We got a bus, a train, and another bus back to San Francisco from Yosemite and checked in to our hostel downtown. It’s a H.I. hostel which is the same chain of hostels that we stayed in in Washington D.C. but this one isn’t quite as good! We’re just in a 4 bed mixed dorm this time. We dumped our bags and then went to a little Thai restaurant and had an amazing dinner and then came back to the hostel and just watched a movie before going to bed. We were woken up in the middle of the night by our 2 drunken roommates coming in - they made so much noise! We seem to be having seriously bad luck with hostel roommates at the moment, these two were sniffing and phlegming all night it was disgusting. They woke me up again at 5.45am; they seemed to be whispering and one got up and started getting things out of his locker and then rummaging around and stuff – I assumed that maybe they had to get up really early or something but then he just got back into bed! I couldn’t get back to sleep at all so when it got to 7am we both just got up as they had woken Jonny up too. Then what really annoyed me is that one of them said “morning! You can turn the light on if you want to” – I was thinking “oh can I? I’m allowed to turn the light on am I? Oh that’s so generous of you after keeping me awake all night rummaging around for apparently no reason and phlegming like a disgusting beast” URGH! Ok rant over…
After getting ready (with the light on) we went to check out the free breakfast which unfortunately wasn’t as impressive as the one in Washington, it was just bagels, toast and coffee. We can’t get any Wifi in our dorm room so we went and sat in the common area and sorted out lots of important bookings and things for the next leg of our epic trip on the laptop. Jonny thinks that he left a micro USB cable at the Marina Motel where we stayed last week in San Francisco and after emailing them they said they had a whole bag of cables left in rooms and he was welcome to rummage through it so Jonny set off to walk up and down the many hills to go back to the Marina Motel whilst I opted out to go and check out the Westfield Shopping Centre instead! Since leaving England we’ve pretty much been together all of the time so it was a little bit strange being by myself but I quite enjoyed it, especially seeing as Jonny always gets bored looking around shops! I suppose it wasn’t the best laid of plans as it was torture walking past lots of clothes shops knowing that I couldn’t buy anything (although I did end up buying a skirt in H&M, oops!) but I did need some moisturiser and knew I couldn’t get hold of my usual one so had to do some testing and shopping around for that which was fun, all the shop assistants seemed to be gay men and they were fascinated that I was English and travelling! I also got quite confused and disorientated whilst shopping; we’d just spent a few days in the cold and there are winter clothes in the shops so I was getting into the winter-clothes zone and they were even playing Christmas music in the shops, but it was actually 23c outside and sunny and I know that in a week’s time I’ll be in New Zealand where it’s summer and hot! Very weird! Anyway after a few hours I went back to the hostel where I found Jonny shattered and cable-less! We just chilled out for the rest of the evening.
The next day we woke up after sleeping much better thanks to the use of some free earplugs from the hostel reception! In the morning we had a couple of skype sessions with each of our parents and then headed out to try and find a big computer store for Jonny to buy a new cable, which luckily we found and they had the cable we needed. We walked around a few other shops and picked up some bits and bobs to make some lunch using the pasta we already had at the hostel. We went back to the hostel and ate and then headed out again to the Westfield. We were trying to find a bookstore because Jonny is about to finish his book and wants another one for the plane but there didn’t seem to be any book stores in an entire 5 floor shopping mall so we decided to walk all the way down Market Street and go to the Ferry building to check it out. The market inside was really good and we wandered around there for a bit and then decided to go and see Paranormal Activity 4 at the cinema – if you haven’t seen it yet, don’t bother it’s not as good as the others! Afterwards we grabbed a bite to eat and then went back to the hostel.
Part 2 of San Francisco is interesting because we’re staying downtown which is a complete contrast to where we were staying before up in the Marina district. Although we’re loving being downtown at the moment, we felt like we really wanted to visit the north of the city one more time, especially as it was such a nice day as well. We thought we’d take one of the classic cable cars there and back because although it’s a bit of a rip off at $6 each one way, it’s a must do experience of San Francisco. It was a fun ride up to Fisherman’s Wharf and we walked to the park and chilled out for ages with a view of the bridge and watching lots of dogs running around chasing each other and having fun. Then we wandered around the shops in Fisherman’s Wharf for a while and got some lunch. I ended up buying a San Francisco t-shirt and Jonny suddenly decided he wanted to start wearing a watch again so he bought a classic style digital Casio watch! We got the cable car back to downtown and then went back to the hostel and got some laundry done and relaxed in the evening.
The next day we didn’t really do anything of interest, we just went out to stock up on some snacks to take to L.A. with us because there won’t be much around the hotel and the restaurant there is going to be really overpriced! Unfortunately the weather was nowhere near as nice as the day before, in fact it was really cold so we didn’t stay out long and just chilled out in the hostel. In the evening the hostel provided free pizza and we watched the movie "The Rock" in the TV room - it's a ridiculously over the top action movie set on Alcatraz but it stars Nicolas Cage and Sean Connery who have some fantasticly cheesy lines making it so bad that it's good!
I have come to love the city of San Francisco a great deal and I’m glad we’ve been able to spend so much time here. I could really imagine myself living here and loving it - if it weren’t for the fact that working in America and getting a green card was practically impossible! I love all the differently coloured amazing houses, the sight of the Golden Gate Bridge, the beautiful hills that provide amazing views of the bay and the city (even if they are a bitch to climb!) and then the complete contrast of the hustle and bustle of downtown. The city is very clean, laid back, and is doing its best to be environmentally friendly and it feels very safe. The only downside is that there are a lot of homeless people; they’re on every corner downtown but then this seems to be a problem across the whole of America and is not unique to San Francisco. I will be very sad to leave this city and hope I get to experience it again one day.
Next stop – back to L.A. just for a couple of nights and then flying to Auckland, New Zealand!