Setting Sail in San Francisco
This year I was already lucky enough to spend 3 weeks on board a beautiful Holland America ship cruising around South America and Antarctica. I guess I had some more luck by getting invited on a second cruise with the company this year by my friend Ryan who works on board.
My friends recently called me ‘jammy’ which apparently means lucky and is definitely my new favourite word. One thing I have always found ‘jammy’ in my life is my ability to end up with wonderful people in my life. Ryan is one of them. And spending 3 weeks on board a beautiful ship with a wonderful friend was not something I was going to turn down.
This time I was jumping on board in San Francisco and setting sail South through Mexico, The Panama Canal, Costa Rica, Colombia and then heading on towards the Caribbean.
After a quick few days in Holland to freshen up after a month on the Camino de Santiago, I repacked my little bag and jumped on a big jet plane and headed across the Atlantic for new (hopefully less slummy) adventures.
I managed to score a cheap Hilton (through work perks) which was super jammy given the fact that it was fleet week in San Francisco that caused the entire city to be fully booked. Slept like a baby and woke up ready to once again explore one of my all time favourite cities in the US of A.
I made my way to the port and was reunited with Ryan with a big bear hug. We quickly got me checked in on board, dumped my luggage, I lost my passport, I found my passport, and we were ready to explore.
We strolled along the post, enjoying every second of the beautiful San Francisco weather (which I know from my own experiences is super rare). It really was a beautiful day.
Our first stop was the well-known pier 39, to visit the famous sea-lion residents. I was stoked to see that the left handed shop was still going strong.
Ryan then decided I absolutely HAD to visit the original Ghirardelli chocolate shop (America’s oldest continuously operating chocolate maker). We both had a quick super rush and then headed out to China town.
San Francisco’s Chinatown has always been one of my favourite places in the city (partly because I was lucky enough to be there over Chinese New year back in 2013). It really is like walking straight into China. It also happens to be the largest Chinatown outside of Asia as well as the oldest Chinatown in North America.
Eventually we realised we were quickly approaching our ‘all aboard’ deadline and started our walk back to the port. We made it on board for many not so fun (but actually super important) safety drills.
Before we set sail we were lucky enough to have some wonderful bonus entertainment as fleet week had brought the Hells Angels to the skies of San Francisco. I was in complete awe of those incredibly talented pilots showing off their wonderful formations over the Golden Gate Bridge.
We definitely set sail on a high note. It was going to be a great trip.
I actually wrote a short little list of recommendations for San Fran a while back which you can check out for some useful info.