This adventure was a lot like my quest to visit the pizza museum in Philadelphia: frustrating, long, disappointing. However, it was not ultimately unsuccessful, not really anyway, and that’s what counts, right?
I had gotten it into my head that I had to walk to the Golden Gate Bridge since I didn’t have time to the first time I came to San Francisco for work 4 years ago. I didn’t have time this trip either, but I couldn’t stand the thought of visiting the city twice without seeing its iconic bridge up close.
So I quickly hopped on a bus after work, and I congratulated myself for figuring out where to get off and only getting off one stop after the right one.
I then proceeded to:
- realize the sky, that had been clear blue without a cloud all day long, was suddenly cloaked in fog that in turn hid the bridge from sight
- keep walking anyway since I had made the trek out there
- walk 3 miles when I’d thought it was going to be a little under 2
- have my phone die without warning while trying to take pictures of the fog-covered bridge
- search for somewhere still open that would let me charge my phone since I didn’t know how to get back to my hotel from there
- find a trampoline park (awesome), where the guy at the front desk not only allowed me to charge my phone but set me up on a couch, which was amazing because by that point I was exhausted, freezing, and a little panicky about having no idea how to find my way back
- abandon my plan to find a pizza place I’d read about
- map out the bus ride back and write down directions in case my phone died again
- ask someone where to go when Google Maps showed a twisty path to get to the bus station
- appreciate how nice and friendly everyone in San Francisco is but know I would appreciate it even more if they gave correct directions
- locate the bus station only after going up and down 2 flights of stairs and wandering in a tunnel
- get on the bus only to find out I was on a more expensive one because Google Maps didn’t distinguish between the two
- be really confused while the bus driver patiently tried to help me decide whether to stay on or get off and take the regular muni bus
- follow the bus driver’s instructions across the street to the other bus stop
- anxiously check my phone to make sure it hadn’t died again
- be so relieved when the bus finally came that I didn’t pay attention to which way it was going
- get off the bus when I found out it was going the wrong way
- search for a new route and turn the wrong way while trying to find the bus
- realize San Francisco is really dark at night
- find the bus–the 3rd bus I tried to take–and, once confirming it was in fact the one I needed, collapse into a seat
- finally make it back to my hotel 3 hours after I ventured out
- order takeout Chinese food from the restaurant next door
- finish my giant donut
- wonder whether I would have been better off just staying at my hotel instead of exploring
- know I would never be able to stand not trying to experience new things when I have the chance, even if they end up as crazy wild goose chases
To be fair–to the wild geese out there–I did end up seeing the Golden Gate Bridge up close. It was covered in fog, yes, but it was also something I can now say I’ve done. Maybe that doesn’t matter to anyone but me, but who else should it matter to?