Saturday, October 19, 2013

San Francisco: Day Two

It has been another wonderful day in San Francisco. First of all, the weather has been absolutely incredible. I have worn shorts, a short-sleeve shirt, chacos, and a sweater, and I have been so very comfortable temperature-wise. The sun has been shining, and some (most) of the views I have had today have taken my breath away.


Following the same plan as every other half marathon I have run, I woke up and got dressed and ready to run a two-mile run through the streets of San Francisco. It was my first bought of running these monster hills, and let me tell you something - they are just as intimidating as they look. I was huffing and puffing by the time I got to the top of Jones Street, but even though it was extremely difficult for me, I felt empowered once I got to the top, and in talking to people who have run this course before, the hills aren't "too bad." Then again, these people might not be from the flat land of Houston, Texas. Apparently the worst hill is at mile six when we're near the Golden Gate Bridge, so be thinking good thoughts about mile six!


After I returned to our hotel, I laid on the floor for a few minutes trying to catch my breath, and then I hopped in the shower so that we could be on our way to begin day two of our trip. We once again went downstairs so that I could snag two pieces of bread for tomorrow morning, and my mom ate another piece of toast with butter, before heading back toward Union Square to check out another breakfast place that we saw yesterday: Cafe La Taza.

We arrived just in the nick of time, snagging a table on the ground floor, and we saw many other marathoners stopping in for a healthy bite to eat. I opted for the veggie scramble, which was egg whites, spinach, bell peppers, mushrooms, and avocado, with a side of fruit and four pieces of whole wheat toast. I was apparently pretty hungry, as I finished off the egg scramble and fruit, and I scarfed down two pieces of whole wheat toast, while my mom helped me with the other two. It was both delicious and filling, and I was more than ready to attack the day.

We then made our way back over to Union Square, so that my mom could pick up her spectator wristband, and I snuck back over to the Nike store, where I, unsurprisingly, made a few purchases. After my mom picked up her wristband, we found ourselves purchasing two bus tickets that would take us over to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. It was a beautiful drive, and I found myself getting more and more excited the closer we got to it. One of the perks of taking one of these tour buses is that you get a lot of history (shout out to my roommate Jamie Lynn, as she would appreciate this the most), but it opened in 1937, and the bridge has to be continually painted, because the fog that comes in from Alaska corrodes the paint, meaning it has to be an ongoing process. Pretty cool! Anyway, the bridge is absolutely beautiful, and it just took my breath away. I snapped a few too many pictures, and I won't share all of them with you, but gosh, the views were just stunning.

We hopped back on the bus at promptly 11:00am, which took us back to Union Square. My mom and I had casually talked about visiting Muir Woods (thank goodness the government shutdown is over), because she and my dad had visited it when they came to San Francisco about 25 years ago, and they still talk about how incredible it was. Luck was on our side (luck favors the lucky, so I've been told), and there happened to be a bus leaving from their office at Fisherman's Wharf at 1:45. DJ Paul took care of us, making sure we got over to the office, where we picked up our reserved tickets. We had about an hour to kill before catching the bus, so we ate lunch at a delicious restaurant right next door - Hollywood Cafe. I ran back over the Pier 39 to pick up a souvenir, so my mom ordered for me so that I could take it to go with me on the bus over to Muir Woods. I opted for the grilled chicken salad, and y'all, it was incredible. I'm not sure if it had more to do with the actual salad, or the fact that I was downright starving by the time we got on the bus, but I ate every last bite. The toasted almonds and avocado stole the show.

After a minor bus malfunction, we made it over to Muir Woods just before 3:00pm. I have never seen anything quite like it, and I don't think the pictures even do it justice. There is so much to see, with so many different trails to take, and I would love to spend an entire day hiking all of the different trails. As it was, my mom and I walked for about an hour through the woods, and these redwoods were some of the prettiest things I have ever seen. My mom and I agreed that it was well worth the trip, and I am convinced that we came during the perfect season.

We got back on the bus around 4:30pm, and stopped for about half an hour in Sausalito, a small little town that is located just across the Golden Gate Bridge. My mom and I picked up two grilled chicken sandwiches to go, but had we more time, I would have loved to go to this gourmet burger and wine restaurant. Oh well, next time! I also stopped to snap a few pictures of the bay. The sun was starting to go down and it was an absolutely beautiful view.

We got back on the bus, and our driver had a little surprise for us - we were going to stop to take pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge. Though I had already seen it, I was certainly not going to complain about another chance to see it, especially when the sun was starting to set. We approached the bridge from a different angle, and I think I liked it even better than when we saw it this morning. The wind was blowing, the sun was setting, and I really couldn't ask for much more than that.

We enjoyed a curbside hotel dropoff, where I am currently sitting here writing this post, and getting ready to wind down for an early night. I have had such a wonderful two days in San Francisco, but I am so excited to try my legs at these hills. I am going to have my phone with me on the run tomorrow, so I will likely be tempted to stop and snap some pictures (which will consequently give me a break from running up those hills)! I will be back with a full report on the race, but wish me luck tomorrow! I'm a little bit nervous, but I think I'm more excited than nervous. And if the going gets tough, I will have some incredible views to motivate me to keep going. I will see you guys on the other side!

1 comment:

  1. awesome pictures kel! have fun tomorrow