Wake Up, San Francisco: Day 2

The second day in San Francisco was rainy and chilly but that didn’t stop Alli and I from seeing everything we possibly could. This day was my mom’s agency day so it was up to Alli and I to figure out the city. We decided we were going to take advantage of the Cable Cars. We took our complimentary hotel umbrellas with us for a walk to the pick up location. Turns out you can’t just jump into the street and hail a cable car like a taxi like you would in New York. The drivers will absolutely blow right by you and laugh at you while they point you in the direction of the pick up station. Did I mention how often I make a fool of myself in public? Yup. Anyway, here are a few photos of the city on our way to the cable car station!

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Gloomy & gorgeous.


The architecture & color schemes are groovy!


She is not a fan of photos. I am very much a fan of photos.



We knew once we saw the long line of people waiting around the giant circular platform at the bottom of one of the biggest hills in the city that we had finally made it to the correct destination. We watched as the drivers slowly brought the cable car to a stop, rotated it to be able to go back up the hill, and stamped the passengers’ tickets as we boarded the car. Alli and I sat facing the street and pretended we were in That’s So Raven until we arrived at our destination, which was Fisherman’s Wharf.


This definitely makes more sense than jumping on in the middle of the street.

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A view of the hill from the wharf.

The first thing Alli and I decided to do was go souvenir shopping. I know you’re thinking, “you idiots. You’re going to have to hold all that crap for the rest of the day now!” YA WELL YOU MAY BE RIGHT. BUT SOME OF US DON’T HAVE SELF CONTROL. LET US SUFFER IN PEACE. Alli was fine. She only bought a sweatshirt. I, on the other hand, cleared the coffee mug shelf and ended up with ten more pounds of stuff to carry. Great start!

All that shopping made us pretty hungry. We decided to have lunch at The Pub in Ghirardelli Square.


Inside The Pub!

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Pre-Shirley Temple fiasco.

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I’ll give you five bucks if you correctly guess how many bites it took me to finish this.

Not only was the food amazing, and the design of the area incredible, it was also where I realized I need to personally send Alli back to school as soon as possible. Let me tell you why. So I’m just looking around eating my burger. You know, casual. The waitress comes over and asks us how our meal is. We answer, “great!” and I figure the interaction is over. But then Alli says, “I have a question for you.” This was when I stopped in my tracks. My sister’s questions are usually ones that get her roasted at family dinners because they are so ridiculous. Right now, all I’m thinking is “please Alli. Please don’t do this.”

“Are Shirley Temples just a Boston drink? I want to order one but I’m not sure if you know what they are.”

Dammit Alli. You did it.

The waitress laughed and tried to answer the request as nicely as possible but all I could do was face palm myself. Why are you like this, Alli?

The fun (and the eating) in Ghirardelli Square did not stop there! We deemed it necessary to stop in the Ghirardelli chocolate shop and get a giant hot fudge sundae. 


The Square.


Take my money, give me all of it.

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“Courtney take a picture of me before I have to throw it out.”

We really thought we could finish it. It almost felt disrespectful not to since it was so beautifully put together. But after at most, ten bites, we had to throw it out or we would have spent the remainder of the day vomiting into the Pacific Ocean.

Since we were now made of 50% burgers and 50% ice cream we decided to slow things down and walk along Pier 39 and Hyde St. Pier.

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RIP ice cream sundae. Thrown out in the trash can behind where I stood to take this photo.

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The pier had tons of cute gift shops and attractions.

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Oh gosh, somebody hold me back.

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We did some more shopping and noticed many Alcatraz-themed accessories. We had seen Alcatraz Island in the distance earlier in the day but we weren’t overwhelmingly interested until this moment in time. The stars all seemed to be aligning because as soon as we both mentioned that we were interested in seeing the island we saw a ticket booth for Alcatraz boat tours with tickets available immediately! A quick $35 purchase later, we were on the ferry on our way to Alcatraz Island on the “Escape From the Rock Tour”!

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Alli wishes Al Capone did her shirts.

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Bye mom! Maybe you’ll see us again, maybe not!

Not only did this tour take us around the island, it also took us UNDERNEATH the Golden Gate Bridge. Because the weather was pretty gloomy, the bridge looked eerie amidst the fog. I was able to capture some incredible shots.

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Oh hey, didn’t see you there!

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Alcatraz also fit the gloomy theme of the tour as it sat under the black clouds. Over the speaker on the ferry played a recording of stories from people that worked on the island. We listened to anecdotes of attempted escapes and typical days for the prisoners on the island. Alli and I agreed that the next time we go to San Francisco we need to purchase tickets in advance for walking tours of the island.

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Once we got back to shore it was dinner time and we were exhausted. We got in line for the cable car and all of a sudden we noticed the workers look at each other as if something had gone wrong. All cable car movement came to a halt and the workers got on their phones with the repairmen. This moment was when I truly noticed the difference between Bostonians and Californians. Alli and I immediately lost all patience and threw miniature tantrums. We were huffing and puffing, making sarcastic remarks about pitching tents for the night since it was going to take 3 years to fix the issues, and checking our phones every three seconds to see how many hours had gone by since the last time we checked. The locals, however, simply put their bags down and made conversation with those around them.


Alli and I quickly realized that we were being ridiculous and that no amount of frustration was going to fix the situation. A little over 45 minutes later we were back on the cable car headed back to our hotel.



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Me pretending to be cool with the breakdown while internally screaming.

Once we got up to our room we decided we were done moving for the night. Our mom was still out so we decided to put our fancy hotel robes on and order room service because we were obviously royalty and deserved it. Not even two bites into the meal our mom walked in and asked us who we thought we were. I was waiting for her to demand our debit cards to bring down to the front desk and pay for it, but instead she just laughed at us.


Oh hey mom. Fancy seeing you here.

Shortly after, she went back out with her agency friends. Alli and I went to to bed and pretended like we didn’t notice her come in at midnight, trip over the room service table, and spend 25 minutes trying to shove it back though the door into the hallway where Alli and I probably should have put it ourselves when we were done.

Talk about going out of San Francisco with a bang!

Thanks so much for reading! Tune into my next post about our eleven hour trek down the California Coast to Los Angeles!

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