I’ve always wanted to take a road trip to San Francisco, but I never really had the time and was not looking forward to the 8 – 9 hour drive. My boyfriend and I decided to go there last-minute for Valentine’s Day and for our Anniversary. I have great memories going there as a child with my family and my boyfriend has never been there before.
I did not want to rent a hotel, as the prices were pretty expensive…being so last-minute and all. I also did not want to have the doggies walking all over the filthy hotel carpets. (I am such a germophobe, but I have gotten so much better over the years!) Having doggies has been quite an adventure, but I would not have it any other way. So, we were going to be crazy, and drive in and drive out, basically in one day. We were hoping to take a nap on the side of the road or take turns sleeping on the way there or back.
We didn’t want to put mileage on our car, so we rented a car from Sixt. We rented online a luxury car, so that we would be comfortable on the long ride to and from San Francisco. Since, we opted for the full coverage insurance of about $48/day, they upgraded us from a Volvo to the Cadillac XT5. What an upgrade it was! More leg room and more gadgets! Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!!!
We both did not sleep very much, as we were both pretty excited for our San Francisco adventure. We left the night before Valentine’s Day at about 11:30PM. We packed the rental car with all of the doggies stuff, change of clothes for us and a few snacks. We got coffee before leaving Las Vegas and headed out for the 9 hour drive to San Francisco.
My boyfriend and I do pretty well on road trips, as we love singing and talking to each other about life and our goals/dreams in life. My boyfriend stopped a few times to go to the restroom and to take the doggies out. Depending on where we were and how clean the place looked to me….was how I would decide if I would go to the restroom too. I just get grossed out about going into filthy restrooms, I would rather squat on the side of the road.
The sunrise was amazing driving into Oakland, it is so nice to see greenery…coming from Las Vegas. We were going strong all the way up to the 8:00AM mark, then we started to get sleepy….and then we hit traffic, which made the ride longer and boring. I did not do my research on what were the peak times for traffic or what to expect entering San Francisco. The drive to get into San Francisco took about 1 hour and I did not know that it would be that crowded! We finally got into San Francisco at about 10:00AM! We anticipated getting there at about 8:30AM! (Note to self: Expect traffic and do your research before driving into any major cities) We did not have anytime to take a nap, as we wanted to do a few things in the city and leave at about 5:00PM.
The first stop in San Francisco was the Ferry Building, as the Farmer’s Market was going to be open. I was excited to see what Valentine’s Day goodies they were going to have. We went looking for parking and chose a spot close to Pier 3 that was $5/an hour. The doggies had to go to the restroom, so we had to walk them around a little to do their business. Then, we had to go to the restroom badly, as we didn’t want to stop, as the traffic threw off our plans. We found a pretty clean public restroom and then headed to the Farmer’s Market area.
I thought we would be able to bring in the doggies, but we couldn’t. We brought the doggy strollers but the doggies are pretty barky, so we knew we couldn’t sneak them in. So, I went in by myself to look around. There is so much cool and yummy looking stuff, but I wasn’t feeling anything at the moment. I was hoping there was going to be more seafood options, like a lobster roll or something. There was a lot of sweets, but I did not want to get anything that we were not going to eat right then and there. I definitely have to go back to try something there, but there was just nothing there that I wanted at the moment. There was a few coffee places, but since I drank 2 Americano’s during the drive…I was not feeling coffee. I really wanted to try some of the pastries and cheesecakes, but didn’t want it to go bad in the car. The Farmer’s Market at the Ferry Building is definitely a MUST for anyone going to San Francisco!
So, we walked back to the car to move the car closer to the Fisherman’s Wharf. I also wanted to get back to the car, as I felt a little sketched out, that we had to leave the car key’s with the parking attendant. We found parking in a parking structure right across of the Alcatraz tour entrance, which was $9/hour. It was pretty cool seeing Alcatraz and how relatively close it is to the city. We walked over towards the Fisherman’s Wharf area and noticed a sign saying how some of the fishes in the ocean may have chemicals. After reading that I was a little iffy about eating seafood. The Wharf DID NOT look or feel like anything that I remembered as a child. It seemed a lot dirtier and the vendor’s all seemed different for some reason. I couldn’t decide on what I wanted, so we just decided on getting a clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. I really didn’t want to sit anywhere, as everywhere looked pretty dirty. (I remembered as a child, that we sat on the curb and ate! My Mom is a germophobe too, so I know she wouldn’t have let us sit there if it was that dirty.) So, we went back to the car and ate there.
Next destination was Lombard Street aka the Most Crooked Street. We went down there and it was pretty crazy, but so short. I do not know why I thought it was longer? People were walking down and up it and taking pictures and some people were even videotaping us! Then, we were like what’s next? So, we decided to go and look at the Pink Lady Houses. We drove by and took a few pictures. After, I read on the internet that it was not the actual house that Full House was filmed in, it lost its nostalgic vibe for me.
Then, we decided it was time to eat something, so I wanted to try this Banh Mi spot called Dinosaurs on Market Street. We get there and find out that they are no longer in business. Ugh! So, we decide to try KOJA! I saw them on TV and wanted to try them! We get there and order a kalbi burger with the garlic rice bun and a chicken one with the garlic rice bun. It looked amazing, but my boyfriend and I were not a fan of the rice bun. The meat was very tasty, but as a whole, I rather have it as a bowl or plate. But, hey….at least I got to try it.
It was about 3:30PM, I was getting tired and dreading hitting traffic on the way out. So, we decided to leave the city and start driving back home. We’re heading out and guess what? Yes, you guessed it…Traffic! We should have known better. I guess we were just being hopeful and slightly naive. I blame it on our sleep deprivation.
We didn’t get out of Oakland until about 5:00PM! Can you imagine how long it would’ve taken if we left the city later? Ugh, we were both pretty tired driving back home, so we both kept on dozing off….so SCARY! We tried our hardest to stay up, but our eyes and bodies were so tired already. We got back home at about 2:00AM.
In conclusion, we will never drive there again, as we will only fly there and we will leave our dogs with someone. The drive is too crazy and draining. Also, driving and parking in the city is quite a pain and expensive. That is probably why everyone walks, bikes or takes a taxi everywhere. There is a lot more places and restaurants that I want to try, so we will defintiely be FLYING to San Francisco in the near future.
Here are a few pictures of my little Valentine’s Love Bug on our Road Trip: