My first thought when the alarm went off at 7am was disbelief that today we’d be crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. I’d been so focused on taking it one day at a time that I hadn’t noticed how far we’d come. But here we were…well over half way and about to cross one of the most iconic bridges in the world.
We had a nice chat with our hosts MC and John before leaving who also prepared us a healthy breakfast to start as the day. I was feeling tired from our very late night at the fair but too excited to care.
Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge
Our scoot was pleasant as we had a bike lane the whole way, and even had a nice 10km stretch through a park where we could plug in to some music – stopping occasionally to answer the questions of bemused dog walkers.
We reached Salinas where we had arranged to meet Cheryl and Steve (our hosts from Healdsburg) who’d come with bikes to join us for the crossing of the bridge. I was so happy to see them! They even brought their grumpy dog Ellie who sat in a basket hanging on the front of Steve’s bike.
We all began making our way up the huge hill, stopped for obligatory photos and then began crossing the bridge into San Fransisco. It was absolute mayhem – walkers and bikers (and scooterers!) all squashed on one lane going in and out of San Fran with the roar of the road drowning out everything. It was hilarious watching the aggressive commuters yelling at the ignorant tourists getting in the way. The bridge was magnificent and I just couldn’t believe that we actually hear 1000+ miles after leaving Vancouver. It was a great moment.
We parted ways with Cheryl and Steve on the other side. I’ve loved spending time with this couple and hearing stories from the amazing life they have led. They have supported our scoot in so many ways – it was a sad goodbye.
Is this room for real?!
Last time we were in San Fransisco was for our honeymoon (talk about a lot of emotions thrown in to one day!!). We had stayed in a cheap hostel for 3 nights then gone to Burning Man festival where we spent a week in a tent.
Our stay this time couldn’t be more different. We’d splashed our air mile points on a few nights at Marquis Marriott right in the heart of the city. I couldn’t of felt more out of place wheeling our scooters in to the lobby all sweaty and dirty.
After hearing about our scoot and my 30th birthday celebrations, Marriott had a surprise in store for us…we were led all the way to the 32nd floor and shown this HUMUNGOUS room, with a balcony and (the most exciting feature of all) electric drapes!!!!!
The lady handed us our key card and we said thank you. After she’d shut the door behind her we both jumped up and yelled in disbelief. This was insane!!
Back in San Fran
Our time in San Fransisco flew by and (as always!) were not as restful as I’d hoped. We met with a drone videographer at the crack of dawn on day 1 to get some amazing shots of us retracing the last miles of our scoot. The footage will be used in our expedition film.
There was the usual catching up of blogs and admin. We also met with the Jewish Weekly newspaper and got a risky $10 haircut in China town which surprisingly went ok (even though the lady didn’t speak a word of English). And we spent a lot of time preparing and rehearsing our fundraiser talk….our first one being in a couple of days time.
We bumped in to the evil cousin of our scooters just seconds after he’d committed a crime!!!!
The highlight of the stay was watching the 4th July fireworks from our epic balcony. As well as catching a Giants baseball game joined by old friends of Gil’s – Jeremy and Hannah. I actually didn’t even realise the game had started (I thought they were just warming up) and then only 10 minutes from the end realised we were losing as I’d been too busy chatting and eating and didn’t really understand what was going on. The most exciting part was the kiss-o-gram and we even saw a proposal. Cute!
I wish we could spend another week in the city.
Do we have to leave?
We scooted out of the Marquis Marriott at 8am after enjoying our last club breakfast. Well that was a pleasant stay indeed 🙂
We scooted out of the city and through a place called Brisbane that felt really dodgy. The wealth (and colour) divide is sadly huge in America. It made me feel a bit on edge as we aren’t exactly inconspicuous on our scooters.
Today’s was taking forever because we had to stop every 100m for traffic lights. Start, stop, start, stop. It was driving me mad.
We reached a bigger road void of traffic lights – hooray – and finally got some speed up. Nearing Mountain View, our end destination, we found ourselves on another ‘start/stop’ road with a million stop signs. They really confuse me…we all get to a junction and stop then all do this hesitating, not sure who to go first thing because we all arrived at the same time. Roundabouts all the way I say.
Jeremy’s parents were hosting us for the night and Gil had lots to catch up on as he had stayed with them 7 years ago just before he met me in Guatemala. We all enjoyed a Shabbat dinner with Jeremy and Hannah.
Gil demonstrating his Aikido moves!
Let the fundraising begin
We were up early as Gil wanted to scoot to a nearby Aikdo school that he had spent a week practising in when he was last here. He’s a big fan of the martial art. He did an hour class (while I read) and then gave a brief talk. Everyone was really generous with their donations and we raised $332.
It meant we had a longer day scooting but I didn’t mind. I enjoyed the afternoon scoot passing Stanford and Pal Alto looking at all the insane expensive houses.
The focus for the next few days was giving fundraising talks. We spent the first night with the cousin of Gils grandma who we didn’t even know about until a few months ago. They felt like family instantly…I’d recognise those chubby cheeks and bush eyebrows anywhere!
We then stayed with Nichole and Skylar. Nichole did the Love Her Wild Everest adventure with me last year (we attempted to hike the height of Everest over 5 days in the Lake District). It was so lovely seeing her again and having a friendly face after 2 months on the road.
I got an infection in my thumb…mega painful!!
We delivered a talk at Sunday Assembly Silicon Valley, the San Fransisco West Rotary club (which meant a 5am start to get back to the city in time!) and 23andMe (Nichole’s work place). It was a tiring few days delivering the talks and traveling between them all. It’s taken a lot of work organising them and worrying if they’ll be successfully or not. But this is a really important part of our expedition. I really hope it will help push our fundraising over our 10k target.
We also had a bit of fun in between. Visiting the Japanese gardens, having an indulgent take out and trash Tv night with Nichole and Skylar. We even got a private tour of Googleplex which sucked because visitors can’t go on the slide for insurance reasons….rubbish!
We are doing this expedition to raise money for ACE. Please help us build a school in Tanzania by donating here. Thank you…..your support means a lot!!!
This expedition is being supported by Vivo Life!