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San Francisco

27 August 2008 by superlative

Hmm, I’m not doing too well at catching up on this blog thing am I? I must try to power through, I’m only… erm… three and a half weeks behind. Damn it!

Anyway, off we flew to San Francisco, where we were staying at the second of my Trip Advisor-recommended hotels, the Chancellor on Union Square. It was lovely, I’m so glad I picked it! Although it is officially three star, it is actually really bloody good for three stars – marble floors in the reception, staff all dressed up in nice uniforms, little gold carts for putting your luggage in, etc etc. We were up on the twelfth floor which meant we had fantastic views over Union Square towards Macy’s. I had repeated my “it’s our honeymoon” casual commenting technique when I emailed the hotel about the booking, and this time it actually paid off – the man on reception congratulated us when we checked in, and we had a bottle of champagne and a present (a picture frame) waiting for us in the room. Which started me thinking you should probably always say you’re on your honeymoon whenever you go abroad anywhere, just to see what you get…

Anyway, San Francisco was lovely, and so much nicer than New York. New York is definitely more buzzy, with more going on and more to see, and it’s a very exciting place to be because you know it so well from the telly, but in terms of actual niceness San Francisco wins hands down. It was cleaner, less rushed, more spacious, and generally prettier. The only thing that would have made it nicer would have been for it to be a bit warmer – we only had one day of proper sun, and the rest had high fog blocking out most of the heat so it was really quite cold and you needed a coat on. But frankly after New York it was quite pleasant to be cold, at least for a few days.

Again, we did lots of touristy things, but it was generally less rushed as we had more time there and there is a bit less to do.

  • On the one sunny day (the first day) we took a walk around Union Square where all the shops are, and then we went to Dolores Beach. Dolores Beach is not in fact a beach, but is instead part of a park, and it is where all the gay boys go on a sunny day to sit around in minimal clothing pretending to read and looking at each other. It was very pleasant, although San Francisco gay guys seemed to be generally older and/or beefier than my normal tastes of twinky blonds, but I’ll take what I can get. I did unfortunately completely underestimate the sun and FRIED my shoulders and back, resulting in a good deal of pain, whinging, and hasty purchasing of after-sun for the rest of the week.
  • We went to loads of shops, but bought relatively little as we’re not that into designer labels anyway. I did buy some nice undies though.
  • We went to Chinatown – MUCH nicer than New York’s, which was a slum.
  • We saw the wiggly Lombard Street, which was thronged with tourists taking photos and must be a nightmare to live on.
  • We went to the Cartoon Art Museum, and fortuitously it was ‘Pay what you like day’ so we paid very little.
  • We took a trip to Alcatraz, which was really interesting, and as it was the evening it was dead atmospheric and spooky.
  • We saw the Golden Gate Bridge, and walked halfway across it before deciding it was too windy and then walking back.
  • We saw Dark Knight (very good) and The Mummy III (not that good) at the cinema.

We also ate out LOADS and were completely stuffed for the whole week. No wonder Americans are so fat, their portions were ridiculous and we threw away criminal amounts of food and felt really bad. Highlights were the best BEST milkshakes ever in Lori’s Diner, and a fantastic Japanese meal in a tucked away restaurant where we were the only non-Japanese in there.

We also went to quite a few bars on San Francisco’s legendary gay scene. Again, I wasn’t that impressed really… We visited Harvey’s, Twin Peaks, Midnight Sun, The Mixer, and The Bar. They were generally OK, either a bit empty or hugely overcrowded, and very very few boys worth a second glance. We decided that we’ve been spoiled by living in Brighton about 3 minutes from 9 gay bars where they often play better music and at least some of the people know how to dress properly. I think we had the most fun at The Bar, where it transpired it was Ladies Night, which meant it was full of black and Hispanic lesbians and had great music on, so we danced lots amid the lesbians and I cared not that I was twice the height of most of them.

And then it was time to come home. I wasn’t sorry really, as I was quite worn out after 10 days of madly photographing everything and trekking around, and I really wanted my own bed and not to eat another calorie for a fortnight.

The flight home was 10 hours, which was far too long, I couldn’t sleep, and I was pretty exhausted by the time we finally got back, but overall it was a lovely, lovely trip and a marvelous honeymoon. It’s not the kind of holiday we’d ever normally take either, so that made it quite special for us. And my bed was soooo comfortable when I crawled into it and slept for almost a whole weekend…!

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