Around this time last year, myself and my friend Emma were living it up in San Francisco. I had wanted to go and see San Fran and Alcatraz for years. We went for 5 nights and we packed a lot in. Unfortunately, my camera lens started to die while I was there so I took most of my photos on my iPhone. Then to top that off, during the night on the  second night, my phone had some sort of meltdown and I had to bring it to the Apple store the next day where they had no choice but to completely reset it, so I lost all of the photos from the first two days, including Alcatraz. Oh and did I mention that our suitcases never made the flight? Mine turned up within about 15 hours but Emma’s didn’t show for about 48 hours. Sounds like a nightmare doesn’t it?!

To be honest, I forgot about all of those crappy things until I sat down to write this post. They are definitely not the take aways from the trip. The only downer about it is that I don’t have many photos of Alcatraz and I have absolutely none from the food trucks at Presidio Park. 

We fit in so much into such a short trip. We were up at about 6am every day and fell asleep about 10 or 11pm at the latest every night. The day we arrived we went to The Castro District. The Castro was one of the first gay neighbourhoods in the United States. Some of the pedestrian walkways are made up of the rainbow flag colours that represent the LGBT community. When we were in San Francisco, the Orlando nightclub shooting had only recently happened and there was a very touching tribute to the victims of the shooting at The Castro.

The Castro District

After visiting The Castro, we got a taxi up to the top of Twin Peaks. We took some pictures and got some great views of the city of San Francisco. By the time we finished there, we went back to the hotel (hoping our luggage had arrived – it hadn’t!) and then went for some food. 

Twin Peaks

We woke at about 5am and decided this was the best morning to head to the Sausalito side of the Golden Gate Bridge to watch the sun come up. This was by far the highlight of my trip. We got soooo lucky because it was a really great sunrise. We got pizza blankets (I know, amazing!!) and went back a few mornings later but the sunrise wasn’t nearly as nice. After watching the sun come up, we waked back across the bridge. It was a lovely walk. I’ve read and heard plenty of people saying that they wouldn’t suggest walking all the way across. I disagree completely. I loved the walk so much, we did it twice. 


Pizza blankets

After the walk back, we went to get some breakfast and then went to see Lombard Street which was really busy but the houses along the road are really nice with some gorgeous flowers too. 

How beautiful? (Emma may kill me because she’s in this photo!)

 After Lombard Street we went to Presidio Park. We went to see the Walt Disney museum, which really isn’t worth a trip in my opinion. Then we went out to the food trucks in the park, which was another highlight of my trip. Unfortunately, I have absolutely no pictures of it, but if you go to San Fran, I would definitely recommend it. We sat out in the sun, enjoying a cocktail and trying some delicious food. 

After Presidio Park, we went to Alcatraz. I was so excited for this and took a million photos and lost them all so I only have this one below that was saved to my Snapchat of me in one of the cells. The tour was brilliant and there’s something so creepy about the place. 

An Alcatraz cell

We were exhausted after it and went straight home to bed. Then my phone died so we spent a couple of hours the next morning in the Apple store before jumping on the hop on/hop off bus. This way we got to see a lot more without getting off the bus. 

We got off the bus at Pier 39. I was a bit disapointed because there wasn’t many sea lions out. The whole area had a real holiday vibe to it with restaurants and amusements and shops. Then we walked to Fisherman’s Wharf. Again, it reminded me of that Irish seaside town vibe, but a bit warmer and prettier. (Did I mention San Francisco had a heat wave while we were there and my scalp and shoulders burnt to a crisp?).


We got an In-N-Out Burger, which we had been looking forward to and it was so worth the wait. Delicious. I’ll never look at a Big Mac the same way again. Since we were so close, it would have been rude not to pop into Ghirardelli’s. If you are unfamiliar, it’s a chocolate company and it’s famous for it’s ice-cream sundaes. 

