One hill of a city

Trip Start May 08, 2009
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18
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Trip End Jul 06, 2009


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Flag of United States  , California
Tuesday, June 16, 2009



Petrus

I got to San Francisco in the later afternoon.  There were thousands of people outside walking; I figured there must be some kind of festival.  It turns out, no.  Everyone just walks around here and its a really nice day out!  According to walkscore.com, where they rate your city and neighborhood on walkability, San Francisco is the number one most walkable city in the nation.  I dont think they included the incline of the streets though.  After getting settled in, I met on of my roommates, Petrus.  What a cutie.  He is a 26 year old Swede traveling around the world for 6 months, with this being his 5th month.  He had been traveling with his partner up until the USA when she went back home (they ended up splitting up).  A little more than a month ago, while he was in Austrailia, he jumped off a boulder while hiking.  He ended up landing straight on his heel and has been on crutches ever since.  However, he is taking it in stride, pun intended.  Petrus and I grabbed dinner and ended up drinking a little when I got back.  We chatted for over four hours on things ranging from his travels, my travels, his country, my country, politics, hobbies, and more.  He was very intelligent.  I guess he works in Norway but lives in Sweden and since Norway's currency is better, he practically makes double in the same time.  This allows him to take half the year off :).  I'm going to keep in touch with him if I can because he gave me a lot of tips for my future travels.

Juan- skip this if you're family :)

Well, I went to Castro St. by myself and had a great time.  I was really excited to go because I had JUST seen "Milk" in Los Angeles. I like the no cover bars but when I cannot MOVE, enough is enough.  I decided to pay a wopping $2 for some elbow room which ended up paying off.  I met Juan :).  From Peru.  Pretty interesting.  After he bought me a couple drinks which I pretty much refused because, honestly, I just wanted to dance, we ended up cabbing it back to his hotel.  Hey I know how to pick em!  I think he may be just a little older than me but really well off.  Had obviously gone shopping (brought an empty luggage case just for his stuff he bought).  And it wasn't from Old Navy I'll tell you that.  We played checkers... and then I got to not sleep in a hostel bunk bed that night.  Oh yea and then we played chutes and ladders in the morning.
I never ended up going back to "the gay district"; mainly because San Francisco is so gay, there is no need to go to the gayborhood.  Plenty of cuties to look at elsewhere.

Sights on Wheels

I walked along the trolley route that cost $5 too much to hop on to some North Beach Festival.  Bought $7 sunglasses, ate $7 friend artichoke & zuccini, and watched all the CUTE little puppies and children.  Afterwards, I rented a bike for 24 hours in order to see the city a little faster.  Biked by Fishermans Wharf and forgot to stop to see that Sea Lions :(, and then biked across the Golden Gate Bridge.  It was CROWDED.  No wonder my dad moved away from Cali.  I took a picture of Alcatraz, me on both sides of the bridge and then biked quite a bit in some park adjacent to the bridge.  HILLLY.  After a while, I got to "Golden Gate Park" which had a ton of stuff and people in it.  Thats one of the things that makes a great city: When not only do you have a great place to live, but people actually use the community around them to participate in.  I walked through the AIDS memorial park, JFK memorial park, some rose garden, and through the winding streets past things that cost money.
I'm not sure WHAT possessed me but I got up at 6:30AM, grabbed free breakfast at 7AM, biked it to the ferry, and went to Sausilito.  Its a pretty and ritzy Italian village across the bay where I started my days biking.  From there I biked to Muir Woods where there are Redwood Trees.  WHAT A FUCKING HILL.  Not only did I climb that mother, at the top, I had to descend for 4 miles to get to the park....which meant more uphill on the way back.  I was apparantly the only idiot to bike there as I never saw another one of me.  The trees were beautiful and just as I remembered them when I went with my family to a redwood national forest.  I ended up hiking with an emptynester couple from Jacksonville, FL.  We had a great time talking about traveling, their kids (the one daughter just got engaged and is graduating in sociology and psychology...they didn't talk about their son much...  I wonder if my parents do this LOL), and other small talk that I really didn't mind.  However, I picked the wrong couple to suck up to because they had rented a convertable that couldn't fit my bike to get up the damn hill.

And 15 miles later....and I SWEAR they put streets on cliffs here.... and google maps did not inform me that the route I took back included the STEEPEST hill in San Francisco (they had to weeve the street back and forth).... I got rid of that bike.  And showered, ate a feast and then passed out at 6PM.  So much for that downtown tour I was going to take.

Ladies on the Train

On my overnight stay on the train from San Francisco to Portland, I ended up sitting next to a Korean lady, Hazon.  After briefly chatting, she asked if she could take a picture of me.  So I asked if I could take a picture of her; quite funny really.  That would be totally awkward if I were to ask another American but she didn't care.  I have had that several times now where I will spend a day with somone, like Petrus, but there is never a good opportunity to get a photo with that person.  Oh well.  Anyways, she ended up being really cold while sleeping so I gave her my blanket.  I just took a swig of vodka with some sleeping pills to compensate for my non-blanketed sleep.

The next morning, I went and found another car where there were outlets available so I could research Portland on my iPhone.  Shortly after, some lady sat next to me doing the same thing.  Her and I get to talking about improving cities and the correct way to do so; we end up agreeing.  She understood a lot about homelessness as she once was homeless for a year and half (lived in national parks in a camper).  That was pretty cool to listen to her stories.  She was looking at ways to improve her city, Salinas, where they have a lot of homeless individuals.  We then ended up talking about GLBT communities and how she is trying to convince her mayor to continue their Salinas gay pride because it is an economic incentive.  While I understand she was using this as a reason to keep the community welcome, I want it done for the right reasons.  Its true: the gay community likes to travel and WILL spend money in your city if you are truly welcoming.  However, trying to convince a conservative town to have a gay pride parade because it will attract dollars is for all the wrong reasons.  Thanks but no thanks.  And I'm not done on this gal...
She gave me yet another business card explaining this website she created: www.alternativelifestyleassociates.org  She originally created it as a joke for her daughter because she is a bit of a fag hag.  It is supposed to be a support group for straight women that are marginalized for hanging out with the GLBT community.  While I think some of the right intentions are there (you can get a membership card, and some of you should consider getting it LOL), I can't help but read between the lines.  Alternative lifestyle implies that being gay, bisexual, lesbian, or transgender is a choice.  Yes, its a choice to accept yourself but that is the way we're born.  And she uses tolerant- I really would prefer not to be "tolerated".  How about accepted?  I tolerate the dogshit in my backyard because its not worth a fight with my roommate.

If anything, go to that website to check out the girl farting a rainbow...
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