San Francisco: Tourists and Transportation

San Francisco is my favorite major city in the U.S.  A wave of nostalgia hits me when I look back on my short weekend trip; it was my second time there, and I fell more in love with SF as I did the first time I came.  My mom and I went to tour University of San Francisco, and made a mini vacation out of it.  With the “madeline needs to learn how to be an adult” set in mind, my parents thought it would be good to learn what it would be like if I lived there this coming fall.  So, we determined that we would use taxis as little, if not at all as possible, and utilize the public transportation system.  Being able to travel around different countries, it didn’t seem that difficult of a task at first…yet I was quite mistaken.

Public transportation systems are great: cheap and get you where you need to go.  Not the cleanest, no, but logical especially if you’re a local in a city where cars are a bit of a nuisance, like SF.  Most are very reliable, yet, you can never really know what will happen, and when you have limited amount of time, a glitch in the system can upset someone’s day-my day.

The first night was easy. Once we landed, we swiped a round trip way ticket for the BART from SF airport to Union Square. The ride was about 25 minutes, and with waiting time maybe 30-40 total.  One of my favorite moments was actually coming up the stairs from the BART, mini roller suitcase in hand, and appearing right in the middle of Union Square.  The grand shopping mall, the lights at night, the people, I felt like a girl in a movie.  Actaully, the BART wasn’t difficult, but my sense of direction was.  Out hotel was just about an 8 minute walk up the street, yet we somehow ended up going up and around in a circle for 15 minutes until we found it.



We did take a taxi to go to Ghiradelli’s…the chocolate was a first priority for me and my mom. We bought 3, 5lb bags of chocolate, and then some.


The next day we toured SF ❤

good morning

good morning


inside St. Ignatius

inside St. Ignatius

such a beautiful campus!

and then problems came. Doing what ever tourist wants, we wanted to take the bus from USF to Golden Gate Park.  My mom studied the buses and lines the night before, we went to Walgreens and bought the day pass for the bus ahead of time, we were set.   The bus took us about 15 minutes of the way, until it suddenly kicked everyone off right in front of the city capitol.  We, and hundreds of others, were unaware the Pro-Life annual protest and march would stop the whole city (this is not meant to be a political statement of my views whatsoever).  All the buses went out of service, and most of the streets around the city capitol were blocked off.

city capitol in middle of Pro-Choice protest

city capitol in middle of Pro-Choice protest


My mom and i walked for a long long number of blocks (got some cool street pics), and ended up waiting for two hours for a taxi.  Traffic was stop-and-go everywhere, people were upset, I was a upset.  This tourist just wanted to see the bridge, which I did! and it was all worth it in the end…but ah. Looking back, it is pretty funny; for a local this was just as infuriating, but for a tourist like me it was kind of nerve-racking not knowing where we were or when/how we would get out/what direction to go.  Basically, it just reminded me how important it is to be prepared when traveling, and accept the fact that things many not always go as planned esp. with public transportation of any kind.

Needless to say, we took taxis for the rest of the trip. I still got to do everything i wanted, and all in all the trip was wonderful. ❤

ultimate tourist spots


Pier 39 JUST for bread bowls & food


passed by in a taxi ;)

from safe in a taxi 😉


Union Square Mall-one of the most amazing places to shop I’ve ever been to in my life


typical tourist pic


For our last dinner in the city we went to a local Chinese Restaurant called R&D with it’s signature salted crab. SO GOOD. Recommended!

Touristing in SF is so fun, hopefully one day I can call this city my home.

be authentic & seek adventure


4 thoughts on “San Francisco: Tourists and Transportation

  1. Moritz says:

    SF is such an amazing town. It got so much more flair than LA and most other cities in California. You’d be very glad to call this city your home one day 🙂

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