(not sure I will do one for every day but had a few minutes)
Prior to today, I have been to nearly every big city in California. Somehow San Francisco just never made the cut – I just never had a business reason to come here and I love mixing business with tourism… it is much cheaper that way.
5:00 am – Woke up, fell out of bed, dragged a comb across my head… Okay, well I woke up anyway. I am a “day of” packer so while I have everything ready to go in the suitcase, I don’t to the actual packing until the day I leave. Once packed, met my ride at 6:00 am and headed off to Austin Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA.)
8:00 am – Wheels up and in the air. I sat waaaaaaay in the back of the plane because when I booked the ticket, it was pretty packed already. As it turns out, it was a good spot.
I sat next to a couple (an Air Force dude and his pregnant wife) that were headed back to his home town (Oakland, CA) for a relative’s birthday party and to introduce the mother-to-be to the clan. They were fun and we cut up and joked for the first third of the flight. The first thing he said when I got to the seat was, “Oh great, the two guys with the broadest shoulders are sitting next to each other!”
We laughed about it, but when he fell asleep, it was me that he leaned toward which made it a bit uncomfortable. It wasn’t as uncomfortable as I felt when the tall black male flight attendant started razzing me.
Being talkative, I asked his name and he replied with a completely straight face, “My name is Sexy Bitch!” When I chuckled, he said he was messing with me. It didn’t stop him from bringing me extras of everything (cookies, coke, a fruit plate with cheese that nobody else even got.) He even tried to hand me several mini bottles of Jack Daniels until I insisted they would go to waste as I don’t drink.
As I was getting off the plane, he handed me pilot wings (picture.)
I took Uber to my AirBnB rental and as usual each was seamless. It was the first time I used UberPool instead of Black and I really dig it. With Pool, you share your ride with others going to the same area and the cost is roughly 1/2.
My ride from the airport was with a newly married couple from Greece that is honeymooning. We had a great talk, I wished them all the best and left feeling much more positive about that ride than any cab or bus ride I’ve ever taken.
I checked into my AirBnB room and it was all very high tech and remotely operated. The owner was as work. I punched his apartment number in the outside call box – it dialed his phone – he clicked me in and I made my way to his second floor apartment. It too was locked but he ran an app on his phone that remotely opened the door for me. Inside, I found a copy of his building and apartment key, the wifi password and a stacked of handouts about things to do in the area as well as a short list of house rules. Easy peasy.
After I got all my stuff settled in, it was time to venture out and see the city. I walked up to Union Square first because it was close by.
Another UberPool connection and I was on my way to Fisherman’s Wharf. This time, I shared the ride with a couple of girls from Australia. They got into town the day before and we discussed what they were planning to help me decide my goals. I mentioned that I planned to ride across the Golden Gate Bridge and they asked if I thought it was worth it. At $34 for the day, I thought it was a steal but they say it was a lot because of the exchange rate. At a 1.28 exchange rate, that would make it about $43 AUS. Still much cheaper than flying with a bike.
I bid them farewell and headed off to check out the area. I’m not a big fan of tourist areas but this wasn’t that bad. After a really bad hot dog off a cart (you’d think I would learn after doing the same thing in New York City) I bought a round trip ferry ticket to Sausalito past Alcatrez.
After tooling around Sausalito a bit, I took the ferry back to walk the wharf on the SF side.
I ate at Wipe Out Bar & Grill on Pier 39. It was pretty good and I was famished (more thirsty than anything.)
After all that adventure, I headed back to my room to do some work (gotta pay for this trip.) The best thing was I was able to plan a couple other things I want to do while in town.
by Chris Doelle
Also published on Medium.