Day of adventure in San Francisco

The day after my wonderful time with The Puppet School, I was able to be a bit of a tourist. By myself, which might seem lonely, but it is one of my favourite ways to explore. Don’t get me wrong, I love traveling with others, but sometimes it’s nice to set out to see new things on your own. True, you can only share the memories with yourself afterwards, but sometimes that’s okay. Besides, I’m sharing it here with you, now.

So, on my day of adventure, I had to plan ahead. First, I had to check out of my hostel as I was flying out of San Francisco very late that night. That part was simple. They stored my bag and I was ready to head out. I had directions to the Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate park – where I intended to see some animals, but I didn’t know how wonderful that was going to be.

I walked down to the bus stop – one of two recommended to me. And waited. And waited. For at least 45 minutes I waited. Several other buses came,but not the one I needed. Very frustrating. When one finally came, it was so full the driver would not let little old me on the bus. So, at this point, I walked the two blocks to a different location and waited for a different bus. Turns out, this was a fortunate choice. On the bus were two other groups not from San Francisco all checking their maps and going to the same location. Also, someone from San Francisco was going there as well. It wasn’t hard to find, but it is always reassuring to look for something with others.

When I stepped off the bus and walked into the park, I was struck, yet again by the scent of San Francisco. It is a very fragrant city. Every corner you turn there is another smell. The cool scent of being near the ocean, the scent of the sewer, marijuana scent – almost everywhere,  and at the park a floral/sweet scent that I sowished I could identify. But could not. That is one thing I will remember about San Francisco – all the smells.

Then I walked – with some urgency to the Academy. You see, I wanted to see the Penguins being fed. And I was late – due to the bus thing. But as I made it to the doors, more lovely people directed me to where they were and I found them. The session was still going on – although the instructional part had concluded, but I was able to visit with them. It was marvellous. I don’t know why, but I love penguins. I think there must be something wrong with a person, if they didn’t like penguins. They don’t have to love them, like I do, but if they disliked penguins, I’d be suspicious. Anyway, I was so incredibly happy to see them and talk with the guide about them, (and probably really overtired), that I started to get weepy at the sight of them. It was strange, but lovely. I could have spent hours watching them – and in the end, I did. I also came home with several penguin related items. Strange, I know.

The rest of the day, for the most part, was spent exploring the Academy – which is an amazing place. I saw strawberry DNA separated, I saw all manner of animals – both on land and water and I visited their Planetarium. If my feet had not been killing me by 2 or so, I’d probably have managed to see more. I finished my time there back with the Penguins for their second feeding of the day. I was a little more composed this time, but in general I was just feeling extra special and privileged in my trip in general. I’d fulfilled a sort of dream, – working with and making my own puppet, a flawless trip, an easy time of things and though it was coming to close, I had to remind myself that there was another leg to my journey still to come.

After the Academy, I strolled through Golden Gate Park to make it to the Haight/Ashbury area. Fun. I was really fatigued and didn’t have much time, but did get a feel for the area a bit. And, best part of all, found a pair of lovely Miz Mooz shoes – on sale! More wonderful luck. And this time, when I went to catch the bus in came in about 5 minutes.

For the last few hours of my time in San Francisco, I had a real treat. My new friend, Seanna, (who I met in Montreal after watching the Muppets!), picked me up and took me for dinner to her favourite little Mexican restaurante, (Kerry – it was as good as Loco!) But not before she drove me around San Francisco to see it from different angles. It was great. Up to that point, I’d had a very narrow view of the city – just the core and the park and it was so neat to see and experience what it might be like to be a local person. The hills! Oh, the hills – and not just walking up them, but driving – a manual! up those steep, steep hills. We had a great dinner, a lovely visit and she got me to the airport in lots of time to check in for my flight. Again, such a very, very lucky girl.

Now, at this point it was almost 10 p.m. and I’d been up since 9. But, no rest for the wicked, cause the next leg of my adventure was to fly to Atlanta and during my 8 hour stop over, leave the airport and adventure to the Center for Puppetry Arts. So, I’d be exhausted – what else is new? I tell ya, if I felt lucky at this point, I had no idea what was in store for me in Atlanta.

Stay tuned.

Author: Ceris Thomas

Ceris is a creative person. She teaches by day - and finds as much creativity in her job as she can and by night, (and during every spare minute she has), she creates through directing/choreographing and performing plays, drawing, writing, podcasting and now, sewing puppets. She likes to help others find and nurture their creativity and she loves finding out about other people's path to their own creative projects.

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