We arrived to San Francisco and checked into our cute house in Haight that we booked through Air B&B.
As we went to explore the neighbourhood and have a late night dinner and a drink, I received a message from Shavez from Alliance San Francisco, inviting us to train the next day. Lachie and I were both so excited by the prospect of training in a gi again.
We had 3 full days in SF and fit quite a lot in. Here is a re cap:
Alliance San Francisco
Our first session was at Alliance San Francisco run by Mestre Itabora Ferreira. Shavez, who I met through the FB BJJ community picked us up from the train station and drove us to the club. This place had one of the best vibes in a jiu jitsu gym I’ve ever been to. Everyone was super friendly, we were warmly welcomed, and to top it off about half of the class were women.
After a few cool drills, Lachie got to teach a technique and then we had a few rolls. The girls were super technical and it was a pleasure to train with them. Mestre Itabora is very knowledgable, with a great sense of humor, and it is easy to see how he developed such a great culture in his club.
After training, Shavez took us out for some sushi and beer to top off a great night.
We also visited 10th Planet BJJ, run by Denny Prokopos. I was really looking forward to doing some no gi with no gi specialists and experience some rubber guard goodness.
Denny taught a few combos from closed guard, which I can’t wait to drill and use in the future as part of my game. All the guys had great closed guards and it has inspired me to work on my subs from there. Lachie had some great rolls as well and we left happy and content with a bit of training after all the burgers and thickshakes consumed.
1) Golden Gate Bridge Bike Ride
Josh, our Air B&B host lent us bikes, together with instructions on where to go and how to get home. We set off in the morning and were blessed with amazing weather for autumn – not a cloud in the sky!
We cycled about 10km to Golden Gate and then made our way across the bridge with frequent photo stops…the views were amazing! On the other side of the bridge, Shavez suggested we take a left and go up a big hill for some more sights. I know I used to be a cyclist, but I was never known for my climbing abilities. My legs did not enjoy the ride as much as my eyes and I did get to taste the familiar sting of lactic acid.
After a long stop for some more photos, we descended down to a picturesque, pretty and amazing little town called Sausalito. After a perfect burger and a thickshake, we boarded the ferry back to Fisherman’s Wharf, where we finally got to see the Sea Otters lazing around in the sunset.
I am embarrassed to say that during our ride home, I had to get off the bike a couple of times and push it uphill. Yep, I am a true hubbard. FU HILLS!
It was a perfect day!
We booked a $30 return ferry from Pier 33 to Alcatraz.
It was pretty cool to learn about the history, explore the island and a little bit creepy to step inside the cells. Apart from the wind chill factor, it was another beautiful day with incredible views of the whole SF and the Golden Gate Bridge from Alcatraz.
3) California Academy of Sciences
Coffee in hand, we walked from our house in Haight to the California Academy of Sciences through the Golden Gate Park. The $29.95 fee was well worth it and we spent a few hours exploring the museum. The highlight was definitely the Cosmic Collisions show played at the Planetarium. Being science geeks, California Academy of Sciences is highly recommended.
The neighbourhood which we stayed in is known for it’s hippie subculture. Besides beautiful, typical San Francisco-style houses, Haight is home to a number of independent restaurants and bars, as well as clothing boutiques, booksellers and record stores. Walking through the main street, it was hard not to feel stoned as we passed numerous groups of hippies and bums smoking pot and eating gluten free wholemeal brownies. It’s quite a sight and if you want to understand more, I suggest watching the San Francisco and Hippies South Park episodes.