Travel

what MLK Days are for

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Call it an MLK day tradition, but on Monday, aka MLK Day, I went to SF with Kyra. (I’m calling it a tradition because last year I went to the city on MLK Day with some other people!) At first I was nervous to go with only Kyra since neither of us are that familiar with the ins and outs of getting around the city. But, we knew enough and wanted to challenge ourselves by walking everywhere!Thankfully, our feet served us well. And so did Kyra’s map and her map-using skills.

Originally we thought Chinatown would be a main highlight for us since we didn’t want to do Pier39 and Ghirardelli like people always do. But then our plan morphed into just planning to walk a lot. No muni for us. We walked all the way along the embarcadero, through the ferry building market, past Pier 39, over to Boudin’s, through Fisherman’s Wharf, all the way down to Ghirardelli square. Kyra needed a bathroom break and I strongly encouraged her to use the one’s there. Meanwhile, I scored a free square of Ghirardelli dark chocolate with raspberry. After a quick stop, we kept walking! We walked downhill to the water then around the corner and up the hill, through the trees towards the other side! On the other side of the hill was Fort Mason Great Meadow, and down further, the Marina district! In the past I had basically only known marina as a place where a couple friends live. But my oh my, the houses there killed me! They were GORGEOUS! And holy moly their views and location. I was in a dream! Not to mention the weather was so dreamy I was working up a sweat in my jeans and long sleeves. It was summer weather and fit runners and bikers were passing nonstop!

Eventually we made it over to Chrissy Field where we took pictures and kept falling in love with the city. The funniest part though, was when we were walking towards the beach and I saw a sign mentioning parking for the Palace of Fine Arts. I looked at Kyra and pointed, “Hey! The Palace of Fine Arts must be somewhere near here!” and she was like, “yeah, look left.” And sure enough, IT WAS RIGHT THERE! HOW GLORIOUS! After our time enjoying views of the bridge and all the people and dogs, we hit the Palace of Fine Arts on the way back to Fisherman’s Wharf. The palace was spectacular! That whole area was so peaceful and beautiful and I couldn’t help but be jealous of friends like Joe who had taken prom pictures there two years ago! Actually I’m jealous of anyone who calls the city home. Seriously though, the Palace of Fine Arts.

If someone wants to make my dumb, romantic dreams come true, just take me on a picnic there and we can spend the afternoon laying in the grass watching the swans swim.

After walking back to Fisherman’s Wharf, we treated ourselves to crab salad sourdough sandwiches (yum). THEN, we walked allllll the way UPHILL a billion blocks in the heat to Chinatown! Of course, we stopped at the Fairmont on the way. It was a nice stop to cool down and pretend like we owned the place. Once we got to Chinatown, my right leg was really starting to bother me. It didn’t hurt that much but I definitely tweaked some part of my hip flexor or something! So I had to limp pathetically over to Union Square- where we quenched our thirst with Jamba Juice! The slow Jamba Juice pit stop along with construction detours caused us to fall slightly behind on our trek back to the Caltrain station. And with Kyra’s need to take the 3:36 train back, you bet we ran the last half mile to catch the train. I am the ultimate trooper. To catch the train, I disregarded sweating and leg-hurting and smoothie in my stomach. We made it with two minutes to spare. THANK THE LORD WE MADE IT. Kyra would’ve killed me if we didn’t! 

So that was our day. Man was it tiring. And my leg hurt for two days after. It has issues. BUT, we felt accomplished. Our “urban hike” was twelve miles. Yay exercise! I called it my workout for the week. Oh, and in case you didn’t catch the hint, I am completely, utterly, and hopelessly intrigued and in love with SF. It is so refreshing being able to take in a city with fresh eyes and truly appreciate its character and beauty. Living in a city is definitely on my bucket list and every time I visit SF it seems more and more appealing and charming!

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