South San Francisco

We started our road trip in San Francisco 10 days ago and today was the last part of driving back to our starting point.

We drove past the big giants in the Silicon Valley again but this time saw Oracle, Dell, IBM and the NASA Research Center, among others.

We arrived around 2 pm and wanted to use the afternoon and the evening to enjoy San Francisco a bit longer.

We were considering staying in the Union Square, in Fisherman’s Wharf or close to the airport because tomorrow we fly out. We had trouble finding a hotel because there is a fair in town and all the hotel prices tripled suddenly, especially in the city. There is a big traffic in the city and there are no parking lots or at least none that are affordable so our only option left was to stay near the airport.

The hotels at the airport are also very expensive but we eventually found one we could pay for without having a shock because of the price. We also decided to keep the rental car till tomorrow (we booked it till today) and return it directly at the airport before catching our flight because if you are staying in this area you will need a car!

I was a bit afraid because the hotel in Jamestown was also Americas Best Value like the one we picked in San Francisco. The one in Jamestown was terrible so my expectations were very low! But I was positively surprised by this one in San Francisco and felt quite comfortable to stay here for the night.

Where to stay:

Americas Best Value Inn & Suites San Francisco Airport
701 Airport Blvd (Pine Ave.) South San Francisco, CA

After checking in we considered driving to the city but we already stayed 5 days in the Fisherman’s Wharf and pretty much visited everything there is to visit in the city of San Francisco. Also waiting in traffic jams is not my favorite way of spending the last few hours on this trip. So we decided to go to a nearby mall to shop and to see a movie in the cinema also located in the mall. The closest to the hotel is 5-7 minutes away with the car.

Where to shop:

The Shops at Tanforan
1150 El Camino Real San Bruno, CA

I was a bit worried about the neighborhood of South San Francisco because I don’t know the areas here and I am always trying to avoid the areas that are less safe and more dangerous. We don’t look local and we speak with an accent so it’s easy to spot us as tourists and I guess tourists are pretty easy targets.

Nevertheless as we were driving to the mall we realised that this is a normal residential area like any other. There are lots of houses, some small and poor, some big and rich. I felt safe which was important.

We arrived to the mall within minutes and after locating a nice restaurant (we try to avoid those fast food self-service places) we enjoyed our lunch-dinner (it was too late for lunch and too early for dinner) and afterwards picked up a coffee and shared a cheesecake too.

Where to eat:

BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse
1150 El Camino Real (The Shops at Tanforan) San Bruno, CA

We also did a little bit of shopping but I find these clothing stores here so crowded with items and usually with no structure in organization that I can’t find anything I like. I also lose my interest fast when I have to digg through a bunch of stuff to pull out something I would like.

And what’s with locking the fitting rooms? It’s so annoying having to ask the staff to let me go into one to try on the things I picked out, especially if nobody is there and I have to wait long for them to come. Most of the times I just leave.

The sizes here are also different from Europe and it annoys me that I have to try on more sizes to find the right one. Also the shape of jeans are different and I can barrely find one that fits me properly.

After all the eating and drinking and shopping, it was time for some entertainment too. There are a lot of good movies running now and we had difficulty choosing between Despicable Me 2, Monster University and World War Z. We picked Despicable Me 2 eventually, it’s currently number 1 in the box office. It was good but like with all sequels the first one was better.

I found this movie theater nice and big with 20 theaters alltogether. they could clean it though because the hallway and the theater was full with popcorn.

What’s interesting in the movie theaters here compared to Europe is that you can sit anywhere you like instead of having given a seat number.

Also you are not allowed to bring in any food and drinks you have bought at other places. The ticket was not expensive but a small popcorn and a medium coca cola costs over 10$.

By the way you can ask for butter on your popcorn which I didn’t but found interesting. And there is no sweet popcorn here, I think that’s only in Germany where people eat only the sweet one and find the salty strange. I do not like sweet popcorn at all, popcorn has to be salty for me!

What to do:

– Go to the movie theater

Century at Tanforan and XD
1188 El Camino Real (in Tanforan Center) San Bruno, CA

So we shared the popcorn and the coke and I have a feeling that I won’t be able to sleep tonight because of the coffein. I have no problems sleeping if I drink coffee but coca cola keeps me up most of the night.