Just before departing, my sister and I fill our incubator backpack with ice to contain leftovers and cold water. I could hear my brother fumbling through his pockets by the jingle of his coins, and my Dad starting the engine to speed up our pace. After several delays of my brother apparently forgetting his cigarettes and stopping by the liquor store, along with having to drive back home prior in order to empty out our leaking backpack, we finally arrive in San Francisco with our first stop being what we know San Francisco for, their notorious clam chowder. We stood on Pier 39 in front of a myriad of menus to narrow down the restaurants whose Clam Chowder sounded the tastiest. We sat down to a delicious meal and passed our plates around for the complete experience. However, we made sure to leave enough room for the Pier’s mini sugar coated donuts.
â–º Finalist 2011 Teen Travel Writing Scholarship
Afterwards, we strolled along San Francisco’s rows of vendors creating jewelry, artwork, and even clothing. The smells of the salty ocean, bread baking, and meat grilling, wafted through the air. Men and women painted themselves completely silver to perform as robots and joyously collect tips. Even casually dressed locals hid behind tree branches they clung to their chests to block them from sight and jump out unexpectedly to frighten passer-by’s. There were old buildings made of brick with shedding paint and new buildings adorned with neon colors and lights. Our ears were pulled towards the delightful melody of a jazz singer belting his heart out alongside a cheery base player and toddler drummer who was amazingly talented. Next, we spot the San Francisco National Maritime Park. There, we toured several ships and read spotlighted facts along the way. I admired my father, noticeably nostalgic from his days in the Navy. My siblings and I asked him questions along the way, having him help us with the parks activities such as tying knots. Having him give us a personal tour offered more than any professional tour guide ever could. This must have worked up his appetite for Clam Chowder even more, for he stopped by every place that listed this delicacy on their menu. In the meantime, I was set on fulfilling my sweet tooth at Ghirardelli Square. My sister and I made it our mission to take advantage of the fact that we had to wait nearly half an hour in the line. Therefore, we ordered every smoothie on the menu. By the time I took down Smoothie #1, I realized I wasn’t so hungry after all, finding myself offering smoothies to random locals who could take the burden from my hands.
People filling the streets were so incredibly diverse, but all had gleaming smiles on their faces. It even seemed as if about half of them were foreigners. I put us in that category, for we were rather new to the area as well. In reality, everyone is a foreigner, even if it’s the city you live in. There is always more to see, there is always going to be a place unexplored, even by you. Going to a city just next door and realizing how much I have been missing, I made it my mission to respond to adventures calling my name every day. Whether it be down the street or across the country, everyone, everything, and every place is important. I will leave my mark with a loved one always at my side, for an adventure is nothing if you don’t have someone to reminisce with 20 years down the road.
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