When you travel, some days are filled with excitement and adventure. You meet great people, you see incredible sceneries and even the food at night is new and fulfilling. There are other days you spend mostly sitting around and waiting, looking at your phone and just hoping it will end.
Leaving our last camp site we drive to the RV rental return place in Dublin, California. Funny, since I was in the real Dubdub only a few weeks ago. I also notice there’s a lot fewer pubs in this area than in foot golf & champagne place, but on the bright side (no pun intended), it is a lot sunnier here.
Time to say goodbye
We’ve almost touched the 1000 miles, getting stuck on 986 miles, or a little over 1500 km. Not that much, when you think about it. The week before we got into the RV we more than doubled that with a normal car, but I guess the RV was just rather slow and cumbersome and so we couldn’t make a lot of distance anyway.
It’s been a bit of a love/hate affair to be honest. The first couple of hours, I hated every minute of it. Stepping into this big, rattling machine that kept getting blown away by the air displacement of the big lorries here was the least favourite part of my trip. But then it got better. And better. It brought us to places we otherwise could have never reached, places where we would not have been able to stay the night otherwise. Four weeks in this thing was never gonna be great, but one week was actually a really good idea.
We’ve returned the RV and after a bit of waiting we are now in a shuttle from the RV rental place to the airport. There is coffee, and a bit of sun and Annemiek takes the opportunity to try to get a bit of a tan by reading in the sun.
It’s Holland! Well, close. The water is higher than the land and I’m driving on a DYKE. So stoked!
One of the massive bridges leading us back into the main land.
After a man with a moustache plays tetris with our luggage, a 12 lane highway and that very man with his moustache bring us to San Francisco Airport. It’s nice to be driven around for a bit, and we are joined by a German family, a man with his two daughters and his wife. *with thick german accent* “Where did you pick up ze Arr vieee?”
We chitchat for a bit and when he’s on the phone I realise travelling with three women in one small camper van has taken its toll on the man, he is in slight pain. He says sarcastically to the person on the other side “Yeah do not worry about zhat, we have plenty of luggage, just to be sure,” Herr Schickelgruber says, “well, what do you ekzpect travelling witz zhree girls..?” Poor man, I immediately sympathise with him.
For a moment I consider opening one of the cold beer in my backpack, embracing the man and starting to sing “Ein prosit, ein prosit, ein prooohoooosiiit!” I’m sure he’d appreciate it. (Btw, I don’t usually carry around cold beers just like that for emergencies like this one, we had to empty the fridge in the RV and I refused to abandon the Coronas).
All my hours playing GTA have lead me up to this moment…
Would you like fries with that?
Arriving at the airport we go to pick up our rental car and wait a
little lot more. I notice it’s hard to stay happy and positive when the line’s not moving and the people around you start getting grumpy. There’s a short guy standing close to me in line who reminds me a lot of Charlie Sheen somehow. He’s wearing brightly coloured shoes with palm trees on them and a t-shirt that says something about a gym. His happy shorts contrast with his mood as he starts shouting to the people behind the counters “This is a Disney quality line right here, buddy. I expect a nice ride later on.” The waiting continues for quite a bit.
When it’s finally Charlie Sheen’s turn at the counter he goes: “I have no reservation, I want a regular size car, I do not need full insurance, and the refuelling service is not necessary either. This is my drivers licence and my credit card you can directly charge it to my account, let’s hurry up and make this line a little shorter, shall we?” The dude behind the counter -rather wittily- responds with: “Would you like fries with that, sir?”
Then it is our turn and the man behind the counter gets all excited when he sees what kind of car we are getting. “A brand new 2016 Ford Fusion, sir. You’re very lucky, it hasn’t even been released and you get to drive it.” He is obviously more excited than I am but maybe I am a bit braindead from the long wait.
Standing, waiting, wishing. Charlie Sheen is somewhere behind the dude in front of me. You write and you learn. I just learned I should have taken a picture of him. Next time.
This is how San Francisco looks when you drive into town. Isn’t it pretty?
Sooo nice to go for a swim after a week of being not too clean..!
Hello San Fran
Heading up to the hotel we drive into the city and towards Fisherman’s wharf. The first meet with the city is a crowded but friendly one. The traffic is already pretty bad, even though it’s relatively early, but the city is beautiful. Big, tall buildings form the skyline while trees colour the streets. San Francisco has a friendly vibe over it, with broad lanes, cyclists and lots of green. It’s almost a European city.
When we’ve checked into the hotel I go for a cheeky swim and then we’ll set out to discover the town. We turn around the corner and head into the pier area and our first ideas about the city only get better. It’s a very lively and cosy part of town with a harbour, lots of little restaurants, and live music everywhere. With the sun still high up in the sky we sit down at a table with a gorgeous view over the fisherman’s ships and get served by our lovely waiter Tim, who takes good care of us.
I order an avocado salad with shrimp, which turns out to be two half avocados with some shrimps on it. I wonder what the standard 10 euro avocado salad must have been had I not ordered the shrimp on it. Anyway, it’s a lovely evening and the waiting of earlier today at the RV and the car rental place is long forgotten before the sun dips in the sea behind the Golden Gate Bridge. Before that, though, we stroll around the wharf a little, check out the little shops and the sea lions at pier 39 before returning to the hotel.
So after a very slow morning with lots of waiting we’ve reached a beautiful new city that seems to excite immediately. San Francisco is a lovely, lovely city. Let’s see some more of it tomorrow!
The cosy Fishermans Wharf!
View from my chair at the restaurant. If you look (very) closely you can see the Golden Gate Bridge
Annemiek being very impressed with a boat. It’s a boat. Come on.
Being very serious for a pier shot
Foca’s! (Spanish for seals – what’s the difference between a seal and a sea lion anyway, anyone knows?)
I love you, San Francisco.
This is where I am right now (my mom said this would be a good idea):
READ NEXT: WASH ME.