San Francisco – Dec 29, 2023

Today, I got to check off something on my bucket list. I visited the headquarters of Cloudflare and got to see the lava lamp wall that is partially responsible for encrypting 25% of the traffic on the Internet. They use images of the wall to generate truly random numbers that are used in the encryption process. While I was in that mode, I checked out the headquarters of Reddit. I then visited Cable Car Museum and then moved on to Golden Gate Park to visit the Redwood Grove and the bison paddock. I ended the day early due to the rain that moved into the area which is enough that they issued both coastal and areal flood warnings.

San Francisco – Dec 28, 2023

Today was a pretty fun day. I started the day off by riding the Powell & Hyde Cable Car from the Hyde St & Beach St stop to the Powell St & Market St stop and back again. Both stations were the end of the line and they used a hand operated turntable to change the direction of the cable cars. After my cable car adventure I rented a bicycle and spent the rest of the day exploring. I started at Pier 39, rode over the Golden Gate Bridge, visited Fort Baker, and finished up at Baker Beach before riding back to Pier 39. I made several stops along the way and was able to see the Wave Organ, Torpedo Warf, Presidio Tunnel Tops, Moore Road Pier, Battery Boutelle, and Pacific Overlook. I highly recommend exploring San Francisco by bike if you ever have the chance because it is a great experience.

San Francisco – Dec 27, 2023

I covered quite a bit of ground today.  On top of the buses, etc. I ended up walking about 13 miles.  It was worth it though because I got to see a lot of things.  I was able to visit Chinatown, Coit Tower, the Ferry Building, Painted Ladies, the Japanese Tea Garden in the Golden Gate Park, the North Vista Point of the Golden Gate Bridge, Palace of Fine Arts, Lucasfilms, Lombard Street, and Pier 39.  One of the highlights of my day was unexpectedly spotting a Banksy painting near Chinatown.  Speaking of Chinatown, some of the murals there are pretty impressive.  I was also particularly fond of watching the sea lions at Pier 39 and could have spent hours there.  The one big downside to today was that it rained for the vast majority of the day which wasn’t exactly ideal for photography, but I tried to make it work.

San Francisco – Dec 26, 2023

Today, I traveled to San Francisco from Baltimore International Airport (BWI). My first flight was to Charlotte (CLT) and then I caught a second flight from Charlotte to San Francisco International Airport (SFO). The day started pretty smoothly with fairly low crowds and no wait at all to get through security at BWI. Things changed though once I boarded my first flight because there was a small maintenance issue and they needed to process the “paperwork”. Waiting for the “paperwork” caused the flight to take off 1 ¼ hours late and I almost missed my connecting flight, I caught it with 5 minutes to spare. Once I landed in San Francisco I caught a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) train to Embarcadero and then a San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (MUNI) street car to Fisherman’s Wharf, where I’m staying. One of my favorite things to do when visiting a new city/area is figuring out its public transportation.