San Francisco: The Painted Ladies, and then some

After my time on the Wharf and the Bay, I took the F streetcar back to Market Street, where the driver just stopped and was like “this is my last stop, so everyone off.”  It was a beautiful day, so I decided to spend some time wandering around San Francisco.  If you ever get the opportunity to travel to an unknown city, I would suggest spending at least an hour and just walk around the city.  While taking a bus, cable car, or street car is easier and faster than walking, you miss so much the city can offer.

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San Francisco Radio

The following playlist include songs that I listened to on my trip to San Francisco.  Note the first track is the theme to Full House, which I happily sang whilst visiting the painted ladies and walking the Golden Gate Bridge.  More posts about San Francisco are forthcoming, but it is taking me longer than I thought to edit the 1000 pictures I took and to write about all the experiences I had.

San Francisco: The Bay

After my time in the Aquarium of the Bay, I decided to walk around the Wharf and saw that you could take a ferry ride around the bay, getting the chance to float under the Golden Gate Bridge and get up close to Alcatraz, which is great especially if you can’t get tickets to Alcatraz (like me).  I read in my travel book that you should buy your tickets to Alcatraz a week ahead of time, which I tried to do last week, but they were completely sold out!

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San Francisco: The Aquarium of the Bay

I started out my second day in San Francisco taking the “historic” F line around Fisherman’s Wharf to the apparently famous Pier 39.  Here I made my way to the Aquarium of the Bay, which is a non-profit aquarium set up to educate people about the marine life of San Francisco Bay and the effects of pollution.  The main reason I wanted to make this stop is the fact they have these tunnels that you can walk through and see fish and sharks swimming around.  It’s supposed to simulate what it’s like to walk through the Bay…you know, if that was possible.  It was actually quite an interesting experience, as I got to see a wide array of marine life.  As I was walking through the shark tunnel, which looked like I was walking into the Shark Tank, I was talking with my guide about the set up of the tanks.  Somewhat hopefully, I asked “Do the sharks ever eat the other fish?”  Which really wasn’t a dumb question, given the fact that they have all these little fish just swimming next to the sharks.  “Oh no,” she said, “we feed all the animals twice a day so they don’t ever have to find their own food.  Yeah, it would be kind of awkward if we had them hunt each other…the tank would get rather bloody.”  A huge shark then swam above us and as I ducked my head away (obviously forgetting I was in a safe, protective environment), the guide continued “That’s our biggest shark…her name is Debbie.”  And as she said that, another shark swam past Debbie, opened his mouth, and swallowed another fish whole!  “Huh,” the guide said, “That usually doesn’t happen.”

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Airport Delay

So I’m currently sitting in the airport, trying to get home to Boston. And my plane is delayed an hour.  Apparently it got caught up in New York…I think it was trying to see a show or something.  Anyway, you know what I do when my plane gets delayed an hour?…I strut up and down those moving side walks in the airport whilst blaring “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea.


I also wanted to let you guys know I’ll be posting about the rest of my trip soon; I apparently did so much in three days that it’ll take some time to write it all down.  Also, I took about 1000 pictures…so look forward to that ;-P

Wish me luck on my plane ride home!  It’s the first time I’m flying at night.

San Francisco: Day One

Yesterday we landed in San Francisco after a six and a half hour flight.  The lady in the seat next to us said, in a rather thick jersey accent, as we were getting off the plane, “Next time, I’m taking a Xanax and two shots of tequila.”  We found our way out of the airport and took a taxi to the hotel.  I know this is going to sound lame, but it was my first time taking a taxi, so I was kind of intrigued by the whole experience.  It was like getting in a strangers car and paying him a lot of money to drive you around…actually that’s exactly what it’s like.

Last night we visited the Golden Gate Bridge and walked the whole 3.4 miles (both ways).  It was beautiful, and a little bit windy.  When we were taking the MUNI (San Francisco’s public transportation) to the Golden Gate Bridge, five different people were like “are you going to the Golden Gate Bridge?” and then they would give us directions or tell us what to do.

One thing I did learn was that the Golden Gate Bridge is not named after the color of it.  I always thought they called it the Golden Gate Bridge because they thought the bridge itself was a golden color, even though it’s like a brick red/orange.  Actually, before the bridge was built, they called the mountains around the bay the “Golden Gate.”  So when they built the bridge, it was the Golden Gate Bridge because it was the bridge that ran through Golden Gate…not as magical as you’d think.

