I recently returned from my work’s weeklong annual conference, which was held in San Francisco this year. This was my first time visiting the city, and while I spent the majority of my time working inside the walls of the convention center, I was able to venture out later in the week when things started to slow down.
The best part of the trip was that Nick flew out and joined me halfway through the week, so we were able to do some sightseeing together (although Nick had more fun and saw way more sights than I was able to during the week).
Early in the week I had the opportunity to tour Twitter’s headquarters with some of my colleagues, and while the tour was scheduled months in advance, it happened to coincide with the company’s IPO. We weren’t allowed to take photos inside, but I can tell you this – Twitter’s 1,500 employees were having a giant celebration, with tons of cheering, music, and food and cocktails…and we watched it all through the atrium’s glass doors. Talk about not being invited to the party!
While I worked one day, Nick took the trip out to Berkeley to watch the University of California take on the University of Southern California. The weather was warm, sunny and in the 70s for most of the trip, so it was a great day to be outside for a game.
Nick also spent a few hours walking around San Francisco and visited the famously steep Lombard Street…
Do you recognize this view? It was popularized in the opening scenes of the 90’s sitcom, Full House.
That evening, Nick and I walked around Little Italy and Chinatown, which is the largest Chinatown outside of Asia. We were amazed by the variety of foods, vegetables and spices that were available to purchase; if my suitcase wasn’t full of work clothes, I definitely would have bought some things to bring home.
We found a well-reviewed restaurant thanks to Yelp (another San Francisco-based company) and enjoyed a really great meal.
On our last full day in San Francisco, we spent some time walking through the shops and restaurants along the Fisherman’s Wharf.
The Golden Gate bridge was one thing I definitely wanted to see during our trip; but seeing it from a distance wasn’t good enough. So we decided to rent bicycles and ride across the bridge!
Let me just say that bicycling in San Francisco is not for the faint of heart; literally, the hills to get up to the bridge are killer.
Riding across the bridge was so much fun though and it offered some pretty spectacular views of San Francisco. The ride from the Wharf across the bridge and back is about 9 miles (the bridge alone spans 3 miles there and back).
We stopped near the bridge’s halfway point to take this shot of Alcatraz Island, it was slightly overcast so it’s somewhat hard to see through the haze.
We rode our bikes for most of the afternoon and then headed back to the Wharf to walk around Ghiradelli Square, home to the famous chocolate maker. Of course we couldn’t leave without purchasing a few goodies, including some chocolate covered expresso beans and a dark chocolate caramel bar.
We headed back home the next morning, and while I wish we could have seen more of the city, we definitely enjoyed ourselves and can’t wait to take a trip back – next time we plan to head up to Napa!