Day 3: Pier 39

It was raining the whole day today. I wished for a sunshine in the sky, but guess it didn’t come true (at all). In the down town, the wind was very strong, as well – which made everything worse. Not even an umbrella to cover myself and my camera! But the rain didn’t matter; we made our way to Pier 39 anyways. Didn’t wanted to waste our day San Francisco!

We took the bus #8, going uphill through Chinatown and downwards towards the bay area. Right when I stepped off from the bus, the smell of salt in the air was tickling in my nose. Ahhh, I missed that smell I used to live nearby the bay for a long time, so seeing and feeling it again brought me back many memories from my childhood. There were yachts and boats floating weightless on the sea, pigeons and seagulls flying in the cloudy sky, and most of all, seals were chilling on the deck! It was amazing to see them in their natural habitat!

We also went around the old Jeremiah O’Brien cargo ship. It was active during the World War II, and led succession in many of the missions during the war. The ship was so big that it didn’t feel like it was on the ocean. Waves didn’t even nudge it. The interior and the rooms, as well as the machinery was very cool to see. But I also have to say that the scenery from the ship was spectacular too! You can see the Alcatraz Island, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the entire hill of San Francisco with unique architectures!

Towards the end, the weather got worse, and we had to go back to our hostel. If it wasn’t for the rain, we were planning to go to Coit Tower to enjoy more scenery – but, we can’t go against mother nature. We’ll save it for the next time. 😉

Day 2: Japan Town and Golden Gate Park

*This post is about yesterday, Dec. 16th, 2014.*

Today was a walking day. We literally started from the heart of downtown towards Japan Town, passing through Haight Ashbury, and to Golden Gate Park towards the beach (Golden Gate Recreational Area) for a perfect sun set — all by foot. Needless to say, it was indeed tiring. But we have been sitting on chairs for the whole semester, and wanted to move around as much as we could during the trip. So instead, this was a great exercise for us!

With a sun beaming at us during the day, we slowly made our way to Japan Town. Walking in the down town San Francisco was exciting to me; you get to see many diversity of people in occupation and race. On top of that, I was more than glad to be in a warm weather. Gosh, this is perfect for winter. We went window shopping in the Japan Center, lured by all the good Japanese food and goods in the display. In the end, we didn’t buy anything, but ramen noodle from Yamada replaced all the guilt we felt.

Steep hills are the most recognizable landscape in San Francisco. I knew it, yes, I knew it through researches. But. I did not expect it in such a steep angle! I thought I was going to roll down the infinite hill if I trip over a stone!! The houses on the streets towards Haigh Ashbury were gorgeous though. Each of them occupied very small portion of a land, and built very narrow, but the intricate design on them were enough to state their history within. The colors were also an additional layer to that. My favorite color palette was purple and gold.

Haigh Ashbury itself was very interesting. Cultures were inter-mixed, and many vintage fashion shops were opened on the street. To me, it was a fun street to walk on.

We then went straight to the Golden Gate Park. Being in a city and surrounded by series of tall office buildings always tires me out so much during the semester. It’s great to be in a city, but with a strong countryside childhood, I often times eager for nature. As I walked through the park I realized that it had everything that I needed. Trees, hills, sport recreations, grass, playground, people…just by walking down the path, I was able to refresh my mind and enjoy the moment. And birds! They were so cute!

I think one mistake we made was not researching enough about the park. It’s been stated in the beginning of this post, but we underestimated its size. For those of you who knows about the park, I’m pretty sure the issue is very clear. For those with no experience, here is a hint: the park is 1,017 acres.

So. We were doomed to walk through more than 50 blocks. And by the time we realized this, it was already half-way through the park. Either way, there was no choice but to move forward. I think this actually brought us to reconnect with nature more though. We were feeling the fresh air, observing our surroundings much carefully, and recording new findings (indeed, we found so many mushrooms in there). All is all, a great time.

By the time we reached the beach, the sun was covered by clouds. We missed the sunset, the air was getting chilly, sprinkle of rain was about to start…everything was about to go out of luck when we saw the immense Pacific Ocean in front of us. Ocean is one of the other elements that we have been missing from the city life, and especially in Columbus, where the nearest water is pretty much the lake Michigan, it was a Christmas present. The smell of the sea in the air and the sound of waves coming and withdrawing, while people strides the beach with the loved ones, was a perfect composition for today’s finale. The muscle aches were gone in an instant, and we stood there for at least 30 mins.

20141215_0209-as-Smart-Object-1

It’s amazing how close nature is in San Francisco. The down town is full of energy, with rushing traffic and busily filled streets. On the other hand, the quietness in the park transports one into a completely different location. I love it so much.

Winter Trip 2015: San Francisco

I have not posted for so long now. With demand of high quality artworks from classes, I was occupied with project all the time.

But now it has ended! Good bye to fall semester, and say hello to winter break!

During the break, my roommate and I are taking a trip to California, St. Louis and New York as a grand finale of our trip. I am very excited to go around various places in US, since Columbus is the only place I have known very well so far!

Our first stop is San Francisco. Today we took our time to travel from Columbus to San Francisco. It would have been lovely to reach the West coast (also run away from the freezing cold), but after all, finals have worn us out and we wanted to relax before exploring new places.

The view from the plane was already magnificent enough though. It is literally an infinite carpet of clouds, mountains and forests!

SanFrancisco1

Tomorrow will be bountiful of photographs to be posted! 😀