The article first appeared in ITSPAUSLIFE, written by Pauline Mae De Leon.
So, I left my heart in San Francisco… high on a hill, it calls to me.
Alright, all lyrics aside. The Golden City is officially off my bucket list!
CX 870 departed Hong Kong at 2:20pm as my family and I were set for the 11 hour flight ahead. We arrived San Fran around 9:30am local time and we got to the hotel just before 11am. With only four to five hours of sleep, I punched jetlag in the face because I was ready to explore the city!
First on the list we decided to take the tram (US$8) all the way up to Fisherman’s Wharf and grab some compulsory clam chowder to fill up our empty stomachs.
My first impression of Fisherman’s Wharf: bird poop. Bird poop everywhere.
Other than that, for you seafood lovers out there like myself, it was heaven! Lobster, crab, clams, shrimp, you name it! I wish had enough space in my stomach to eat everything I laid my eyes on.
We couldn’t decide where to eat because there were loads of stalls and restaurants with practically the same menu. With it being our first time there, we chose a random restaurant where quite a few people were lining up at.
After our delicious meal, we walked all the way to Pier 39 where I took more photos (no surprise there).
The weather was perfect, the wind was just right and we were stuffed.
Jetlag was starting to hit, so we took the cable back to our hotel. I on the other hand still had a bit of energy, so I paid a visit to Target. Not going to lie, did a bit of damage to my wallet on the first day already (tsk tsk).
A few of our relatives reside just an hour or less away from San Francisco, so they were so kind enough to tour us around on our second day and the following.
Our agenda for the second day? Lake Tahoe!
It was a three to four-hour drive to the lake, which was enough time to nap in the car and eat junk because that’s what road trips are all about!
Around an hour left to the drive, the scenery started to catch my attention. Tall trees, green wide open spaces and bits of snow appearing on the grounds as we were driving on. I was so ready for my first snow experience.
I could NOT contain my excitement. Being born and raised in the bustling city of Hong Kong does tire a girl out, and being surrounded by just trees and mountains was definitely a breath of fresh air. Don’t get me wrong, I am a city girl at heart, but once in a while you need a break from all the tall buildings and crowded streets.
Once we arrived, the lake was completely covered with a blanket of thick fog. We literally could not see anything. It was around 12pm, so we decided to eat first and wait until the fog cleared up.
After defying all dietary rules and stuffing our stomachs with classic fatty American food, the fog cleared and the sun came out. It was the perfect day.
Our relatives suggested going all the way to the top of the mountain where you get the full view of the lake, but it cost US$80/person. Plus, we didn’t know how to ski (which was also an option once you get to the top) which would’ve been a waste.
There are various locations to view the lake on ground. We went to the one nearby cave rock.
The lake was surreal. The reflection of the sun’s rays blended into the water and made it look like silk.
After taking a million photos, we were ready to head back into the city (another three to four hours yay…) to stop by my aunt’s house for dinner at Sacramento.
Napa Valley was first on our agenda for the day. About an hour away from San Fran, we hit the road at 9am.
Of course, visiting Napa in January isn’t as pretty or colorful compared to the summer time. But it was still worth visiting!
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to taste their wine because as we all know, the legal drinking age in the US is 21.
After driving around countless of vineyards, we decided to head back to San Fran and conquer every possible tourist attraction the city had to offer.
First stop, the Golden Gate Bridge.
The Palace of Fine Arts.
The Painted Ladies.
Personally, I think that hitting San Francisco’s tourist hot spots in a day or two is doable. Rent a car or take public transportation! If there’s a will there’s a way.
I’d like to thank my relatives for taking their time out of their schedules to tour us around this amazing city. It wouldn’t have been possible without them.
Looking forward to my next adventure. Until next time!