Recently my wife and I flew out to San Francisco for my nieces wedding. Our plan was to arrive and get a cab to the hotel, check in and go for a run. Things didn't go as planned. We checked in and decided to take a quick look around the area by going for a quick walk and realized how hilly San Francisco really is. If we weren't walking up we were walking down and the hills are soooo steep! We walked for about four hours before we were done and my legs were completely spent. I totally understand why so many people in that city are in such good shape. Rose and I both noticed that most of the people we saw were in pretty good shape. That is so different from what we are accustomed to here in Upstate New York where far to many people are not in very good shape.
The next morning (Saturday) we got up early and searching around our room for our coffee pot but couldn't find it anywhere in plain site. Eventually we opened a small cabinet that housed a Keurig coffee machine. Jackpot! We didn't have drink the nasty hotel coffee we had been use to drinking. It we had known we would have a Keurig we would have brought a bunch of our own coffee from home because they only gave us enough coffee for one cup per person. Oh well... We drank our coffee, slid on our shoes and took a look at our map and hit the road.
Our hotel was at the top of hill so you can walk out the door and set off in any direction and you are going down hill. WAY DOWN HILL! Well it isn't that bad. I don't think any of the climbs exceed a half mile but they are very steep. We started down the hill you see in this picture. The plan was to run down hill to the flatter areas of the city near the bay and get warmed up before we started the real work of going up.
Running is a great way to take in the sites in a place you haven't been before, as long as you know where you are going. This was the first time Roseann and I have run to see the sights because she didn't start running until just before getting pregnant with our daughter and this is the first time we have really gone away since Isabelle was born. We always got out and explored on vacation but we walked and I get bored walking. As we ran around San Francisco Rose told me that she wished would could have ran when we were in Aruba and St. Marten because we could have seen so much more of the Islands we were on.
We saw some pretty cool stuff on our Saturday run. We ran out of the downtown area to the bay near the Bay Bridge and ran along the bay for about two miles. That is were we saw most of the other joggers. That made a lot of sense because it was really the only flat area with out any traffic lights to kill your rhythm, but we didn't care about all of that. We wanted to take in some of the sights. The plan after running along the bay was to hit Lombard Street and run up the Crooked Road. It wasn't any harder than any other climb but if you are going to run up some hills in San Fran you should try to make it a point to run up something cool. The street is all brick with beautiful flowers and flowering shrubs on both sides of the street from top to bottom or in our case, from bottom to top. I got to the top of the hill while Rose was about half way up. I was greeted by a mob of tourist who were part of a bus tour of the city taking pictures of the road and us running up. For some strange reason they thought we were completely nuts! I heard someone say that doesn't look like fun but he doesn't know what he is missing. We got to see some of the things you must see if you come to San Fran but we also got to see some cool little areas of the city you miss on a tour bus and got a great workout that justified in my mind some of the food I ate later that night at my nieces wedding.
We got to bed late that night after eating and drinking to much. This did put a little kink in my plans for our Sunday run. I wanted to run to the other side of the city and go through Golden Gate Park and maybe run on the bridge but we got up to late so we went back down by the Bay Bridge. We needed to get out and back to go to breakfast with Mom & Dad before starved.
We left the hotel and headed DOWN California Street again and came upon the Marines taking some pictures to promote Fleet Week. I forgot to mention that we in town the same time as Fleet Week. I am not sure if this was for a calendar or just advertising but it was pretty cool and an unexpected site. Our Sunday run was much easier than the run we did on Saturday. We just ran along the bay and took a lot of pictures of Navy ships and other landmarks before heading back UP California Street to the hotel.