My trip to San Francisco was one for the books. It was a long time coming – I’d been planning the trip for over a year with a beautiful friend of mine, who I met while stationed in Germany. Between a haunted hotel, an all-you-can-eat steakhouse, and climbing hundreds of stairs to catch a view of the city, San Francisco left me with great memories – and four lessons I’ll never forget:
New places don’t have to be scary, even when your hotel is haunted
We did our research, and booked a room at a boutique — and allegedly haunted — hotel called Hotel Majestic near Japantown. Finally, after a long 10 months of waiting, I arrived in SFO and met up with Anna, the beautiful Brazilian girl I mentioned earlier. We hoped onto the BART and make out way into the heart of the city and initially find ourselves lost. We got dropped off in an area kind of late at night in a place we were unfamiliar with. Lucky, we found a cab and he got us to our hotel.
Getting lost can be a good thing
The next day was spent learning how to read the public transportation grid lines on the map. A few confused bus routes helped me learn it, and fast. By the second day I was navigating around the entire city, seeing whatever we could with the short time that we had. We hit all the major landmarks such as Fisherman’s Wharf, the Golden Gate Bridge, Ghirardelli Square, the Painted Ladies, the Castro District, downtown and more. The public transportation was awesome and very convenient to travel by foot.
Always ask how much your meal will be
One night we went to Espetus, a meat lover’s dream come true. Anna introduced me to the concept of the all-you-can eat steakhouse. My date was very excited to speak Portuguese with our waitress as she cut tender pieces of meat at our table. The menu features no less than fourteen signature cuts of meat. Just remember, this is an all-you-can-eat steakhouse in San Francisco, so the prices are a little high: roughly $56 per person for the meal, not including wine or mixed cocktails. I wish I had known the price beforehand because the entire time I was eating, I was worried that it was going to be much more expensive and wouldn’t be able to pay.
Don’t be afraid to put in the work to find a great view
We barely spent any time at all in the hotel room. Instead we took advantage of the opportunity we had to explore the beautiful city of San Francisco. One afternoon we hiked up Turtle Hill, which is adjacent to the 16th Ave. Tiled Steps, a free attraction of artwork escalating up a tall flight of stairs. Once you reach the summit of the hill, there is a great 360-degree view of the entire city. You can see both bridges, downtown San Francisco, rolling hills with beautiful houses, and everything in between. This was definitely one of the highlights of the vacation.
Everything from getting lost, walking up the 16th Ave Tiled Steps to Turtle hill, walking the Golden Gate Bridge twice (4+ miles), eating at an all-you-can-eat steakhouse, and going to a sushi bar that ran out of tuna was perfect. San Francisco will always be a place of fond memories and adventure.