Good morning friends! This morning, I wanted to share my San Francisco trip from February with you. It’s taken me awhile to find the motivation for this post. I think I needed some time to unpack this trip, especially in light of the pandemic. I felt sad thinking about it at the beginning, but now thinking about it makes me happy. And thanks to this trip, I was able to have an experience that has been a favorite in recent memory, one that brings me a lot of joy.
I went to SF right at the end of February to meet up with some engineering friends I’d met on a forum. Looking back, my decision to go on this trip wasn’t super responsible, given the virus was already spreading nationwide. But I wasn’t taking it seriously then. No one in the states was. It took the cancellation of the NBA season and Tom Hanks getting COVID 19 for everyone in the states to take it seriously, and that wasn’t until mid-March. But I digress.
When I left Indianapolis, it was very cold and I had frost on my car. When we landed in SF, it was sunny and in the lows 60s. I was so excited to be in SF. I’ve mentioned here before that I’m playing catch up with travel, since I’ve only started traveling more within the past five years. Number one on my list to see in SF? The Golden Gate Bridge. I had envisioned walking over the Bridge, and I couldn’t wait to see it.
We dropped our bags off at our friend’s apartment, then decided to take a trip to Muir Woods. It was beautiful. I’d never seen the Redwoods and they were majestic.
We returned to our friend’s apartment to relax and have dinner. I woke up the next morning feeling a little down. My Friday night had been weird, if I’m being honest, and I wondered what I could do to salvage the trip. I thought about the Bridge. We had to drive over the Golden Gate Bridge to get to Muir Woods. Driving over the Bridge was a fun experience, but it didn’t seem like anyone had any desire to return to walk over it, which is really what I wanted to do.
I really, really wanted to walk across the Bridge. I think we’ve all traveled somewhere with groups of people and weren’t able to go to the one place you really, really wanted to go (or at least I have). After that experience, I’ve tried to make sure I prioritize seeing the sights I want. I couldn’t stop thinking about the Bridge. How could I get there? I didn’t feel comfortable driving my friend’s car, and she was still asleep. (I was still on East Coast time, so I was up pretty early).
Then it hit me. I could RUN to the Bridge. I sat up with excitement. Of course! I’d brought my running shoes with me. Why not run to the Bridge? I took out my phone to calculate the distance from my friend’s apartment to the Bridge. It was a little over 3 miles away. I knew I could run there, but it had been years since I’ve done any real distance training; I was likely not going to be able to run back. I grabbed a debit card in case I needed to stop for breakfast on the way back. I shoved my shoes on and excitedly waited until 7 am, which seemed like a safe time to start exploring.
I sent a text to the ladies so they wouldn’t think I’d been kidnapped in my sleep, then departed. When quarantine first started, it was this moment I thought of the most – the freedom to leave a house to go running in a city, something I didn’t think twice about then but seemed so foreign once we were under lockdown.
The city was still very quiet, but it was starting to stir.
My phone wanted me to run through a park to get the Bridge. It seemed a little isolated, so I thought it’d be best to stick to the streets. And why not? The streets were so full of character, with charming homes and picturesque shops.
It didn’t take long to run out of the city. Soon I was on a sidewalk parallel to a two-way road. The view was scenic, with lots of trees. Eventually the sidewalk ended. Where was I supposed to run? The road was curvy and I did not feel safe running on the shoulder. I looked down at my phone and then at my surroundings. Where was this trail supposed to go? I couldn’t stop now.
I looked across the street just then, and saw the trail tucked away. Serendipity. I crossed and was on my way.
I was now running along the water.
It didn’t take long for the Bridge to come into my view. I gasped.
I was mesmerized. I couldn’t stop staring at it as I ran.
It grew bigger and bigger as I got closer, and my heart started racing.
I made it. I stared at it in awe. It was so beautiful. Now there was just one more thing left for me to do – run across it!
I couldn’t believe it. I was actually running across the Golden Gate Bridge! It was exactly as I’d dreamed of.
It represented a pretty powerful moment for me, personally. I haven’t traveled to a destination like this by myself for pure enjoyment. I had wanted to see the Golden Gate Bridge, and I did it. As I stared out over the water, I felt really accomplished and happy.
Ok, enough about ~~the wonder of me~~ Enjoy this extremely flattering selfie I took after completing my trek across the bridge. I was so excited that I ran over it twice.
Was I able to run all the way back to my friend’s apartment? Haha. No. I stopped for breakfast and walked the rest of the way. It grew foggy and chilly as I walked back – I’d really picked the perfect time to see the Bridge.
We did a lot of walking that day and I had very sore legs the next day! Of course, I couldn’t leave SF without going to a yarn shop. We stopped at Atelier Yarns, where I picked up these babies.
Later, we took a walk on a trail close to my friend’s apartment. One of my friends took a more flattering picture of me.
Random aside – I’m wearing a hoodie from my alma mater, Texas A&M University. We’re nicknamed “Aggies” and in Texas, there’s a big rivalry between A&M and the University of Texas (more on A&M’s end than UT’s). Also, there are a lot of “Aggie” jokes implying that graduates are dumb (it’s a very good school and its engineering school was ranked in the top 20 nationwide when I attended, but I DIGRESS). I honestly don’t care about the rivalry. Anyway, when I hopped on the plane from Indy to SF, the flight attendant told me to get off the plane. I was really confused, until he pointed at my hoodie. I THOUGHT I WOULD ESCAPE AGGIE JOKES LIVING IN THE MIDWEST.
If you made it this far into my post, thank you for coming on this journey with me! As part of my quarantine crafting endeavors, I ordered a kit of the Bridge from the now defunct Studio MME. I’m so glad I was able to get my hands on this kit, so I could have a memento of this beautiful moment.