I left my heart in San Francisco

I don’t know that song, but I think it’s meant to imply that San Francisco is an amazing city and that your heart gets broken by leaving. Totally not the case for me, but I did meet a great guy there that I’m sad to leave. Why is it that I only meet guys who live in cities that are several hour flights from wherever I am? London, San Francisco… now all I have to do is alt-travel to Thailand or something and I’m sure to meet the love of my life.

Wow, what a day. I’m currently at SFO totally early – my flight isn’t for another hour and a half. When I arrived, I flew into SJC instead of SFO, so I had no idea a) how long it would take to get to SFO and b) what security was like here. Answer: 20 minutes from my friend’s apartment to the airport, and 5 minutes through security. Guess I shouldn’t have left 2.5 hours before my flight!

I’m really looking forward to sleeping on the flight. I got up this morning at 6 AM, commenced drinking by 7, and haven’t slept yet. Crazy! Not quite as crazy as the people of San Francisco, but still… :)

So I’ll start by going back to my adventures yesterday (yup, building up the suspense for the race a little longer). Not being used to the time change, I woke up around 8 AM and posted yesterday’s entry. After that, we decided to go into San Francisco for the day to explore. We took the Caltrain into the city, and then hopped into a cab to take us to Haight and Ashbury, which is apparently a really famous corner in San Francisco.

At first, it seemed fun… a bit of hippie charm. I liked the sign in front of this crepe place, and took a picture next to it even though we didn’t actually eat there.

Then we headed to the park. As we walked in, a few people invited us to buy their drugs. Yes, with children all around. Awesome! We headed into the park to check out “hippie hill,” which I was told was the “essence of San Francisco.” And oh my goodness it was absolutely crazy. As in, crazies everywhere. I was so uncomfortable with all the crazy that was going on. I know I’m not being too descriptive by using the word crazy over and over, but really, that’s the only way to describe it. There was a drum circle with a bunch of people sitting around and banging on everything and anything in no apparent rhythm.
There were people just lounging all over the place and zoning out and playing their guitars, or playing with hula hoops and devil sticks.
There were two people lying in the middle of the lawn having sex (ew!), not caring that there were a ton of other people around, and apparently the other people didn’t care either. I did not take a picture of that.

I wandered around in my Cornell sweatshirt, sticking out like a sore thumb but kind of confused as to why all I was doing was walking around and being normal, and yet I was the oddity in this strange place. I can’t express how strange it was and how uncomfortable I felt.

We headed over to the kid’s playground, which was actually really cool, and I felt a bit better. There was this big curved wall that both Andy and I climbed and took pictures on. There was a huge slide built into a hill that we wanted to go on, but realized we were too wide to fit down. And there was this huge pyramid shaped rope climbing structure that looked awesome, but we were afraid of falling on a little kid.

After the playground, we headed over to the rollerskating area, which was really cool. There were a bunch of people teaching each other routines to do in sync, and it seemed like a lot of fun. I definitely want to get a pair of rollerblades, though I’m not sure if there is anywhere quite like this in NYC. Maybe somewhere in Central Park?

We rounded out the day by heading back to Haight and Ashbury, where I saw a lot more crazy (almost as much as in the park). We got accosted by someone who wanted us to petition against the government for trying to kill some moths that weren’t proven to be essential to anything – just one big annoyance. We watched some live music, and saw a woman about my mom’s age dancing around the street like she was absolutely nuts.
On the bright side, I bought this gorgeous ring on the street for only $6, and I love it.
We then hit up a burrito place that I swear had the best burrito I’ve ever eaten. Apparently San Francisco is where the burrito was invented, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at how great it was, but people raved about Anna’s Taqueria in Boston and I just don’t think it’s that great. Anyway, in San Fran I got “Bob’s Burrito,” which was grilled veggies with some other stuff, and no cheese and no guac. Usually that makes a burrito kind of boring, but the flavors of the beans and the salsa were fantastic and it was absolutely incredible! They had an array of 8 different kinds of salsa you could try for dipping your side of tortilla chips, and those were great too. If you are ever in San Fran, look up Taqueria El Balazo. I can only speak for the one on Haight Street, but it was amazing.

We rounded out the day with a few funny pics that I think typify San Fran. A pipe store called “Puff Puff Pass,” a hilly side street that had some crazy architecture, and a telephone pole absolutely covered in staples from all the flyers people have posted over the years.

Stay tuned – Bay to Breakers report coming soon! (Yes, I’m a mean person for making you wait. But I’ll say that I seem to be pretty much okay today, except that I’m exhausted and my foot is still a little sore).

This entry was written last night but posted this morning when I got all my pics off my camera.


  1. Nice pictures and travelogue. Fun fact: They call those Victorians “painted ladies.”

  2. Lovely pictures. Thanks for sharing. Can’t wait for the “real” story…

    Oh, and there IS a place in central park where they practice rollerblading…I think they meet everyweekend at the same place, at least that’s when I see them on my runs.

  3. Love the pictures. I’m looking forward to hearing about the race.

    And that park sounds…interesting. yup. lol

  4. OMG this isnt fair. Will you at least post it sometime tonight???? hahaha

  5. Sounds like a great trip (minus the public sex act you encountered). Can’t wait to read the race report! :)

  6. I love San Francisco (maybe I already told you that). Great town. I’ve got several stories about that place. And sorry about your DNF. And about leaving your heart in SF: Isnt that the story of everyone’s life. But, if i remember correctly, you are 22 _ you got plenty of time.

  7. Thanks for sharing your trip to San Fran for us. Great pics, Laura! Glad you are okay.

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