Post-Pandemic Family Travel. Have You Ventured Out Yet?
We Had a Small Window for Vacation Travel and Decided on a Quick Trip – FLYING – to San Francisco.
I was nervous. It’s been such a long time since the World could travel. We are All Vaccinated, So, Ready to Go!
No super planning. Just 3 Days. Book Flights and Hotel. A Simple Pack and Go Adventure.
Here is What We Learned:
Tip 1. Bring a Stock Pile of MASKS.
Our First Stop – Los Angeles LAX. Masks are Mandatory Everywhere in the Terminal and On the Plane. No Surprise There. I suspect that Travel in the Future will continue to Require Masks. Be Prepared and Have Extras on Hand.
Disposable Face Masks in Black – Amazon LINK.
Tip 2: Food Service at the Airport is Not What You Expect.
This one is tricky. Right Now, All the eating spots we found are take-out only. No in-restaurant seating/dining. I was so looking forward to a fun restaurant while we waited out the long layover, but Nope…So We Braved the Lines…
And Juggled a Croissant and Coffee perched on a Carry-on Bag.
Carry-on Bag in Black – Amazon LINK.
Keep Reminding Yourself that This is All Part of the Incredible Adventure! 🙂
Tip 3: Do Your Research BEFORE Booking the Hotel.
This was a big WHOOPS for Us. The hotel we chose, The Palace Hotel, was lovely, but it had just re-opened Post-Pandemic. I didn’t think this would be a problem. However, Most of the hotel services were not yet available…Van Service from San Francisco Airport to the Hotel – No. Hotel Restaurants – Closed. Concierge to assist with restaurant reservations, and transportation – None. We were on our own – adding to the Adventure.
Tip 4: Select a Base Camp Where You Most Want to Be.
We were totally caught off-guard and just assumed that San Francisco was fully opened. Our Base Camp was in the normally bustling main downtown section of the City, Close to Chinatown. But No Bustle Here, the Streets are Deserted. We quickly learned that the office buildings are still closed. Everyone is Working Remotely from Home. No office workers wandering around. No restaurants that would service the office workers are opened. Many commercial spaces are boarded up. The World Looked Very Twilight Zone-ish from Our Vantage Point.
This is Downtown San Francisco at 9:00 AM, on a Wednesday Morning.
Tip 5: Be Patient. Tread Lightly. Make Every Obstacle an Adventure.
The Palace Hotel is Historic and Breathtakingly Lovely. And We Were Almost the Only Guests Staying There.
I had Visions of The Shining, but It was Interesting to Explore the Titanic-Era Spaces Together, without All the Crowds.
Space for Silly Modeling Sessions in the Empty, but Beautifully Appointed Lobby.
We learned that since its opening in 1875, The Palace Hotel has shut its doors only 3 times.
The First Closure was the April 18, 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and FIre. The Hotel Closed and Rebuilt.
Second Closure was a Major Hotel Renovation from 1989 to 1991.
And the Third Closure – COVID.
Tip 6: Relish the Unexpected.
We were excited to experience All the Landmarks and Traditions of San Francisco….Chinatown Shopping and Eating. Riding the Trollies. A Ferry Trip to Sausalito. Fishermen’s Wharf. Art Museums. Ferry Building Marketplace.
We were Shocked that Most of the Attractions were Still Shuttered.
So, instead of Trolley Rides, We Navigated the Famous Hills On Foot. No Trolley Service Yet.
Chinatown for Dinner…One Restaurant was Open, but About to Close.
We Shared the Last of the Steamed Bao Pork Buns. Delicious.
And One Serving of Noodles.
Chinatown Gift Shoppes Were Opened for Business…but only a few.
And the Buddha Smiled Over it All.
The Ferry Terminal Marketplace, normally a Fast-paced, Upbeat Market, is So Very Quiet.
San Francisco Bay Coffee – Amazon LINK.
Perfectly Peaceful. The Gulls Have Taken Over.
San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge Fog Snow Globe – Amazon LINK.
Buses just started running again. The Rides were Free. Drivers wear Masks and Gloves.
We Rode and Rode. It was Easy and Fun, but Lonely.
The Beach at Ghirardelli Square, all to ourselves.
A Seal is the Solo Sunbather at Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf.
Tip 7: Be Respectful to Everyone.
We did get to experience a Fabulous Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit…
Being Respectful and Mindful of Masks and Social Distancing.
Van Gogh – His Complete Paintings – Amazon LINK.
Tip 8: Remember for Any Vacation, it is the Time Together, Not the Activities Accomplished.
Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate and Caramel Squares – Amazon LINK.
Tip 9: And Just Have Fun!