I have lived in the Bay Area now for about two months, and it has taken that long for me go into the city on my own. I drive into the city just about every Sunday for church, but I usually leave straight from there and certainly don’t spend any time exploring.

I needed to do some Christmas shopping and wanted to get some cool local type things, which I absolutely would not find in Fremont. I knew there were cool shops and street fair type people by the Ferry Building, so I took myself to 511.org to plan my trip. Thankfully, all I needed was one train from the Fremont Bart Station to the Embarcadero Station.

I may never drive into the city again. I absolutely HATE driving on the freeways and in the city; I can feel my blood pressure rise every time I start to merge onto the 880, so it was really nice to not have to worry about traffic or parking or having a heart attack because California drivers are AWFUL. The trip took less time than it would have taken me to drive into the city, not to mention the amount of time it would have taken for me to find parking, plus I got to do homework on the trip. The homework wasn’t fun, but the possibility of doing things other than driving is exciting: I can knit! Or read! Or nap! Except I wouldn’t nap because I would DEFINITELY miss my stop and end up riding the train around all day.

So I get to the Embarcadero station and head for the Ferry Building. My plan for shopping would have been AWESOME, except that it has been raining for like 40 days and nights, or something equally ridiculous, like more than 2 hours, so many of the street vendors did not show up. This did not deter my excitement and sense of adventure, and I had a lovely time wandering around the shops inside the Ferry Building. There was a trio playing holiday music, which was fun to see, in addition to the usual things to see (Tasty Salted Pig Parts! $5 charge for whining! Praise the Lard!).

From there, I hop on the cable car to Chinatown, which was cool, but the most exciting part of it was definitely seeing groups of people dressed as Santa! (And an Easter Bunny. And a couple of leprechauns.) I wish now I had asked where they were all going and if I could come along. What an adventure that would have been!

By that time I was tired and wet because it had been RAINING and OF COURSE I don’t own an umbrella, even though THREE DAYS before, I almost purchased one. I swear to God, I will listen to that niggling voice from now on. And so I went home, pleased with the day’s adventure.