Road Trippin’: Day 17 – Hiking in San Francisco

Republic hit the road for 18 days to find free WiFi. Follow along with us on our crazy adventure by subscribing to our blog. See you on the road!

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Our trip is almost over! Oh dear, it’s been long. We’re ready to be home at this point, but at the same time, we’ll miss our tiny space crammed into the back of a Subaru Outback on our quest for free WiFi. Still two days left to go though!

I was a particular fan of the local graffiti.
I was a particular fan of the local graffiti.

We began this day with brunch at a great little spot in San Francisco called the Radish. You sign your name on a free-hanging clipboard nailed to the wall outside. Even standing outside, waiting for our table, my phone lit up and let me know I could use the restaurant’s free WiFi. I love California! WiFi is everywhere.

After a great meal, we got to hang out at a friend’s nearby loft. He makes boats and somehow found a place with a built-in workshop for constructing said boats. Free WiFi there, needless to say. After working off our meals in a sitting position for a couple good hours, we decided to check out the town and headed for the city center. Once we got there, you guessed it: we had to get some ice cream. But not just any ice cream. San Francisco is home to the famous It’s-It ice cream sandwich.  I don’t even like mint and chocolate together, but maaaaaaaan, the mint chocolate chip It’s-Its we got were awesome! (Oh, and the Valencia Whole Foods we bought them in also had free WiFi.)

Ok Google Now...you're kinda creepy.
Ok Google Now…you’re kinda creepy.

Now I’ve talked a lot about coverage and Republic’s seamless handover between WiFi and cell on this trip. You’ve seen the pictures the phone took. But a feature I haven’t really gotten into came in handy today: Google Now. In just the couple days we’ve been staying in Oakland, my phone has learned that it is my “home base”, and Google Now automagically informs me how long it will take to ride the subway back to my friend’s apartment. Without having to do anything, my phone knows that my flight home is the next day and has travel time to the SF airport already mapped out. And, it suggested the top 30 things to do while walking around the city. It’s almost creepy, but honestly welcome, like my phone knew what I needed before I realized I wanted to ask. “Oh, top photo spots nearby while you kill time? Done.” It’s really cool stuff. It feels like a phone that is actually smart.

Soon, our other San Franciscan friends showed up to go on a hike. This was immediately hilarious because they drive a tiny hatchback car…and there were three of us and two of them. They are also apparently part of Doggy Vacay, a pet sitting service that lets you leave animals with a trusted network of people whenever you go out of town. My friends had three dogs! A German Shepherd, a small Pomeranian/Chihuahua mix, and another dog I couldn’t identify, but that had the most human-like expressions I’ve ever seen on an animal. The car was packed. Imaging three grown men, each with a tiny dog on their lap on the way to this hike. We were glad to get out of the car once we got there.

Just an hour outside of San Francisco, we found a nice ranch with trails up into the hills. We reached the top and watched the sunset. The camera on my Moto X took some fantastic photos. At the start of the hike, I had full 3G coverage – about three bars of it. Then, about halfway, it switched over to roaming, but I was still able to make calls and texts if I needed to. I even uploaded a couple pics to Facebook while up there.

Look at that view and all that connectivity down there.
Look at that view and all that connectivity down there.

From there, we ventured back to the city, caught the sub to Oakland, and grabbed dinner at Homeroom Mac and Cheese. OMG!!! I got the Vermont White Cheddar with bacon and broccoli. It was amazing! The definition of comfort food and perfect after a long hike. We relaxed at my dog-sitting friends’ place the rest of the night (free WiFi!). Then it was time to turn in, for tomorrow brings the long flight home!

Blue skies smiling at me...
Blue skies smiling at me…

Tune in for the final day of our trip where we’ll list all the places we found free WiFi on this journey across the country, and we’ll reveal our final data usage breakdown. See you then!

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