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How I started the summer in California

It was at this moment, when I was seeing the sun which went down behind the Golden Gate and the Pacific horizon, I realized the wonderful chance to be 9000km far away in California. I’m back to my French life now but my mind still over there.

I took the opportunity to be in the United States to visit an other city than Chicago. And why not to go on the other side ? Let’s go to the west coast !

Just one thing before starting the story of my trip, to visit this city you really need to have good shoes, there are lots of thing to see and 50° roads aren’t a legend.

San Francisco, City by the bay, where live a blend melting-pot of everything. I started from the top, what’s more than a three sixty view of all the bay area with the sunrise from the two highest hills Twin Peaks. If you need a nap and time to think quietly this is the best place to be. It was hard to leave this landscape but the mythic jail of Alcatraz was waiting for me. To go down in the gay neighbourhood and his colorful houses, to take a 70’s trolley through the Market Street and Downtown and his huge buildings to finally arrive on the piers where I took the boat to go to see one of the bedroom of Scarface.

Next step, Pier 39. When I was looking for what can I do in San Francisco, I read that some seals are near to this pier but I didn’t understand how they could stay here, but they were, thirty or forty seals enjoying the sunshine on wooden rafts, just crazy to see them. Moreover, the pier 39 host many uncommon stores and restaurants like candy and magic store and where I could buy some little donuts for the road to the Coit tower. I think that almost anywhere I was in this city, it was a surprise to turn my head and saw a beautiful wallpaper in front of me.

Pier 39_San Francisco

After few purchase (even for a man, shopping is good time when you are in Levi Strauss & Co hometown), it was time to eat. A chance to be in California where you didn’t eat mexican or Japanese food but the both in same time! Welcome to Sushirrito. Weird but not bad! It was the time to be strong to face sloped street from Chinatown gate to Lombard Street. Fireworks, dragons show, pagodas and kind of curious asian meals, I don’t need to explain more what is Chinatown I guess, yet it’s always a nice place to see. After miles up and down and a stop in the trolley museum I was arrived at Lombard street, road but a so touristic place.

Even in San Francisco, there is a time to do a break due to my legs weren’t able to walk more for this day. Take a big pink lemonade and chill on the beach before going to my hostel wasn’t a bad idea. It was pretty fun to meet a canadian, a kosovar and a malaysian in my hostel room. To finish this wonderful day, why not to eat bread bowl in the fisherman wharf between street sound, old boats and fish smelling. It was at this moment, when I was seeing the sun which went down behind the Golden Gate and the Pacific horizon, I realized the wonderful chance to be 9000km far away in California.

golden-gate-bridge-sunset

Just waked up, I needed a good coffee, but with the warm weather, a fresh drink could be better. Don’t worry! Americans have the solution, the iced coffee! With sweet cream and vanilla is the best. The previous day, I’ve seen an uncommon building higher than houses around it. The great problem to discover a place alone is that each time something looked interesting, nothing couldn’t restrain me to go to discover what it was. So, going straight ahead along the coast, I arrived to a lovely tiny park with a big rock monument, the temple of art. I was so lucky to go in hippie neighbourhood Haight-Ashbury this day. The reason? It is the Summer of Love 50th Anniversary and especially this day there was a running, thousand of people wearing outgoing suits was eating, drinking, laughing and enjoying to be all together. Yes I know, at the beginning it was a run, but they had all the day to cross the city, enough to take the time I guess. Moreover there are lots of street arts and old school vinyls stores. Just take the time to catch a crazy coconut and mango japanese ice cream with rice to follow the party through the huge Golden Gate Park.

To take a break, I just had to make a last effort to go on the top of the nearest hill and enjoyed the view on the Golden Gate bridge and his foggy horns under a calm and shady forest. Finally, I went in front of the iconic bridge, it wasn’t the same thing to see it for real.  My last desire was to climb back in Castro height which looked like rich favelas to reach where it has begun. At this moment, Twin Peaks was the last fence to stop clouds from flooding the city, a windy weather replaced the sunset that I wanted but at the end of this week-end, I really had the head in the clouds.

I could talk again about architectures, events, transorts, atmospheres, peoples or anecdotes but it’s already too long. Each time was unbelievable… Neither picture, neither word, neither description can really describe what it was, you shall go to know ! I’m back to my French life now but my mind still over there.

Duncan Saint-Omer

Intern at Bulley and AndrewsChicago

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