We paid for two days on the bus tour and we got to see China Town, The Oakland Bridge and Coit Tower. We also went to Haight & Ashbury which amazingly still felt like it had the hippie vibe that would have been there in the 1967 Summer of Love. We went from there to see the Painted Ladies which were absolutely beautiful. It was busy but not so busy that you couldn’t get a photo of them. I will say, as pretty as they are, I definitely saw some nicer houses scattered around San Francisco. We also went to see the Mrs Doubtfire house which was awesome, even if the taxi driver had never seen the movie and thought we were crazy.

Painted Ladies

We also managed plenty of shopping (hello Sephora!), lots of eating and a little drinking. We even fit in a visit to an Irish bar to watch Ireland beat Italy 1-0 in the 2016 Euros. So all in all, we had an amazing trip to San Francisco. It absolutely rivalled New York as my favourite place that I’ve been to in the United States. Now I have a favourite on each coast and I will definitely go back.

Is there anything I missed on my trip that you could recommend for next time?

Always time for a selfie

 A couple of years ago I took a trip up to Northern Ireland with my mam to go to the Giant’s Causeway as I’ve always wanted to see it. There’s a lot to do along the Causeway Coast and I had heard about the Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge so we decided to go there after the Giant’s Causeway. I have a fear of heights and I’ve always thought of this as a good way to face that fear. In hindsight, I don’t think the bridge was high enough l, at 100ft, to overcome my fear of heights but it was exhilarating and my heart was beating fast. Walking back across the bridge was a lot more daunting because I knew by then how much the wind rocked the bridge and how unstable it felt. I would recommend the Causeway Coast and the Carrick-A-Rede rope bridge for anyone visiting Ireland or Northern Ireland, it’s an absolutely beautiful part of the country.

Find out more about the Carrick-A-Rede rope bridge here!

The Anfield Stadium Tour

This week, one year ago, I went on the Anfield Stadium Tour with my Mam. We’d been to see Steven Gerrard’s last home game for Liverpool the day before. It was the first time I’d seen Liverpool lose at Anfield. United won 2-1 and Gerrard was sent off after 38 seconds on the pitch, so I really needed something to cheer me up.Okay, the drinks in Mathew Street the night of the match helped too. I’ve been to Anfield for matches loads of times but the tour was always booked out. This time we decided, as it was just the two of us going over, we’d book it in advance. It was great to get the background history of the stadium and to see where the team hangs out, the press room and the changing room, as well as a tour of the pitch and the dugout. A lot has changed in a year and now that seat I’m sitting in, in the picture above, belongs to Jurgen Klopp. I’m looking forward to the future as a Liverpool fan and I’d recommend this tour to any supporter of the club. 

Graduationgraduation3

Not only did I get a degree but I graduated with my mam. This was one of those things I wanted to achieve but didn’t really enjoy very much. I love learning. I appreciate anything I can learn but I really don’t enjoy assignments. I’m definitely glad I did it though and I won’t rule out returning to education again. You’re never too old and It’s never too late.

Rescuing a Dog

Okay I’m not sure Lady actually counts because we didn’t go to a shelter and adopt her, but we took her in and kept her when she had no other home. She was hanging around the pitch and putt club my mam is a member of and nobody wanted to take her. It was raining really heavily that night so my mam brought her home. Needless to say Chief didn’t like it one bit. He wasn’t the most social dog in the world and still isn’t. The next day we brought her to the vet and she had no microchip. The vet joked that she would be the next fat dog (like Chief) and that we would be back within a week to register her and have her spayed. That definitely wasn’t the plan at the time. We contacted the Gardai (police) and no-one was looking for her. We later found out that someone saw people throwing her out of a van so she wasn’t lost but unwanted. That pretty much decided it. It took a while but Chief came around to her and most of the time they’re great pals. Unfortunately Lady is a very nervous dog and is afraid of strangers, particularly men. It takes a long time for her to warm up to people, she’s terrified of strange men and sometimes she snaps at Chief and we see signs of the life she lived before, but most of the time she’s very loving. When we found her she was roughly a year and a half old based on the vet’s estimation. We had to choose a birthday around November/December for her so we chose the 8th of December, which is John Lennon’s anniversary so it was a no-brainer. She was six on her last “birthday”. Her favourite things to do include licking people’s faces (and Chief’s), barking at cats, going for walks and taking anything that Chief has/wants.