I also heard the Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge, so it should sway with the wind and traffic…apparently it makes it last longer or something.  I didn’t feel it move as I walked, but apparently it was.

Check out some pictures I took below!

If you ever get a chance to go to the Golden Gate Bridge, definitely walk across it.  One of our little helpers on the MUNI actually told us not to walk it because it was rush hour.  But don’t take her advice, it’s almost liberating standing in the center of the bridge and looking out into San Francisco Bay.  AND I’m not ashamed to admit that I sang the theme to Full House and danced a little bit whilst walking the bridge…I mean, when in Rome, right?

Another helpful hint when coming to San Francisco is that it’s actually colder than you’d think.   Back in Boston, I’m used to the frigid weather and I always associate California with being warm all the time.  I brought a light sweatshirt on the off chance it could get chilly on the plane, and I’ve worn it all around town. I have taken it off; it’s not always cold and it isn’t freezing, but it’s not as hot as you might think it would be.

We asked one of the ladies how she knew we were tourists and she simply said “you’re wearing shorts.”  Apparently June is not a shorts wearing month for Californians (it’s around the 60s, temperature wise), but for people from Boston, which is basically the arctic, 60s is warm/hot.  So, if you don’t want to be pegged as a tourist, make sure you pack some jeans.


I’m writing and posting this 35,757 feet in the air while going 517 mph.  I’m currently flying to San Francisco for a three day trip with my sister.  According to the handy map on the screen embedded in the seat in front of me, we’re flying into Missouri…which means we’ll be over the Mississippi River soon!  Actually, I think we just flew over it…it’s hard to tell the geographic location just by looking out an airplane window…

I’ve been up since 4:30 a.m. to get on a 7:28 a.m. flight (which is such a random time).  Right now, it feels like it should be like 1:30 p.m. but it’s only like 10 a.m.

I had a fantastic freakout moment when we were taking off where I may have shouted “HOLY COW!” when we were going airborne.  I have flown before, but like I’ve said, it’s been ten years…I forgot how intense the takeoff is.  Then I started uncontrollably laughing, which got my row and the rows around us to start laughing.  Ten minutes later, I looked out the window and completely lost my head and said louder than I actually meant it to be, “HEY, IS THAT THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER!!!”  More sniggers.  Like, it doesn’t take ten minutes to get from Boston to Mississippi….needless to say, I’m the life of the party here on the plane.

Let’s hope I keep myself more composed over the next four hours…

Fidelity: Regina Spektor’s #PhillipsSongOfTheDay

I don’t really know what drove me to do this, but I woke up one morning and thought “I should get a Regina Spektor album.”  I mean, I don’t even know how I knew her name; I think I saw it on iTunes or somewhere, but somehow it stuck with me.  So I went out and got Begin to Hope and What We Saw From the Cheap Seats.  Since then, I’ve really become taken with her song “Fidelity” from Begin to Hope…making it #PhillipsSongOfTheDay.

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10 Years

So on Wednesday I’m going to San Francisco.  It’s my first time to California and the first time I’ve been on an airplane in ten years.

Which made me realize: I’m old enough to have things I haven’t done for ten years.

The movie 13 Going On 30 used to be my favorite movie; I thought it was hilarious and I watched the DVD on repeat for like a year.  That movie made me want to eat Razzles and learn the Thriller dance (both of which I did).  But there’s a line in that movie where Mark Ruffalo’s character says to Jennifer Garner’s character, “That was fifteen years ago.”  I’m not entirely sure what he was talking about, but I do remember watching that every time and thinking “I can’t even fathom being old enough to remember what I did fifteen years ago.”  Probably that was because at the time I was fifteen…and who can remember their first years of life?  But now, I’m older, and I can remember one of the first times I took a plane: my family took a trip to the Grand Canyon, and I remember being freaked out during take off.

Well, that was ten years ago.

Now, I’m old.

Call me gramps.  I’ll see you at the retirement home.


I’m introducing a new segment on my blog called “PHILS-osphy,” which is a term I’m borrowing from Modern Family.  There’s an episode where the Dunphy’s daughter Haley is going to college and Phil (her dad) hands her a book he made entitled PHIL’s-osphy, which basically includes a list of life lessons that are rather foolish and make no sense.  But I like the idea of writing down lessons you learn and remembering pearls of wisdom, so I want to take what I learn in my life and share them here.  My goal is to be one of those old men who experienced so much in his youth that he is really wise…and I also want to be the grandpa who wears leather pants…it’s just gonna happen…

An example of a PHIL’s-osphy from Modern Family: