I didn’t have enough cash and they were cash only. So I spent the only cash I had, which was only $3 at the arcade, and yes I played the Japanese claw games. I ALMOST HAD A HELLO KITTY. IT WAS LITERALLY IN THE CLAW HANDS AND THEN IT DROPPED. I was devasted and felt like I had to leave the arcade before I caused a scene in front of a child. Virginia, on the other hand, I think had a fun time playing what seemed like a DDR game but instead of using your feet, you use your hands. I also like to think that she liked it because I encouraged her to play on expert level the first time she played.
yeah, I’m that kind of friend
After my arcade tantrum, we finally decided that we should probably go home, so we hopped back on the bus and went home. It was definitely an action packed day with a lot of walking. When we got back home, my legs were still shaking. I guess that was enough proof that I needed to get my butt back in the gym ASAP.
That was our Day 2 in the city! I’m sorry this was posted later than usual, this week has been totally crazy with hanging out with friends for the last time and packing and moving in to school and then unpacking, which I still have 2 suitcases to unpack but that can be done later.
Thank you for reading and come back next week to see how we ended up inside a cave!