Exploring California 2017 Part 3: San Francisco

 Iconic

Iconic

So here we are. Three days into the trip and off to get our first glimpse of metropolitan California. San Francisco has always intrigued me, but I could never justify visiting the city on it's own. I figured If I wanted a "Four-season" city on the water I could just stay in D.C. That being said I've know for years that the Bay Area has its own unique charm that, like most places, couldn't really be appreciated until you visited.

This was the perfect opportunity to test the waters to see what all the hype was about without devoting the time and money of a lengthy stay. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed myself. Even though we made the rookie mistake of visiting in May without winter coats 👎🏾 (for those who don't know, its crazy cold in May there. See why here: https://www.quora.com/Why-are-San-Francisco-summers-so-cold)

Being the IG aficionado that I am, I'm inundated with images of the foggy Golden Gate and Bay Bridge on a daily basis. I knew this city had a reputation of being a photographers paradise, so I knew that a visit, though brief, would be worth the effort. 

We essentially only had 48 hours to spend in the city. Luckily my brother-in-law had a condo there in addition to his place in Tahoe, so he was able to help guide our expedition ad make sure our time was spent on the truly impressive aspects of the city and not just the tourist traps. Even though I wanted those iconic Golden Gate photos, I really wanted to get to know the city. I'm always cataloging  possible places to live when I travel and would be remiss not to take San Francisco into serious consideration. 

The points I wanted to hit were Golden Gate Park (obviously), Mission district, China Town, and Baker Beach. So long as we got to those spots, I would be a happy camper. Even though that doesn't sound like a lot, taking into account how much we had traveled up until that point and our time restrictions, I knew it would be a bit of a challenge. 

We drove about 4 hours from Yosemite, got settled into our room and immediately went on the hunt for good food and good pictures. The first place we visited was the famous Golden Gate Overlook. Even though I didn't want to have 500 different pictures of the bridge, I figured getting it from different angles was still worth while.

 The iconic fog was in full effect.

The iconic fog was in full effect.

From there we looped around to the park situated just under the bridge so I could snap a few more of the GGB.

 What you don't see are the hundreds of little crabs that come swimming out in between tides.

What you don't see are the hundreds of little crabs that come swimming out in between tides.

After a couple hours of snapping the bridge and complaining about how cold it was (seriously no joke) we decided to drive around a bit and explore the city. We took a few winding roads down into the valley adjacent to the GGB and ended up hitting a dead end at Rodeo Beach. 

The mixture of muted colors and pebbled sand reminded me of all the moody pictures of Canon Beach in Oregon that I've seen on IG through the years. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to take a few snaps of the wonderfully ethereal landscape.

Since I can never pass up the opportunity to grab a few yoga shots in beautiful settings, I had Holly do a quick change and we had an impromptu yoga/chill session on the beach. 

We relaxed on the beach for a few hours and just listened to the tide.

 After a while we got bored and got back on the road. We debated heading into the city again to do some more exploring a but thought better of it once the fatigue of traveling and shooting all day got the best of us. We decided to call it a day and head back to the hotel.


China Town

The next morning we decided to hit the inner city to explore. We decided to start in China town and let our feet take us from there. San Francisco has a rich storied history of Asian immigration and the importance of the Asian community becomes apparent as soon as you begin to explore downtown. 

With so much life, culture, and history interwoven into the city, it was impossible to take a bad picture. We wandered around a little more to explore some more of the city. 

We wandered into the famous City Lights book store to absorb some of the anti-esablihment culture the city's culture is rooted in. There were walls to wall books on politics and poetry. I love visiting famous book stores. I feel like you can really get an idea the heart of any great city by seeing what pieces of literature the community holds in high regard.

We wore ourselves out walking around and had to head back to the room to relax for a bit. Of course I stopped three or four times to stop and grab pictures like the annoying tourist I was.

We wanted to get some proper yoga pictures before we left the next morning so we got some rest and headed out to Marshall Beach.

Even though we had to combat the wind and unpredictable tide, we got some of my all time favorite yoga portraits I've ever captured. 

 There wasn't another soul in sight.

There wasn't another soul in sight.

After a while it got too windy to shoot and we just chilled on the rocks to take in the beauty of the scene and just exist for a while.

I took a few more pictures for good measure 

Knowing that we had a lot more trip to go, we called it a day and said our final goodbyes to San Francisco. Even though I got to see a lot, I didn't come anywhere closet to fulfilling my wishlist of locations. Im already making my plans to return. I can definitively say, I love this city. 

We woke up the next day ready to begin the next leg of our trip down the PCH. First stop Monterey...