Yesterday morning, we woke up early to the banging, clattering, and knocking of our roommates. I’m not really sure what was going on as KP swears that at one point there were about 5 people in our room, while we were still both in bed. If our roommates had come to see us the night before, I’m sure we would have both just hopped up and said good morning, but I’m not quite sure KP will ever recover from the heartbreak of them not showing up. When we did finally chat with the two girls who are our roommates, we did not do introductions, nor did they mention our adorable and slightly ridiculous message to them. I guess we just are not meant to be friends! Anyhow, we both need to figure out how to move on with our lives. I am going to try to do so by continuing on with this post about our day, despite the rejection I have so recently experienced.
KP did a post with a bunch of information about out hostel already here, but I just wanted to quickly comment on a couple things since this is my first ever hostel experience. This place is nice, and I have felt totally safe staying here so far. We have lockers to lock away valuables and our room has a key card to unlock the door. You also need to show said key card to even get access to the building. When I thought about hostels, I never considered that they would be this secure. Also, it’s a lot of fun as there is an amazing common area to hang out in and lots of planned activities to take part in. I would definitely continue to stay in hostels for my future travelling. Honestly, staying in a hostel feels quite a bit like my first few weeks living in residence at the University of Alberta.
KP and I got ready for the day and went downstairs for the breakfast our hostel provides. It wasn’t anything crazy – just some toast, coffee, and oatmeal – but it was a good way to start the day. We then headed out to wander the streets of San Francisco and see some of the historic neighbourhoods.
During our walk to Castro, we may not have taken the most desirable of routes. In fact, I think we may have walked through all of the least desirable parts of the city. Luckily, it was the middle of the day and though we saw many sketchy characters, there were always lots of other people around.
For those of you that don’t know, Castro was one of the first gay neighbourhoods in the US. Many gay officers from the military that were kicked out during WWII settled in Castro, and that was how this area got its start. Today Castro is an area full of scandalously titled stores and restaurants as well as, oddly, a large number of stores for dogs. Castro is a center for the gay community in San Francisco, and many people, tourists and gays alike, enjoy making their way to this iconic neighbourhood. You can read more about Castro here if you are interested. It has a very long and interesting history.
While in Castro, we could see a few walking tours were happening and KP and I would try to meander slowly past them to try to sponge any information we could about the area, though I can’t say it was very effective. After walking down the street and back, we stopped at Hot Cookie for a snack – our Snickerdoodles were the absolute best.
Next we began the walk to Haight-Ashbury, which is known as a center of the 1960’s hippie movement. You can read more about the history of this area here. Today it is a mix of trendy stores, grungy cafes, hippies, hipsters, and the homeless. These last few lead to a rousing game of “Homeless or Hippie?”, a game KP and I created ourselves. For more information on this game and instructions on how to play, please see KP’s in-depth post, Homeless or Hippie: A Game for All Occasions. We wandered up and down the street as we played, until we got our fill.
We began the walk back toward the hostel to have some down time, and along the way I realized that we could take a route that would go right to Alamo Square, which is the park from the beginning credits on the beloved family classic TV show Full House. San Francisco’s Painted Lady Houses are the most recognizable sight to see in this area.
Once we had done our fair share of hanging out in the park, it was time to continue the trek back to the hostel. Luckily, we strategically planned our route in order to avoid the sketchy areas we went through earlier in the day, so it was a much more enjoyable walk. Here is the map of our entire route – we went far!
We arrived back at the hostel and feasted on our groceries, then had a bit of downtime before our evening activities began, which KP has posted for you in We’re currently in Oakland… thinking of going to San Jose later…. I have to say that wandering through the neighbourhoods of San Francisco made for a very interesting day and definitely helped us to get a feel for the entire city.