• Joanna

Rubber Legs

Updated: Jul 10


Today I am allowed to eat whatever I want.

And I'm not saying that because I'm on vacation.  We all know that holiday-ers tend to over-indulge... but that is NOT the case with me.

I walked... maybe... 100 miles today?

Maybe less...


Maybe more...


Perhaps 100km is a slight exaggeration, but my legs are begging to differ.  They are screaming out that I actually might have done more, but Google Maps is telling me less...

First stop... Castro. One of the first gay neighbourhoods in the United States!  I decided that after an hour of up and down hill trekking, it would be my breakfast destination and I sat down at the Squat & Gobble for Salmon Eggs Benny.  Delicious.

LOVE the name. From now on, I will refer to every pub/cafe/restaurant as the Squat & Gobble.

Very fitting.

I wandered the streets & the shops... ended up pretty much being held captive in one of those trendy hippie-dippy Thai-style-fashion overbearing-incense shops while I listened to a young girl tell a thoroughly non-captivating tale her encounter with a posh British guy on Instagram. Turns out she developed a bit of a crush... and throughout this entire process, their conversation revolved around giving each other advice on how to better develop highfaluting international non-profit organizations. Not certain as to exactly what part her family plays, but there was pressure to convince this gentleman and his company to invest in something or other... he wouldn't respond to emails, wouldn't give his number, refused to sign the NDA and on and on and on...

At first, I was so impressed with myself for being about to endure this conversation for such a seemingly long period of time. In essence, I became a pro at pretending I was enthralled with the story - my attentive facial expressions, empathetic words of concern & support, enthusiastic nodding of the head... but after a while, I knew that the incense stench was seeping in to my clothes, it was starting to give me a headache... and I just wanted to buy my rings and get out.

Finally I escaped.

From here, I made my way UP to Haight-Ashbury.


Before I dive in to my Summer of Love experience at Haight-Ashbury, albeit it 52 years too late... I have to make mention of the tourists and/or locals in this city that I really saluted.. I really took my hat off to these people. I was in awe of their fitness... utter astonishment of their strength and capabilities.

Here's me... picture this... struggling up each hill... one foot slowly being placed in front of the other... silently gasping for another breath... literally dying on the inside... striving to make it to the top without having my rubber legs collapse on me... trying to give that 'I do this all the time' impression to those that surround me... no biggie.

Throughout the day, at different hills around the city, I would be PASSED going UP hill by people on bikes that seemed to be making little to no effort to climb a fairly steep hill. I've ridden my bike up hills- it's not pretty... nor is anyone ever in awe of my 'power'. My face is red, I'm struggling with every downward push of the peddle.  I do not look like a dreamlike fairy, floating to the top.


ELECTRIC BIKES.


They were fucking electric bikes.

Took me all day to figure it out...

Lazy jerks...


Haight-Ashbury... just a bunch of shops.  Lots of hippie shops actually. Some creepy murals of Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix and what have you... the "love" and "peace"almost seems fabricated now.

There were strange things I noticed... like a store called "Dolls Kill," a Michael Collins pub (seemed a bit out of place) and a Rasputin book store. Creepy.  His disturbing face was plastered all over the exterior as well.

As I was making my way down in to this particular area, I passed this guy urinating on the side of the curb.  As I passed him, he turned to me and said,

"If you need any help with your yard work, call me.  I do yards."


The song was right, I am going to find some gentle people here.

I, like most people, went though a phase where I wanted to be a hippie and I wished I'd lived in the 60's... but I've changed.  I find tie-dyed things infuriating to the eye, I'm so absolutely sick and tired of listening to classic rock, I can't stomach the smell of incense, patchouli or the stench of not-bathing, I'm not really one for spreading love and I don't do drugs.  I could go on.  I'd be a horrible hippie in the 60's.

So merely visiting Haight-Ashbury in 2019 is ok with me.


Leaving here, I headed up toward the Golden Gate bridge, through the Presidio- a 1500 acre national park on a former military post.

Fisherman's Wharf

I wish I could have got closer to the Golden Gate bridge... but I opted not to journey too far off my million miles of the day.

Walked along the marina and back to Fisherman's Wharf.

Ok- I have something to say... strange, but true. I have purchased TWO glasses of wine while I've been in San Francisco. One was in Haight-Ashbury and one was in Fisherman's Wharf.  They are equivalent to that of a re-mortgage.

Seriously... one was $13US - 6oz only... and the other was $14US - 6oz, as well.  Not spectacular wine... nothing to write home about... unless you take this belligerent post in to consideration. That's equivalent to about $40 Canadian.  Wow.

Wow.


Financially, yes... it sucks.  Exercise-wise... bring it on. 25km (most of it up hill) in one day... damn straight I'll enjoy a $20 wine.

Or two.

On top of the beautiful architecture and flowers throughout the city... there are a lot of people out and about, I've noticed.

Lots of runners, bikers (some even REAL bikers that actually peddle if they want to go somewhere), lots of dog-walkers and a crazy amount of girls wandering around with yoga mats.  They're everywhere!

On my way back to the hotel/motel, I decided to walk up towards Lombard Street again. I was there last night, but it was night time and hardly did it justice.  It is a famous, winding street in San Francisco.

Lombard Street

Now in saying that I was there and I went back, I do realize that I'm not a very competent, experienced or skilled photographer (daylight, dusk or evening) - and every single photo I tried to take of the fabulous and awe-inspiring Lombard street, failed miserable.  Filed in the trash.

So now, I am taking the liberty of stealing a professional shot from my good friend, Google Image.  Here it is... I take no credit.

Back at the hotel/motel, I tried to have a nap... but it was useless.  Oh ya! I ended up coming back to my hotel/motel and they got me back in for a smidge bit of a reduced rate.

So I'm off the streets for another night! Yay...

Who know what the next night will bring though?

Back to Tenderloin!

But nap be damned and I was quickly back out on the streets to explore!  Made my way to Nob Hill, in to Chinatown and then on to the Financial District.

Architecture- stunning. Hills - many... and steep. Wine - expensive. Food - expensive. Legs - sore from walking so much. Taxi - just a phone call away.

I wanted to try Uber... but for some reason I couldn't make it connect. Apparently I once downloaded it and tied it in to my FB... then it wanted a password... then I lost internet connection,  Finally I gave up and called a taxi to take me home after I finished dinner.

Hey... speaking of dinner!

Not a smidge of Rice-A-Roni to be found in this city.


Bullshit.

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