After our big, dirty hikes and a short visit to the hottest place on Earth, I was thrilled to finally get to see the San Fransisco bay area. I planned it out so that Greg and I would arrive just in time for the SF PRide Parade. I was obsessed with learning about Harvey Milk and the gay rights movement, so this was essentially a dream come true.
We slept in the mountains outside of Lake Tahoe, then headed toward Sacramento. After a lengthy oil change and a Starbucks run, we went into the Capitol. It was quite large, and we were running behind schedule. We checked out the tundra and some of the roped-off rooms, then hit the road.
We arrived in Oakland a bit afternoon to see my BFF after a year of her absence. Once showered and fed, we all made the decision to go to the Gold Gate National Recreation Area to get a good view of the bridge.
We walked around an old fort and saw some sleeping seals from afar. I thought the rocky coastline was very cool, and the fog was giving me the too-cool San Fran vibes I was craving. We had to deal with a decent amount of traffic (it was a Saturday afternoon…), but we got to spend time in good company.
We ate at Cactus Taqueria and saw the first signs of pride weekend – many young people dressed as butterflies with pristine Nikes and Doc Martens.
The next morning, we were up and out early to catch the train into the city. Because we were so early, we got to check out the Castro district. Everything was rainbow, there were a million drag queen merch stores, and some nudity. It was incredible finally getting to see a place you’ve heard of for so long.
First, we walked through the festival and got a million stickers from activist groups. Then, we stood in one place for two hours while watching employees from large companies wearing pride shirts walk past us. The parade was cool was the participants had a lot of energy, but it was so much less of a performance than the NY Pride Parade (that I attended in 2010 or 2011).
Once we had enough, we walked around, looking for a lunch spot. We landed on a good-sounding pho place first, but they were a COB and I had $10 on me. The restaurant we finally ate at was a reasonably-priced Ethiopian one. It was soooo good and I was soooo full. That injera and all of those vegetables…. I’m in love.
After this, we had to find the next doughnut shop on Greg’s list before seeing that famous street. You know. That street. The steep one. With the squiggly switchback roads? Yeah, that one.
We slowly walked up the straight, steep side, taking numerous photos along the way. Then, we walked down the squiggly side, still taking a myriad of pictures. From there, we got a clear view of Alcatraz Island.
We walked toward the coastline, and discovered that other NPS-run area for boats and people who like them. We went out onto a deteriorated pier, catching a foggy view of the bridge and a discovery that Ghirardelli runs the city.
We wanted to get yet another Patagonia sticker, a goal that we somehow achieved even though the store was closed and under construction. We went to the chocolate square area to get our free chocolate squares, and I fell after tripping into a planted tree on a sidewalk.
We were already wiped out, but we still had to make it back to Oakland. The bus we tried to take was like an hour late because some shat on that last one. It took longer than we wanted, but we got back at a reasonable time.
We grabbed ice cream and discovered that people called those terrible wafer cones cake cones. How misleading is that? A terrible, plastic cone given a name like cake? They had to sugar cones. I was annoyed.
We got a late start the next morning, but we were so pleased with our relaxed and scenic stay in the bay area, or as it’s known, the bae area.