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San Francisco

I rolled out of Joshua Tree for San Francisco before noon, and had a short 9 hour drive to San Francisco.  At this point, I just wanted to get to SF, but I was also so tired that it was another slow drive through the country.

Along the way I came across some of the great California avocado farms where I found the absolutely unbelievable price of 10 avocados for a dollar.

California Vineyards
The beautiful vineyards of California really took me by surprise, I'd never seen them and the green against the burnt yellow background really made for some stunning scenes.

At this point, I hit the bay area and my day hit a turn for the worst.  I made one quick stop for dinner in a mall and when I came out, someone had broken the window of my rental car and stolen my laptop, which mind you, hadn't been backed up in a very long time.

Of course, I really should have backed it up, I mean I'm a programmer and photographer, I have all the equipment and know I need to, but for some reason, I just hadn't done it.  It felt like someone had taken a chunk out of my life, but in all honesty, it could have been worse.  All of my stuff was still in the car from the trip, and while I was standing outside telling the mall policeman what had happened, another girl came running over, whose car had been just down the lane, and the thieves had taken all kinds of things from her car, so I guess you win some and lose some, I just kind of wish my loss had been a little different.

Anyway, so that kind of ruined my night, I spent the night with my cousin finding tape to put a bag over my window and getting ready for my interview the next day.  The next day was definitely a much better one.  I had my interview, which went as well as it could go, and then just enjoyed being downtown in the big city.  I went and had a nice little hot chocolate at Ghirardelli's and rode the trams through the city.  Once I got back, I had to face the reality of the expenses I would be charged for the broken window.  I drove the car to the airport, dreading the costs, and to my surprise, it was all covered (once again, Dollar rental really took care of me this trip).  They switched me out for an SUV, and surprisingly, the SUV still gets better gas mileage than my v6, go figure.

The rest of the night was great.  My cousin took me to Japan town and then we went to Lombard Street and watched some long boarders try to make it down in one piece.

Lombard Street, San Francisco
A long shot of this beautiful street

The next morning I woke up before dawn and went to the far side of the Golden Gate Bridge for some great sunrise pictures.  It wasn't the best sunrise in the world, and I had missed the huge low fog that had hit San Francisco just a couple days before, but I still managed to take some great shots, and a nice little timelapse.  I chatted it up in French with a Quebec native at one point, who came to the point of the bridge I was doing my timelapse at and told me we was completely unimpressed with San Francisco and its weather.  He asked me what I was doing there, and what I was waiting for.  His words were:

"There's nothing worth seeing up here."

To each his own, I suppose.

I spent a few hours photographing the bridge (ok maybe I spent 5 hours there), and it was pretty cold.  It felt good to be cold again, a feeling that's quite rare out in Texas, made me miss my days as a ski instructor standing in the freezing, morning chill, waiting for kids to show up for lessons.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
It was hard getting up yet again for another sunrise, especially after just 2 hours of sleep, but I was rewarded with this amazing view bright in the morning.

Anyway after the bridge I went down to the waterfront and walked on down, enjoying the bustle and flow of the long walk before heading back and deciding it was time to head out for home.  Of course, this whole time I had been trying to catch the guy who stole me laptop, and I found someone selling an identical model, and almost had him pinned down to buy it back, but the seller balked at the last moment, and I decided it was time for me to head out.  For more tips on things to do in San Francisco look here, or click here for the next stage of my journey in Yosemite.

Waterfront, San Francisco
It's a lot of fun to make such a crowded place seem free of movement and people.

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