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Mission Mondays: Solo San Francisco – Part VI

July 19, 2010

Travel guides can often prove quite helpful when you’re searching for information about an upcoming trip, but sometimes I feel as though they provide too much information, eliminating the element of discovery. However, this weekend, I broke down:

A visit to Barnes & Noble to browse its travel section and peruse the gamut of travel guides on San Francisco so I could select a couple that best suit my taste. As much as I appreciate the guides that purport to share the “Top 10” or the “25 Best” things to do in a city, I’d like to make those sorts of determinations on my own. I did, however, find a couple of other places I’d like to visit while I’m there:

  • The Presidio – this park at the southern end of the Golden Gate Bridge appeals to my love of both history and nature
  • Mission Dolores – one of the oldest structures in San Francisco, the Mission survived the earthquake of 1906. History and architecture: check and check.
  • Coit Tower and Telegraph Hill – atop one of San Francisco’s original “Seven Hills”, Coit Tower offers spectacular views of the city, if you are so inclined to climb to the top (and yes, I am so inclined– no pun intended).

So my list of attractions to visit while I’m in San Francisco grows, as does my excitement. I’m trying not to get too far ahead of myself though. Looking back on my solo time in Montreal, I’m reminded to procure a few things:

  1. Columbia Libellafly

    Merrell Oceania

    A good comfortable pair of shoes will cover a multiple of sins–I plan to walk a lot while I’m in San Francisco and hike in Muir Woods and I’m looking for a pair of shoes that will take me from city to wilderness without compromising fashion. I’ve narrowed the field down to the Columbia Libellafly and the Merrell Oceania. I’m leaning toward the Merrells to keep it in the family (my Merrell hiking boots are proven performers) and because I like the style a teensy bit more.

  2. A comfortable bag–after returning from Montreal last fall, I was out for a couple of days with a pinched nerve in my back, a condition my chiropractor believes was aggravated by the sheer amount of walking around that I did, and which I believe was compounded by wearing worn-out shoes and an uncomfortable shoulder bag. This time, I’m looking for a messenger or stylish backpack to distribute the load I’ll carry.
  3. A realistic outlook–just because the map of a city is flat doesn’t mean the city itself is (duh!). Montreal was not, and San Francisco is famed for its hills. So I’m keeping in mind that simply because an attraction is a mile away on a map doesn’t mean it’s a flat mile. I’m ramping up my weekend hiking schedule to get myself ready for them thar hills!

That’s pretty much it for now. Again, if anyone has suggestions about can’t miss places that are under the radar, let me know. I’m always looking for suggestions. My primary interests while traveling are history, culture, nature, shopping, and food.


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