Yesterday was my first day at Golden Gate Park. I've visited San Francisco plenty of times but never made it to this glorious park. I was surprised to learn it is 20% bigger than Central Park! My friend, Will, came down from the East Bay and we explored the eastern half of the park. We started with the hot dog stand by the amphitheater, because priorities. We ate on the benches in front of the theater as some high school looking kids rehearsed their rendition of Twelfth Night. It was kind of adorable and brought back good memories of performing in plays years ago.
After food was taken care of, we started off at the Botanical Garden. I was most amused by the squirrels and geese but the flowers were really beautiful. There were different sections for flowers and plants from all over the world.
Next we got coffee from the de Young museum cafe and saw some of the sculptures just outside. For my first trip to the park, I just wanted to do some of the smaller things and come back to spend a full day at the museums. Then we went over to the Conservatory of Flowers. Since its opening in 1879, the beautiful greenhouse has suffered damage from several fires and a winter storm. Surprisingly it was unaffected by the 1906 earthquake. I don't have a green thumb in the slightest but I can appreciate the beauty of plants and flowers and this is a great place to see them at their finest. There are different rooms within the greenhouse with separate climates to accommodate the variety of tropical, aquatic and potted plants. The lawn in front of the conservatory is beautifully landscaped with colorful flowers abound.
We walked around the park and stopped by the carousel and heard some live music under a bridge. The park was lovely and I can't wait to come back and explore other areas of it.
Later that day, I had dinner plans with my cousin, Lena, but she had some surprises up her sleeve. We met her two girlfriends for dinner and she was super vague but we were also supposed to go to a birthday party of a friend of a friend's afterwards. It turned out that we met a group of her good friends at a karaoke joint as a surprise welcome for me to San Francisco. I continue to be amazed by the love and kindness from those closest to me and their help with this move. I don't know what exactly I plan on doing in this city, but the support I've had along the way makes it feel like the right decision.
“Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.”
- William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night