Whenever I am fortunate enough to have the time to look back on all the vacations I've ever been on, it's my trip to San Francisco in the summer of 2009 that I recall the most. I vividly remember the delight and wonder I had in anticipation of making the trip; I could feel that this vacation was going to be different from all the rest. Of course, there was one obstacle that stood in my way: the airplane flight. I had never been on an airplane before, at least not any that I can remember, so in my mind set, there was nothing scarier I could do than to suspend myself a few thousand feet in the air for a few hours. One can imagine how much entertainment I must have brought to my fellow passengers as I jumped in fright every time we experienced some turbulence. But to this day, I still feel justified in my fear; there was no way I was going to trust the sturdiness of a plane that had failed to adequately supply an efficient cup holder for my seat. Every nightmare has an ending, and about three hours into this one, my dad, brother, and I finally made it to San Francisco. The first thing that I noticed was how cold it was outside, although this might have been a result of being raised in Arizona. It must have looked quite odd indeed as we went out of the airport sporting our winter sweaters in the midst of the California summer.
Being typical Americans, we had to try the delicious food San Francisco offered us. We discovered a wonderful restaurant known as Bubba Gump's, which had the exclusive purpose of serving sea food. It wasn't long before I discovered the superiority of shrimp caught fresh off the bay, and it was also at this point that my love of hushpuppies began.
We quickly burned off all the calories gained during that glorious feast as we walked all over town, marveling at the sights that San Francisco had to offer. To me, this was the best part of San Francisco; it was the simple joy of walking through this metropolitan city that was alive with the activity of its inhabitants. Being brought up in the suburbs of Arizona, I had never experienced what life in the city felt like. I was struck with amazement as I looked at the buildings that were firmly rooted in the very asphalt I was walking on. The way in which the buildings were designed seemed to denote that the buildings were in a competition to outgrow each other; for every building that caught your attention, there was another right next to it that stole your attention. Every landmark we visited seemed to have the common goal of receiving the amazement that radiated off you as you observed them. I was astounded by the stalwart cables of the Golden Gate Bridge, I struggled for air through the claustrophobic halls of Alcatraz, I marveled at the towering structure of the Coit Tower. There was never a moment that left me envious of my return home, and by the end of this trip, I had a better appreciation for life in the city than I had before. It is for this reason that these memories have refused to settle in the deep abyss of distant memories. Sometimes, when I am lost in my thoughts, I'll find myself wandering through the endless mazes of San Francisco's streets, glorying in their presence in the same manner as when I first saw them.