Being a CX kid definitely has its perks. My mom started working for the airline over 20 years ago and with her job, comes discounted – and when I say discount, I mean discount! It was approximately HKD$250 – yes two-hundred and fifty Hong Kong dollars! to fly roundtrip HKG-SFO-HKG. The first trip I went on with mom was to New York last summer – one of the places on my bucket list and we went around pretty much most of the must-see sights within two and a half days. San Francisco on the other hand, wasn’t exactly on the top of my bucket list of travels but why pass up a trip to America!?
Flight CX872 HKG-SFO: upgraded to FIRST CLASS! There was so much space I didn’t know what to do with myself!
First Stop! Fisherman’s Wharf: when I was in Los Angeles about four years ago, I missed the chance to have breakfast at the ever so famous, IHOP. I had discussed this with an American friend recently on how IHOP has become very ‘overrated’ and it simply is – like any other – breakfast place slash diner. I tried their Strawberry Banana Cream Pie Pancakes with scrambled eggs, hash and bacon from their Summer Signature Pancake flavors. It was too much of a breakfast for my stomach but a generally good meal to start my trip off! But again, nothing extremely special, it’s your typical breakfast place.
Next, was Pier 39 with many, many sea lions wak wak wak-ing away!
Mom and I joined the Golden Gate + Sausalito tour loop with City Sightseeing San Francisco. I had been very hesitant about joining tours because of mixed reviews of the long waiting time between bus intervals but City Sightseeing did not disappoint! At first I had opted for the city tour, but felt that it was just too much and you know with jetlag I didn’t want to get too overwhelmed with places to see in a day! The photo below is in front of our tour bus in Sausalito.
We visited The Palace of Fine Arts prior to the bridge. Beautiful, beautiful architecture. I had really wanted to see the Palace as I was planning the trip but decided not to ‘hop off’ because our tour guide parked for a bit for us to take photos. We then made our way to the Golden Gate Bridge. Our oh so lovely tour guide let us off the bus this time for photos for about fifteen minutes which was good because if not, mom and I would’ve been stranded in the wind and cold of the bridge for half an hour more! All I can say is that I have never felt that much wind in my life..!
Mom and I hadn’t actually planned to visit Sausalito – a city very closeby the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge. I’d heard of it before but had no plans of visiting. Thanks to City Sightseeing SF, we were brought to this beautiful place. It was very, very nice in Sausalito. Beautiful weather (as opposed to the windy and very foggy San Francisco), not too busy, just a nice city to relax. I’d say a good place to take some time away from reality…but of course, it is a community for the rich so come out, come out wherever you are future, wealthy husband-to-be!
After Sausalito, the tour brought us back across the bridge where we visited areas such as The Presidio, a former military post that has become a national park and recreational area. Apparently there was a Walt Disney Museum there? But didn’t get off. We then headed back to Fisherman’s Wharf – it was generally a pretty quick tour since we didn’t hop off (aside from Sausalito for just half an hour). We then took the Powell-Mason Cable Car (a tourist experience!). I really, really wanted to see Lombard Street but the amount of tourists was insane and knew that we’d have trouble finding a ride up to Union Square if we got off so sadly, only got to catch a glimpse of what is known as SF’s crookedest street (fun fact: Lombard Street is NOT SF’s crookedest street! Vermont Street is I believe, but because Lombard Street is known to be the ‘prettier’ one, it’s become more well-known to date).
By this time, we had finally gotten to Union Square, the shopping district of San Francisco. Was pretty jetlag by this time – about 3pm – so barely had the energy to shop! But definitely had the appetite to eat! Mom and I had early dinner at The Cheesecake Factory at Macy’s Union Square. I enjoyed a nice Crusted Chicken Romano – delicious chicken, while the pasta was just so-so. Mom on the other hand, had the Cajun Jambalaya Pasta.
The next day, we headed back to Fisherman’s Wharf to get a taste of the “street food” at the Wharf. Tried the Clam Chowder in a Sourdough Bread Bowl with Calamari and Fish & Chips. Was pretty good coming from a non-seafood lover!
I wanted to go back to Union Square to do the last of my shopping for the trip. We opted to take the bus from Fisherman’s Wharf since the Cable Car was pretty pricey ($6.00 VS $2.00!). But because of the lack of sense of direction between my Mom and I, we had taken the bus in the wrong direction and had only realized this about 20 minutes into the ride! We got off and decided to get on on the opposite side of the street only to take the bus with the SAME driver! I guess the bus was circular and we had been nearing the last stop on the first stop we were on! The photo below is in front of one of the Hearts in San Francisco, a public art installation inspired by Tony Bennett’s, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”.
Headed back to the hotel mid-afternoon for my Mom to get some rest before her flight. Seems like I was the one who needed the sleep more! I was so, so, so tired and napped for about 4 hours. We ordered from Chai-Yo, a Thai restaurant near our hotel (Oops forgot to mention! We stayed at my Mom’s crew hotel, Holiday Inn Golden Gateway located at 1500 Van Ness Ave) and I had Chicken Satay with Rice. We got to the airport pretty early to retain seniority for my standby booking – flight was pretty full but was guaranteed the jumpseat. Thankfully, got “upgraded” to Economy but to go from First Class to Economy was quite a bummer!
Was not the best flight back but am oh so thankful that I was able to get away for 5 days and see a new city with my Mom. Hoping for more trips soon!
Thank you San Francisco!
(Note: This post is delayed a week and have already been back from SFO for a week now)