A Tale of Three Cities: San Francisco15:55:00
After taking a month off, I'm getting back in the blogging habit and I have amassed a shedload of topics to cover so brace yourselves for a torrent of posts in the coming week!
I haven't told you about my vacation yet and it's hard to believe it was a month ago. Just under 3 weeks hopping from coast to coast across America - I have never had a more enjoyable, interesting and invigorating holiday.
Touching down on a Monday evening, we checked into our hotel, changed & freshened up (necessary after a 12 hour flight from Dublin) and stepped out on to the steep streets of San Fran.
We headed down to the Embarcadero and port of San Francisco for dinner and a snoop around. Despite being a new, big city; it wasn't intimidating.
|The clocktower at San Francisco port|
One of my favourite book series is Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin. A frank, funny and heart felt serial spanning from the 1970's to present. Set in San Francisco, it features the intertwined lives of a mixed bag of characters, centralised on the fictional Barbary Lane so naturally I had to visit Macondray Lane, believed to be the inspiration for the setting. I could definitely see myself living here, the communal atmosphere sums up the relaxed and bohemian vibe of San Francisco.
|the secluded, shaded and secretly special Macondray Lane|
I considered myself quite the accomplished pedestrian but my faithful Converse let me down - their lack of insoles and support were not enough to cope with the long walks and steep inclines; the ensuing shin splints and blisters led me to Nordstrom Rack (their outlet store) and I picked up a pair of New Balance sneakers for under $50 and my feet have been grateful ever since.
(I had a pair of bright blue and neon New Balance waaaay back when I was doing my a-levels and then the boys from Steps wore them - I thought I was such a trendsetter)
We headed to Alcatraz on Thursday, I had pre-booked the trip before I left home and I advise you to do the same if you ever visit as you cannot buy a ticket at the port for the same day of travel.
|panoramic view from alcatraz - a harsh reminder to inmates how close freedom was|
|after closing, alcatraz was taken by native american protesters|
|home sweet home|
|part of the photo installation, complete with guard silhouette|
|not exactly luxurious, alcatraz was supposed to be the ultimate deterrent|
I have a fascination with abandoned and derelict places (I'm dying to get inside North Street Arcade in Belfast) so seeing this prison reduced to a shell and many of the outbuildings being reclaimed by nature, was amazing.
|the former mess hall. |
it's easy to forget alcatraz was home to the guards and their families as well as a prison
|the fog settles in over the bridge|
|cables lost in the fog|
|green man at golden gate|
That day we visited Golden Gate Park; my grandmother was a keen gardener and I know she would have loved to see this park.
|a lark in the park|
|as agile as a jungle cat!|
|at the japanese tea garden, one of the many features of the park|
|new balance and water; essential San Fran kit!|
|a hearty hendricks salute to my granny gra|
|a collage of some of the overwhelming vintage pieces from the stores on haight street|
|grabbing a coffee at Blue Bottle on Linden Street - best coffee I've ever had!|
|another blue bottle coffee - don't miss out on the ginger molasses cookies!|
|a little urban sunshine|
|the painted ladies - icons of San Francisco|
|love is love|
|abandoned subway off Castro|
|one of many (many) hearty breakfasts during the trip...|
Oh well - all the more excuse for a return trip!
If you ever do visit San Francisco; check out Welcome Stranger - my favourite menswear boutique in the city (and I went to a lot!)
|i left my heart in san francisco|