"Save Me San Francisco" is the name of a song by Train. It's also what I was saying as I drove over the terrifying Bay Bridge to attend a friend's wedding during my stay in San Francisco. Well, that and "I don't wanna die. I don't wanna die. Why are these cars not moving faster?" Nothing pushes you more out of your comfort zone than out of control hills and more bridges than you've seen in your entire life combined. San Francisco has been on my bucket list since Full House was on the air. It's the first city that came to mind whenever I thought about traveling to California. But let's go over a few things, shall we?
I'm from Chicago. It's the land of pancake flat terrain with occasional hills that are solely meant for sledding during our notoriously long winters. Driving anywhere outside of a 150 mile radius instantly puts you at a disadvantage because your stomach cannot possibly be used to hills larger than 10 feet tall. San Francisco has got to be the city of insane hills. Driving in a cab was literally one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. Reaching the top of a hill felt like you were about to go over a cliff. Going down a hill makes you feel like you're about to start flipping. Walking is not only the best workout you will ever get on two feet, it's the least terrifying of all transportation options.
Again, I'm from Chicago. The largest bridge within driving distance I've ever needed to cross was over the Mississippi, which, is terrifying in its own right. Just looking at the Golden Gate in all its glory made my stomach do flips. Driving over the Oakland-Bay Bridge was the single-most terrifying thing I have ever had to do in my life. Being terrified of bridges, especially over water, I feel I have almost conquered this fear as long as I'm behind the wheel. Ask me if I will ever willingly do this again, the answer is "ARE YOU FREAKING NUTS?!" Anyone with me on this?
Crazy stomach butterflies aside, San Francisco has a magnificence that really is all its own. The city of exquisite Victorian houses has its own breed of people. It has its own culture and its own set of rules. For example, did you know nudity was just banned a few years ago? It is still legal as long as you have a special kind of permit. Naked hippies aside, there are a lot of fabulous things San Fran provides from breathtaking architecture to boutique shopping, outstanding coffee to relaxing state and national parks. These next few weeks, I am thrilled to share with you my experiences while traveling in San Francisco AND Napa Valley including hotel reviews, restaurant reviews, winery and vineyard visits, classic tourist locations and more.
Have you been to San Francisco? What were your most and least favorite experiences? Have you ever traveled somewhere that put you way outside your comfort zone?