Thursday, August 20th – Tuesday, August 25th, Rest/Tourist days in San Francisco
Wow, what a nice break from riding and all! I’ve been able to sit back, relax, and see a bit of San Francisco and not really feel like a tourist, all at the same time! It’s been really nice, especially since Iman was able to fly out and meet me and work during the time I’m laying over here before finishing down the coast to Los Angeles.
We’ve been having a lot of fun just checking out the city, eating good food and relaxing too. Thursday was really nice because I slept in as long as I could (9:30am or so) and then just was lazy trying to get some stuff done with my website and blog catching up, photos, etc. I then met Iman for lunch and then rode around on my bike in the city. In the evening, we went out with Iman’s cousin for crepes for dinner – amazing, along with drinks and dessert crepes! Can’t beat that – amazing amazing crepes though!
Friday, I took my bike to REI for a tune-up – they were really nice and fit me right in without any issues. I love REI! That evening, we met up with another friend of Iman’s – Neal, from GW days and had dessert with him, his girlfriend Amy, and their friend Nelson (also visiting from the east – also went to GW). So we went to this little Italian place for dessert and had tiramisu which was so yummy! Earlier in the evening, Iman and I went for what we thought would be cheap chinese food, but turned out to be over-priced nasty tea in a greasy cup and ‘reasonably cheap’ chinese food. Our bill came to $30 for two people. Our entrees were $5.95/each, the tea was $2/cup (we didn’t ask for it, or drink it), and another entree of Iman’s was $7.95 or something. Go figure that out…. nasty tea!
Saturday was a little lazy – we just walked around the touristy areas of San Francisco down near Embarcadero and did something we never thought we’d do… gamble on the street. Yes, it was impulse because it looked so easy and sure. I lost $60 on the street, so Iman went to an ATM and got money out to win my $60 back… come to find out, I actually lost $80, but we re-won $60 of it. So my grand total loss was $20, thankfully not $60 or $80. There’s a first for everything – my first time ever gambling… it was fun, but I don’t like losing money… I probably won’t be doing it again. Luckily, the guy was nice and made it an easy win for us because I think he wanted to get rid of us – we were smart enough to win it all, but he was eager to see us go, so he just gave us the money back with easy bets. I later realized that I actually was down $20 overall, but oh well. Learning experience – never bet on the streets. I wouldn’t mind trying a slot machine someday – a penny slot machine though with a $10-$20 cap on my gambling money.
In the evening, we did a little Safeway run to pick up some goodies, including our microwaveable dinners (mac and cheese, ravioli)… and went back to our hotel and hung out there to eat dinner and snacks and have a few drinks (rum and pepsi, and some tequila)… it was cheaper than going out for pricey drinks, plus we were feeling lazy and wanted to say in and hang out. At 1am, we got hungry again and found this cool italian pizza place open still who would deliver (we used foodler.com) and they brought us some yummy panini, pasta, salad, and tiramisu of course! We pigged out, but felt satisfied afterwards which was what mattered.
Sunday, we had more of a lazy day – just walked around downtown for a bit and browsed through this market area. I grabbed a bite to eat while Iman watched me eat (she’s celebrating Ramadan for the next month, so is fasting between sunrise and sunset). After walking around downtown, we came back to the area where our hotel is and checked out a few stores there. Iman wanted to get a perm done, but no hair salons were/are open in San Francisco on Sundays. We called numerous places and looked online to find zero places open! It was crazy… a huge city with no where to get a hair cut on a Sunday!
In the evening, we walked up a couple blocks from the hotel and went to an Indian restaurant where they had a buffet for $10/all you can eat. So we stuffed ourselves there and it was really yummy, then went back to the hotel to hang out and do laundry and what not. A pretty lazy weekend, but nice indeed.
Monday – I’m just going to go test my bike out a bit more and make sure it’s running smoothly. I had to buy new tires, a new chair, get everything lubed up, the derailleur needed adjusting, and my brake pads were shot – so the grand total wasn’t cheap, but at least I have a safe bike to ride for the rest of the trip. So I’m going to ride around the city more today and make sure everything’s going smoothly with the bike.
Tomorrow will be my last day in the city before I head out towards L.A. on Wednesday. I think I’m going to catch the BART train system from downtown to Daly City, CA and then work my way back to the Hwy 1 along the coast. My first day, if all goes well will end up with me reaching Santa Cruz almost – I found a state park just north where I can camp and it’ll be a 70ish mile day for me, which should be pretty average. It looks like it’ll be another 500 or so odd miles, perhaps a little less to get to L.A., so I’m estimating I’ll arrive there on Wednesday, September 2nd and will then meet up with my cousin, Rob and hang out with him while staying with an old friend from college who moved to L.A. to pursue acting. I’m planning to then stay the weekend in L.A. before catching a train home the following Monday or Tuesday, so hopefully that’ll give me enough time!