San Francisco – Day 1 (Wednesday)

Last October we went to San Francisco, California.

On Wednesday morning, we went to the Salt Lake International Airport and flew directly to SFO.  We left pretty early in the morning and we ended up landing about 9 a.m.  I think the time difference is not exactly the same as the sun difference as it is in Utah so it seemed like Wednesday was an exceptionally long day, even though it was really only about an hour longer.

We rented a car at the airport (A red Nissan Altima, to be exact, because I know some people care a lot about cars.  I’m not sure exactly what year but it seemed fairly new.  I don’t have strong opinions on cars myself, but whenever I see one of these I’m like, “Hey, that’s the San Francisco car,” for some reason)  and started driving north along the eastern outskirts of urban San Francisco to the Golden Gate Bridge State Park (on the San Francisco side).  We checked the place out for about an hour.  They had good viewpoints of the bay, the bridge, and surrounding areas like Alcatraz.  They also had displays of information on the history and physics of the bridge.

After spending some time at the park, we drove across the bridge to Sausalito, a few miles north of the bridge on the northern peninsula.  It’s a nice place; we stopped there because my Mom thought she saw a Starbucks and I looked around several times and I’m like “I really don’t think there’s a Starbucks here,” and she’s all like “I’m pretty sure I just saw one…”

So we finally found the phantom Starbucks after driving around the small block for about ten minutes.

And then I went to a convenience store and got some mountain dew.  And I thought, “Dang, California mountain dew is expensive.”  But it made sense because the one thing that’s better than drinking mountain dew in Utah is drinking mountain dew in California.

I suppose that’s not very important to the narrative though.

So we drove from Sausalito to the Muir Woods National Monument.  Muir Woods is a forest of California redwoods.  The redwood forest grows along the bottom of a canyon, so when you look at the area from above you only see a canopy of greenery.  You have to hike along the bottom of the canyon to get the full experience.  It’s a great place, 10 out of 10 would recommend.

Muir_Woods_National_Monument Muir_Woods_National_Monument_2muir-woods-national-monument
I suppose one would recognize these woods from the new Planet of the Apes movies.

After hiking a distance into these woods, we headed back toward our car, checking out the gift shop on the way out.

We decided that we would go to the beach for a while.  Stinson Beach appeared to be the closest; over the mountains in a northwest direction from the Woods.  The drive over the mountains was quite beautiful.  We drove mainly through forests of moss-covered deciduous trees.

We got to Stinson Beach overlook.  For a reason I cannot remember, we decided not to take the drive down there and continue south down the coast instead.  We drove a few miles on the tops of the huge cliffs overlooking the shores for a few miles.  I was pretty light-headed from the airplane and the drive at this point, but I still enjoyed it.

We came to a small neighborhood, in the woods along the sides of the mountains and the canyon, called Muir beach.  We had to walk a distance to the beach.  It was in a small cove, with a sandy beach in the middle and rocky shores on the north and south sides.  This is one of my favorite beaches that I have been to.  There wasn’t much surf and I didn’t actually go in the ocean.  This is one of those places where you just have to walk up the beach by yourself and experience it on your own.


So that was great.  Anyway, we left the beach and headed back toward Sausilito and crossed a bridge going east across the Bay.  We drove for a while to our hotel, the Holiday Inn Express in a place called Benicia and checked in and ordered pizza.  So Wednesday was a good day.


Map of San FranciscoSanFr.SmallMap

Note: (writing this like a week after I wrote this post) I know this post is just kind of a rundown, not anything personal going on, that was kind of what was going on in my mind.  I don’t know.  This day I’m writing about here was actually pretty important for me for reasons I cannot explain well at all, but I will reference it more later.  Just read the rest of my articles.

Edit 2 (2/13/15): I dedicate this music (El Ten Eleven, self-titled album) to this experience, especially the Muir Beach.  And especially “Connie”, the second to last song.  No, I don’t know anyone named Connie, and my life’s romantic activity level is a good, solid zero, but it was just the first song I heard by these guys and I’m like, “Hey, this is amazing.”

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