San Francisco, Yosemite and awesomeness while getting tattooed

Hi everyone,

Who knows me, knows that I’m already back home – I haven’t written something since, because: jetlag. I thought that because 6 years ago I didn’t have a jetlag from Australia I wouldn’t have any trouble getting back to the real world this time either. How wrong was I! My lovely Lilian reminded me: I’m getting old!

I’ve been home for about a week now, and I still miss my last city, San Francisco. Not just because of the city, also because of the people I met during my hiking trip to Lake Tahoe and Yosemite NP and the fun I had getting tattooed. I didn’t just get a tattoo, but opened a new chapter of my life and my awesome tattoo artist set me up with a new favourite word + tic. Thanks Kim, it was my favourite tattoo session EVER!

San Francisco
I arrived at the airport in the middle of the night and managed to get on the last train to the city center (thanks to a local at the airport who helped me get through the airport and to my train station!), and the next morning I grabbed myself a map and wanted to explore the city immediately. I looked on the map and decided to walk to the Golden Gate Bridge and explore that part of the city. It didn’t look that far on the map, but JEEEEZ San Francisco makes it a sport to make streets go up and down so steep you can’t stand still because you’ll start walking backwards.

steep SF street

Not-Used-To-That! Definitely not as a Dutch person. But I had a lot of fun exploring the city. After a loooooong time I finally saw the Golden Gate Bridge. Which was awesome! Didn’t walk across because I’d been walking all day already, but I am going to come back to SF as soon as I can and then maybe rent a bike 🙂

Golden Gate Bridge1.png

Golden Gate Bridge2

I didn’t do much in SF except for walking around and seeing stuff, but most of my photo’s are on my camera (and I only have my phone with me right now) so you’ll just have to believe me when I saw that I had a great time!

Lake Tahoe & Yosemite
I had booked a 3 day tour to Lake Tahoe and Yosemite, and to be honest it was quite disappointing… Instead of 5 hours per day in the bus we had an average of 8 hours on the bus and just a few hours to spend at Yosemite. Lake Tahoe was a little better, because our campsite was near the lake and we had an evening program on a boat, but in general I expected more of it – and I heard most people felt that way – which is a pity. But well, the time I did get to spend there was AWESOME!

Lake Tahoe

On the road.png

Mirror Lake Yosemite.png

The last photo has a great memory! I was walking in Yosemite with one of the girls I met on the tour and we both wanted to go to Mirror Lake (see picture above). After a while I was just looking around to see the mountains around the lake and suddenly I heard: “Sam, are you coming or what?” – and there she was, already halfway in the lake! We had too little time to do the entire hike so we had to make a shortcut somewhere. She decided that with the warmth this was the best solution. At first I thought she was insane, but I thought it was awesome that we actually walked through the lake.

Getting tattooed
Thursday was one of the days I looked forward to most. Which at first I thought was strange, because you can get tattooed anywhere. Why would this be so special? Well, because I wanted to get a tattoo while traveling, about my travels and special memories. So, a few months before I left for the US I found an awesome tattoo artist online (Kim Stace Thomas from Mermaids Tattoo Studio in San Francisco) who was so great in helping me out with designing my tattoo concept. So I really looked forward to meeting her and getting tattooed by her.

And I was not disappointed by the experience! My new tattoo consist of a combination-skyline of the Sydney Opera House, the Golden Gate Bridge and a ferris wheel – partially because every big city I’ve been to has some kind of ferris wheel, and partially because it reminds me of my sister and grandpa going on the ferris wheel and taking pictures all the time 🙂 And of course the nights sky and water to have a reflection of the skyline.
Normally when I get tattooed the artist doesn’t talk much and doesn’t let me talk much, because they have to focus, but Kim warned me that either she or I should be talking because it helps her focus. I came in to the studio at noon and I think I left by 5pm, and there wasn’t a minute of silence or awkwardness. Just complete awesomeness. Awesome (and variations of that word) is my new favourite word. I told Kim I have Tourettes and occasionally get a new tic, so she put emphasis on one of the words she said most during our 5 hour meet, which was the word awesome. I think she wanted to give me a tic – and I have to say it is an AWESOME tic. So thanks!

My tattoo is on the outside my underarm, where I had a pretty bad chemical burn from a year ago. And now you can’t see there’s ever been scars in the first place! It’s so good to have people not give me sad or judging looks because of that. I’m happy and grateful that Kim believed my skin could take it and to try it anyway. Getting the tattoo truely hurted worse than all my other tattoos combined, but wow it was SO worth it!

When it’s healed up properly and I’m allowed to post a picture of it I will, somewhere!

Back to reality!
I loved my trip, definitely my days in San Francisco were the best and I’m going back there as soon as I can! I miss SF but had the most fun in a long time. Now I have 5 weeks left to prepare for my next internship (as a psychiatric nurse intern on a closed ward in a mental health hospital), so on monday I’ll be starting with my assignments and research!

And OMG I’m soon going to do something I’m terrified about: take up a martial arts class again at an MMA center near me – it’s been too long since I’ve done something with that! Going back to my strong self. If I don’t die in my first classes I’ll write about it soon.

Big hugs for all of you, stay awesome!

Love, Sam