Day 32 - San Francisco - California

Trip Start Oct 13, 2012
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Trip End Nov 19, 2012


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Flag of United States  , California
Tuesday, November 13, 2012

This morning we headed up to Alamo Square to see the Victorian homes decorated in San Franciscan style, known at the painted ladies.

Then we went to relive the summer of love feeling over in the Haight-Ashbury district. This part of town is where all the hippies came in the 60s filling the town with peace and love, and also loads of drugs and not much bathing. The two biggest names bandied about here are Janice Joplin, who had an apartment in the area in Lyon Street, and the Grateful Dead, who also lived here but don't ask me where.

That's one thing I've noticed about America, they don't capitalise on their tourism as much as we would. I expected someone to have set up a museum or at least gift shop with information and merchandise about the area back then, but no one has and no one seems to know much detail about it. It seems everyone just lay about high on LSD and did nothing. The area had a reputation for being a bit grotty back then, and it's still a bit grotty. As the day got warmer the current great unwashed emerged from wherever they'd spent the night to assemble in groups in the Golden Gate Park to hang out in the sun, lay around and do nothing. So I guess the area remains true to it's history.

After seeing enough current day dreadlocks we headed across to the Castro district, where I suspect dreads would be banned by the beautifully decked out and manicured gay men. This is Harvey Milk area and the flags still wave proudly. In contrast to the run down Haight-Ashbury area this place is immaculate, and suited me right down to the ground. I commented on how lovely the area was in the first shop I went in and told by the handsome boys behind the counter "honey if you like to shop and drink then you're in the right spot" so that's what we did. Hit the shops then stopped at a bar called Harvey's for bloody marys, could it get any better?

Suitably happy after the biggest bloody mary we'd ever seen mum temporarily forgot I'd made her walk all over town so I took the opportunity to do a bit more walking and we headed a few streets away to the Mission Dolores, the city's oldest building, founded in 1776, and the adjoining basilica built in 1913.

With a bit of culture and history behind us for the day we then popped in to Union Square for a bit of retail therapy and burgers for dinner. Another great day in San Francisco. I really like it here.
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