So after attending Women's Travel Fest, I had a whole week left in California to enjoy! I decided to split my time between staying with a friend in San Francisco and friends in Los Angeles. Here's what I did with that week.
Walking to the Golden Gate Bridge
Though I loved every second of Women's Travel Fest, it didn't give me much time to explore the city. So on my first free day, I set out to be a tourist. I got of the BART at Powell, rode the Cable Car to Lombardt to see the crooked street and then started walking to Ghirardelli Square. It was a good day to be a tourist, except for the fact that I make a terrible tourist.
I got to Hyde Pier, saw the silhouette of the Golden Gate Bridge far ahead in the distance and decided I was going to walk there. Instead of dropping cash on a trip to Alcatraz or a city segway tour, I was just going to do the cheapest thing possible-- walking.
And it was a great walk! The Bay Area is beautiful and my walk took me past parks, shipyards, and a final walk along the beach to the bridge. I also sat down to watch some incredible kitesurfer for a while and now I've got a new thing I want to learn.
After 2.5 hours of walking I made it to the bridge and caught and realized that I was going to be late for meeting my friend for dinner and took an Uber all the way back.
Hike through Muirwoods
On her day off, my friend Alice (Yes, Alice of New Zealand and Australia adventures) and I took a trip to Muirwoods, a redwood forest just north of the city. When picking potential hiking spots, Alice described this place to me as the most spiritual place she'd ever been and I like a little kid said: "That one! That one! That one!"
She was totally right. There is a very special quietness to this place, despite the amount of visitors it gets. The park is very accessible with well-kept boardwalks creating an even ground, perfect for children, people with disabilities, or older travelers. Alice pointed out how great it was, that though we're not necessarily in the middle of the wilderness, nature is still accessible to everybody. I can't help but agree. The redwoods are massive and beautiful. Why shouldn't everyone get to experience them?
Playing the Fool in Santa Monica
By the time I got to LA, I was a bit tired and looking forward to just hanging out with my friends. I had already done the tourist route on a previous trip, so this time it would just be about sunbathing and relaxing. Oh, and also silly photo shoots at sunset with good friends. A perfect way to end a trip of you ask me.
We did not master the jumping shot.