San Francisco & Hawaii trip, pt 1

And they say mixing business with pleasure is never a good idea. I totally disagree, because mixing business with pleasure last month, got us some great time abroad and a lot of new memories.You are probably now wondering, what the hell am I talking about?! Well I am obviously talking about my husband’s business trip to the States and me coming along, with him. He goes to San Francisco, twice a year, for business, so this time we planned that I go with him, since I’ve never been to the USA. We also planned another trip to Hawaii from there, just for two and a half of us 🙂

First stop was San Francisco, or Palo Alto – a suburb, that is half an hour drive, from SF. It’s a very nice place with a lots of small restaurants and shops, including Stanford Shopping Center and  Stanford University close by. I wasn’t bored, while he was at work, I was cruising around, exploring shops and local cuisine. I particularly liked this place, forgot the name, but have some pictures.  

We also spent two days in SF- trying to see at least some of the most known city features and amenities. We decided to go for a City Bus Tour, because it’s the best and fastest way to see most of the SF historical and popular sights, including Golden Gate Bridge. We actually drove over it, and it was crazy windy. So pack up a scarf and a hat, and put some spf on. 

Golden Gate Bridge, definitely most known symbol of San Francisco. It was opened in 1937, and today it is the world’s ninth-largest suspension bridge, but it was the world’s longest one when it was built. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alcatraz Island, got the name from the pelicans (alcatraz means pelican in Spanish), which were first residents of this rocky, steep-sided island. In 1859, the US military established a fort there that guarded SF Bay until 1907, when it became a military prison. Today, Alcatraz is a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Chinatown is very densely populated neighborhood with its colorful facades, teeming markets, temples, theaters, unique restaurants and stores, is „a city“ within the city and place most visitors want to see. Nob Hill is SF’s most celebrated hilltop. It is famous for its cable cars, plush hotels and breathtaking views. Financial District and Union Square are also among the most known tourist attractions, but I wasn’t impressed, big tall buildings doesn’t take my breath away, like sandy beaches, national parks and nature do. Don’t get me wrong, I know that those are not just buildings – many of  them being the oldest features of the city and some of them surviving the great fire, like the Ferry Building for example, or Transamerica Pyramid, which is the tallest and recognized building in the city. They are just not my cup of tea, but the Japanese Tea Garden is, and I totally fell in love with that place.  

The peace, the serenity, of that place is hard to describe. It’s like you’ve just finished with  your yoga class, and had meditation/relaxation for last 5 minutes of the class. Japanese Tea Garden is part of the spectacular Golden Gate Park, a masterpiece of landscape gardening, created in the 1890s out of a sandy wasteland. Golden Gate Park is one of the largest urban parks in the world. It stretches from the Pacific Ocean to the center of San Francisco, forming an oasis of greenery and calm in which to escape from the bustle of city life. Besides Tea Garden, GGP is a home of numerous other facilities, such as aquarium, planetarium, museum, research facility (known as California Academy of Sciences) and  Shakespeare Garden, which holds more than 150 species of plants, all mentioned in Shakespeare’s poetry or plays. Isn’t that amazing?! 

 

At the end, all I can say is that San Francisco is a true melting pot, that features authentic Mexican, Italian and Asian influences. From architecture to cuisine, you can see, feel and even taste the fusion throughout the city.

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