Saturday, October 26, 2013

Day trip to San Francisco

Hey friends, today I'm going to share with you my trip to "the city by the bay, the city that rocks, the city that never stops". Remember that 80's song by Starship, "We built this city"? Yup, that one...

For starters, have I mentioned how much I love San Francisco? Well, I do! Somehow when I'm on vacation, I find myself going back there again, and again. I was there again this past spring with my two older kids. The trip was to celebrate my Big Guy's college graduation.

We were staying in Gilroy for a couple of days to do a bit of shopping at the outlets. When I say "a bit of shopping", don't you believe me for a minute. I shop like a maniac but that's a story for another day. Anyhoo, San Francisco being what I think of as my adopted hometown, I just had to get into the city, even if it was only for a day.

Spring in San Francisco is some seriously gorgeous weather, sunny but crispy cool, which I adore. We drove past these beautiful town homes on our way in. I'm thinking it must be nice living in a town home, tall and narrow with that quaint gate and sliver of a front yard.

First stop, the Golden Gate Bridge. The first time I ever set eyes on this sight was soon after I started college way back then. Nothing has changed, it's still as stately and beautiful as ever. That's me looking for a parking spot.

Lots of photos and a walk down the bridge later, we hopped over to the Palace of Fine Arts which is a skip and a jump from the Golden Gate Bridge and it's another place I never miss visiting whenever I'm in SF. Just strolling through the gardens with its fountains and geese and gazing at the magnificent architecture takes me to a different place and time. Maybe I was a Roman princess in a previous life, you never know LOL.

Big Guy, my trusty navigator, took us through the roller-coaster streets of SF and we ended up parking on this slope of a street. See that arrow, that's my car, precariously clinging on for dear life at 45 degrees. When we opened the car doors, we had to pull ourselves up from an incline. It was some crazy stunt. We had to swing our legs out without the car door slamming shut while hanging on to keep ourselves from falling backwards.

A short climb up the hill and here we are at Lombard Street, the crookedest street in the world. I'd love to be living in one of those houses lining this crazy crooked street. Look out way over there! I think that view alone is worth the hordes of noisy tourists milling around your front door taking pictures all day lone.

We'd planned to have a good lunch along Fisherman's Wharf where I remember tasting the best clam chowder ever years ago. But it was so crowded everywhere with tourists spilling out of every corner, it was impossible to find a good place to sit down and have a nice, unhurried lunch. So we ended up at McDonald's across the street from the wharf.

As we were leaving, we took a turn to Chinatown. My kids have never been there. They've only seen it on TV, those little old Chinese men huddled over stone tables playing checkers on the street. So they were excited they actually spotted this same scene playing out right before their very eyes as we cruised through Chinatown.

It was hard saying goodbye to San Francisco. It always is. It's like my heart belongs there somehow. We arrived back in Gilroy just in time for dinner and a bit of shopping. We were up early the next morning for our day trip to Carmel and Monterey, another of my favorite pieces of California. Stay tuned for that.