Oh my goodness. When I got in my car in Los Gatos on Day 47, I glanced at my odometer and couldn’t believe I’ve put more than 10,000 miles on my car already. And I’m on the complete other side of the country, and need to drive back, so I can only imagine what it will read at the end of this trip. I know I’ve been driving a lot; I guess I didn’t realize quite how it all added up. I also can’t believe I’ve been on the road for 47 days – it really does only feel like a couple of weeks. People keep asking if I’m sick of being on the road yet. Absolutely not, I’m loving every minute (even the not so great minutes). Even all the many, many minutes of driving.
Driving in San Francisco is similar to London. You have to drive 20 minutes to get a few miles. Then there’s the added complexity of the hills. You’re kept busy praying that your brakes keep working – it reminded me of The Princess Diaries when Anne Hathaway is taught to drive. I can’t even imagine learning here! Thank goodness I don’t have a standard. I also paid a new high for gas – $3.25 a gallon. Actually, I guess I paid more in Vancouver, but I’m not even sure what that was exactly, as it wasn’t in gallons – it was like London. I paid more than I want to think about, really.
I was wondering how I’d feel – if I’d still love San Francisco. And I do. I so do – more than I’d like to. As soon as I drove into the city, parked and got out of my car, I was in love again. Standing on the pier I knew I’d be happy waking up here every day, just as I was in London. If only all my family and friends were here. It makes me wonder if Plymouth (the place I’m considering settling if I decide to change courses and open an inn back home) will make me feel this way. It is on the water (good). And historic (good). It’s not a city (both good and bad). But Boston is so close, as is all of the Cape. I’m skeptical. But then I remember what Sarah dubbed ‘the summer of love.’ We had such a blast that summer, spending many weekends in downtown Plymouth. So maybe it could be the place for me…
Pushing the future from my mind to live more in the present, I left the pier and hunted down an open-top bus tour to get reaquainted with the city, which is glowing from excitement at going to the World Series. Here are a few of the tidbits I learned on the tour:
- Levi’s invented jeans here for the gold rush.
- Martinis and jukeboxes were both created in San Francisco.
- The phrase ‘sugar daddy’ also originated here, for a man who worked in sugar and fell for a girl who was immortalized in statue.
- San Francisco’s Chinatown is the oldest in the country (and my favorite).
Of course I learned other things, but those stuck with me. If you haven’t been here, please do visit. I love the piers, the unhurried bustle, the content atmosphere, the cool art everywhere, the friendliness – and it was the first place I’ve had guys start hitting on me by commenting on my cowboy boots – very funny! I also had a great mini-makeover at the Benefit counter in Macy’s. I ran in for one thing, and after Obsaitha worked magic on my face for a few minutes, I walked out of there with more product than I realized I couldn’t live without. And no, I don’t have buyer’s regret – I love Benefit!
I was so overwhelmed with excitement for being back in the city that I considered changing my itinerary once again and spending a few days just in the heart of the city. Then I thought about what really matters to me and that’s having more time to spend with my good friends in Los Angeles. I didn’t want to lose time with them just to be in San Francisco longer by myself. And I even cut my tour short to visit another friend – Neal, who I was close to at Dean. It was so good to see him and his family – he hasn’t changed a bit, which I love. (Perfect text timing, Neal!)
I was happy – I got a glimpse of a city I love, and know I will visit again as soon as possible. But it was time to go, as I wanted to take my time getting to LA – to enjoy the scenic route, stopping at many of the places Luke, Laura, Joy, Lauren and Neal all said are must-sees. So very many, it will be interesting to see when I actually reach LA!