Every once in awhile you get those days in life that are just absolutely perfect. So perfect you sometimes forget this is a real life you are living. For me, one of those days was this past Saturday in San Francisco. Long distance relationships can be tricky and not always that fun. However, when you can make light of the situation and make the time fun and unforgettable it makes it not quite so bad. This past weekend, Dave and I met in the middle; San Francisco/Oakland for a weekend of getting lost, good music and adventures.
We were staying in Oakland, which, isn’t quite as bad as people make it out to be. Sure, there are some parts that I wouldn’t want to walk at night but the area near the waterfront is beautiful and seems pretty renovated and fresh. Saturday morning we woke up early to get a start on our day and to max out daylight hours. Even the sun loving west coast has short days during the winter so we needed to maximize this. The forecast was set as cloudy and rainy the entire week leading up, so we were thrilled to see that it had changed to 60degrees and sunny on this day. Luck was already in our favor today!
Bagels and coffee were the first order of business. We had seen a small bagel shop, Authentic Bagel Company, the other day when we got breakfast so we thought that would be perfect to grab on the go. While waiting for our food, we struck up conversation with two men, Gwen and Nathan, who were standing outside also waiting for their food. We needed help figuring out the best way to get over to San Francisco and they looked like locals. Immediately, they were super kind and helpful, even offering to drive us to the BART station (Bay Area Rapid Transit). Turns out Gwen was a Kiwi (HI, New Zealand) so we carried on conversation about the country. Nathan was an American who makes his life living between San Fran, Portland and Pittsburg. Both men, were so genuine and kind in their actions and words, Dave and I both agreed that the world needs more people like them.
Once at the train stop, we figured out where to go and hopped on the next train that came our way. It’s wonderful to find a partner who loves adventures as much as you and who doesn’t mind getting lost. The best way to get to know a person is to travel with them. I 100% agree with that statement and think it is vital in any meaningful relationship (both romantic and friendship).
We got off BART and walked to the Port of San Francisco to eat our breakfast. Nathan had raved about them, telling us these were the best Bagels in the whole Bay Area so I for one, was excited to sink my lips into mine. Finding ourselves a sweet and sunny spot I the middle of the chaotic Saturday morning, we finally got to taste the deliciousness. Amazing, highly recommended for anyone in the Bay Area. While there, I couldn’t believe the luck we had gotten with the sunshine. Only a few clouds in sight, the sun sure heated our backs as we enjoyed the area.
So often, to me, cities remind me of somewhere else. Downtown San Francisco, reminded me of a cute mix of Auckland and Seattle. The same pier loving, bustling and busy feel to the inland yet, the waterfront reminded me to be calm. There was a farmers market outside the Port of San Francisco so people were everywhere. Vendors, tourists, locals and the occasional homeless person; everyone squished together on this beautiful day.
Walking along the pier, the sun was warm and the breeze was cool. It felt so much like a fall or spring day- I sometimes forget it’s “winter” or “January” when I’m out on the West Coast. Our plan for the day was to rent bikes and bike across the famous Golden Gate Bridge. I was excited, bucket list is slowly getting checked off as well as the cutest date we had been on for a month. Gwen had suggested we hit up Blazing Saddles for our bike rentals because you can drop the bikes off at various locations depending on what time you ride until. After a short video, signing some papers and getting fit for our bike we were on our way!
The Blazing Saddles company suggested a path that we pretty much stuck to the entire time. Riding on the road, paths and beach, we made our way around the pier and waterfront. This particular Saturday was gorgeous. The people of San Francisco were definitely out and about taking advantage of the weather. From playing Spike Ball and Rugby on the beach to bike rides and runners on the trails, the entire waterfront was filled with people. I love to see that when I’m visiting a city!
When we arrived at Crissy Field, we veered off the path to take in the stunning view of the Golden Gate Bridge and to indulge in some photos. I had seen the bridge before but it was cloudy and foggy my last visit so I couldn’t enjoy it’s majesty quite as much. This time however, the powerful red really stood out against the bright blue sky and water. Alcatraz was in perfect sight as well as the San Francisco skyline. It was just a perfect day.
After Crissy Field there was a few short hills and we were finally at the top, ready to embark across the world famous Golden Gate Bridge. With Dave leading the way, I teetered in the gusty wind on my bike but loved every second. I couldn’t believe how busy the walking and bike paths were up there. Thankfully, the city divided up the bridge so pedestrians on foot stay on one side of the bridge while bikers stay on the other. Still, the bridge paths were skinny so my heart would hold still every time bikers coming in the opposite direction would pass.
Though the bridge is only 1.7 miles long, it seemed to take us a long time to get over. I wasn’t exactly peddling my little heart out, I was perfectly content was going slow and taking in the views we were so fortunate to have at this moment. On the other side, Sausalito provided us with even more photo opportunities. Again, the look out point was packed full of humans but the views are so worth the crowds.
The ride back over the bridge was even quicker than the first time. You can cruise as you gradually slope downhill making it less of a workout and more about the breeze. I have always loved riding bikes; it’s so freeing and feels to me what flying would feel like. Plus I love that no matter how long it’s been since you’ve last ridden, you can always pick back up where you left off. We veered a little off track and discovered the beautiful Palace of Fine Arts. There were a few wedding going on here, again which almost made me forget that it was the middle of January. The architecture was gorgeous. It reminded me a lot of European cities- particularly Ireland. The details in the architecture was truly stunning. Photos wouldn’t do justice, as is with most beautiful things.
By the end of our biking excursion my bottom was sore and I was ready for a chai latte. The sun was starting to set as we wandered the streets of San Francisco. I couldn’t help but feel completely at ease and at home with each step. Having a significant other who is just as into adventures and getting lost is something that is so important to me. This was the perfect date and the perfect way to spend our Saturday. Definitely recommended to anyone who loves a good active activity and a great way to see San Francisco.
Bucket List Item: Bike the Golden Gate Bridge- Check.