#TBT: The elusive Golden Gate Bridge

#ThrowbackThursday: Each Thursday, I revisit a past adventure and publish more of the story than made the first cut.. Beginning the series, I will be recounting parts of the Gypsy Trip – a cross-country endeavor in 2010. 

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Who knew finding this bridge would take the better part of an afternoon?

The first telling of this story didn’t even include any part of this week’s #TBT, probably because all I was thinking about that night when we turned in was the prospect of continuing our drive up the West Coast. At this point we were nearing the end of a 13-day roadtrip and the only things we really planned to do in San Francisco was to find the Golden Gate Bridge and drive Lombard Street. For those of you who may not know, Lombard Street is called the “crookedest street in the world” because it contains eight switchback turns to get travelers down its steep precipice.

You would think that with all the research that occurred before the trip and the GPS that came loaded in the rental car we wouldn’t have any trouble finding these two well-known San Francisco icons.

Think again.

Our search for Lombard Street was fruitless so we turned our attention to the bridge, finding it only as the sun was setting.

Consider Lombard Street on my #BucketList for my next trip to San Francisco.

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Detours and dead ends

New Gypsy Trip TagAfter the massive amount of blogging I had to do the last couple of days to get caught up from when my wireless network abandoned me and my Blackberry decided to revolt, I took about 24 hours off. I’m terribly sorry, because everything we saw yesterday in Yosemite and San Franciso should have been immediately shared.

Bridalveil Falls, Yosemite National Park

I’ve wanted to visit Yosemite National Park since I discovered Ansel Adams’s photograhy when I was a teenager. I had his photos as my desktop backgrounds for years. I finally got to visit and I was not disappointed. Of course, we had limited time and didn’t get to explore the park as much as we all wanted to, but we did get to see some breathtaking rock formations and Bridalveil Falls.

San Francisco actually turned out to be the best part of my day. Not that I was expecting to dislike the city; I knew I would enjoy it. I’m just usually more of a park kind of girl and less of a city kind of girl when it comes to visiting new places. We ended up getting to see a good portion of the city because Google Maps, not Sheila this time, led us astray.

When we got into the city we drove along The Embarcadero and got to see most of the piers. The real fun began when we tried to find Lombard Street so we could drive down the twistiest road in the city. Google maps kept having us turn off The Embarcadero and circle a few blocks and then go up The Embarcadero further and circle a few other blocks. I think we circled a four or five times before we finally tried plugging a cross street into Sheila and seeing if she could get us there.

She didn’t.

We finally gave up, but even though we didn’t find Lombard Street, we got a nice driving tour of some of the streets of San Francisco. In our search for the twisty road, we found a park on the bay under the Golden Gate Bridge and were able to get pictures of the bay, the city skyline, Alcatraz, and of course, the Golden Gate Bridge.

I could have sat on this wall forever, taking in the bay, but it was chilly outside and getting colder. Don’t forget a hoodie if you plan to go to San Francisco!

By this time it was going on 9 o’clock and we were all famished. We haven’t gotten much better about making time for meals in our travels; we’re usually just in a hurry to get to the next place! We decided to stop somewhere on our way out of the city to eat something other than a hot dog or a turkey wrap. We found Mel’s Drive-In on Lombard Street and decided to stop.

It’s kind of hard to miss this charming little silver diner with its neon signs. I ordered a charbroiled chicken sandwich with twisty fries, and I suggest you do the same. It could have just been that I’ve been deprived of decent meals for most of this trip, but that was the one of the best chicken sandwiches I’ve ever eaten.