The past few days have been pretty great! Our friend Brad (who we stayed with in Sonoma) works at Ravens Wood winery and gave us a private tour of their facilities on Wednesday morning. We got to sample some of their wines right out of the barrel. It was pretty cool cause we got to actually see the different parts of the wine-making process. The drive to San Francisco was about and hour, and we came in across the Golden Gate bridge. We stopped on top of a hill right before the bridge to get some nice pictures and a good view of the city. We were meeting my camp friend Maggie for lunch, but stopped off at our hostel to drop off our stuff.
According to the Google map on my phone, Maggie's apartment was only a mile away, so we decided to walk. We kinda forgot that we were in San Francisco and that there are HUGE hills. Fortunately we only had one monstrous hill to climb to get to her apartment. She took us to Little Italy for some great pasta and gelato. We also got to climb on the roof of her apartment for some great city views. After lunch, we decided to wander around by Pier 39 and around the wharf.
At Pier 39, they had a store called Lefty's that sells stuff specially made for left-handed people. As a lefty, I was pretty excited about it. I purchased a mug that, if held with the right hand, would pour the beverage onto the drinker because there is a hole in it. I found it quite amusing. We also checked out the sea lions who live there, and walked to Ghiardelli square. We got a free piece of chocolate when we walked into the Ghiardelli chocolate shop! Delicious! We relaxed in a park by the wharf for a while and devoured some more candy we got at a store that has barrels full of different candies.
For dinner and more exploring, we wanted to hit up Chinatown, so we bought a cable car (trolley!) pass and rode one over there. The shops had a lot of really funny and cool stuff, and people kept stopping us to try to get us to go to their restaurant. We finally decided on one, and ended up ordering WAY too much food! We ended up giving our leftovers to some people staying in the hostel. We finished off the night by exploring the Union Square area and riding the cable cars around some more. I mean, let's be real, who doesn't love them?!
On Thursday morning, we woke up to the "Free Willy" theme song! Seriously, one of the Swedish guys staying in our hostel room had it set as his alarm. We had a good laugh about it, and it was a pretty great way to get up. We headed to Los Angeles via route 1. We didn't stay on it the whole way because the drive was really long, but the coastline looked beautiful, and we drove past Big Sur. We made it to our friend Glenn's house in Pasadena just in time to catch the last few minutes of the NBA finals. Glenn and her family were really excited to have us and started discussing all of the things we should do in LA, and listed so many things, we decided to stay an extra day. Fun facts: Glenn's house is the house where Adam Sandler's character lives in "The Wedding Singer" and her great-grandmother is the Little Old Lady from Pasadena (as in the song!). I need to take a break from typing now, so I'll try to finish the rest of our LA expeditions before we leave for the Grand Canyon tomorrow. No guarantees though.