What a day!
Mom and I were up at 4 AM to head to the airport in Kelowna, routing through Seattle with a short layover, with scheduled arrival in San Francisco being 12:30 PM. Everything along the way went relatively smoothly, with only a short delay on our second flight, getting us to San Fran by 1 PM.
At the airport, we hopped into a ride-sharing van – a cheaper alternative than a taxi! It took awhile to make our way to the hotel as we had a few other stops along the way, but there was so much to look at that I didn’t mind. I actually felt at times that I was riding a roller coaster. The town is built on these large, steep hills, and the van was zigging and zagging through traffic, accelerating up and down the hills. It is unbelievable that a city can be built on terrain like that – but more on that later.
We finally arrived at the hotel, and I was in awe from the start.
We are staying at the Fairmont San Francisco Hotel. I think it may be the most beautiful hotel I have ever seen.
As we were checking in, the clerk was telling us a little bit of history about this hotel. It is the original Fairmont Hotel, and they do their best to preserve it as it originally was in as many ways as they can. This hotel seems to have a very interesting past, so perhaps a future blog post will be dedicated to whatever information I can dig up on it.
After we had dropped our bags in the room, we went outside to explore. I could not believe the sight outside the hotel. I know we had driven up and down the hills on the way there, but it is a whole different story to walk on those very same hills. I don’t even think the pictures do justice to how this really looks.
We walked around San Francisco and just had way too much to look at. We eventually settled on hitting up the largest Macy’s I have ever seen – 7 floors! And there was a separate Macy’s for men across the street. We spent most of the rest of the day there, and then had dinner at The Cheesecake Factory on the very top of the building. The views from there were very cool.
We shopped and explored and picked up pamphlet after pamphlet of things to do. I’m looking forward to planning out the rest of our time here – it seems like there is just so much to do. We decided to head back to the hotel to explore it a little more and then turn in early after our long day. We walked back to the hotel (a lot tougher than it seems with those hills, believe me) and then spent some time wandering around there. We found a beautiful lounge that we have decided we need to hit up for drinks at some point, and we browsed a store of gorgeous goods from the middle east. The shop worker struck up a conversation with us and told us that the shawls they sell in that store are reknowned for being the best. Mom and I both swore we heard him say that they will sell for from $150 to $250,000… but that just seems too excessive to be real.
I am now curled up in front of a brand new episode of Grey’s Anatomy and I’m looking forward to an exciting week exploring here in California. I’ll leave you with one last picture…
Apparently no trip to San Francisco is complete without a streetcar ride… I can’t wait to do this in the next few days!
Lots of love from California!