Monday, October 10, 2016

A San Francisco Treat

Here is our account of the memorable day we spent in San Francisco.  It was exciting, fun, enlightening and we got along fine.  To sum it up, a day we'll always remember.

We took the 10:30am San Francisco Bay Ferry from Vallejo into the Port of San Francisco.  It's here we get our first view of the Golden Gate Bridge, the city skyline and a view of the island, Alcatraz.

Once we disembark the ferry, we get our bearings and walk towards the tourist attraction Pier 39.  We are already on visual sensory overload.  This particular day, the weather was clear and sunny with temperatures in the low 70's.  The colors, sounds and realization of where we are makes the day an exciting experience for us.

We continue our stroll on the San Francisco Bay waterfront.  We notice all types of boats and ships, attractions such as the San Francisco Bay Aquarium, a docked cruise ship, eateries and tours out to Alcatraz Island.  The streets are loaded with tourists, families and business people all seeming to have some place to go.

There are a variety of street performers scattered along the way, musicians, magicians and acrobatic entertainers all vying for our attention and tips. 

We grab a delicious lunch of fish and chips.  The crowds aren't too bad and certainly not what we were expecting.

With renewed energy after that tasty lunch, we walk towards the famous Ghirardelli Square and Hyde Pier.  The surrounding buildings with their decorative colors and artwork, contrasting with this blue sky, keep my attention and camera busy.

Suddenly, we hear this roar and look skyward.  We are treated to an air show from the famed Blue Angels.  It's Fleet Week in San Francisco and we learn the Blue Angels, the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron will be flying over the San Francisco Bay each day through Sunday.  Wow, we sure picked a good day for our first visit to this fascinating city.  We find ourselves at the historic Hyde Street Pier to enjoy the second show of the day by these courageous pilots.

Moving on, we realize we are not far from Lombard Street.  Here, on this older brick building, we recognize these blue earthquake-engineered building supports.  We remembered learning about how they were added later to give added support to older buildings from our tours in Charleston, SC.

The Bayside Park provides a peaceful setting to view the Blue Angels Air Demonstration..or any show on the bay for that matter.  This place is gorgeous.

Continuing on to Ghirardelli Square, we pass by several art stalls, souvenir carts and trinket sellers.

We enjoy a frosty, creamy and fully decadent chocolate Ghirardelli Milkshake.  It gives us that full shot of energy to help us climb the steep hill up to Lombard Street.  Yes, we find ourselves just a short hike away from the crookedest street in the would.  We've got to see that.  The famous San Francisco Cable Cars pass us as we climb up that steep hill. The line to ride them was over 90 minutes long this day so we plan come back another day to ride them.

So, we begin our steep climb up Hyde Street.  I pause to take pictures of the view across the Bay.

Reaching the Lombard Street intersection, it's just crazy to see how this wavy road winds it's way down the hill. We found it crowded here with many tourists (including us) to see the road and walk the steps beside this road to get a view.  There is also a steady stream of cars driving down the one way road.

We are constantly stopping and looking up as we can hear the roar of the Blue Angels flying above. The unique line patterns and shapes found in the architecture of these city dwellings gets my attention.

It's beginning to get late in the day so we walk back towards the ferry building where we'll catch the San Francisco Bay Ferry back to Vallejo.  We didn't take time to explore the shops and attractions of Pier 39 earlier so we take this opportunity now.  We find a colorful carousel, lots of restaurants and more touristy shops selling that special souvenir.

We grab a hot dog from a vendor there and walk out to enjoy a San Francisco sunset.  That's the island of Alcatraz as the sun sets on an outstanding day for us.

The city's nightlights are interesting to me.  We're trying to walk as fast as we can to catch the 7:15pm ferry but I can't help but to stop and take photos of the skyline.

The returning ferry ride is about 60 minutes and we arrive back to our home base around 9:15.  We walked over 9 miles this day, enjoying every step.
My next post will be about our stroll on the Golden Gate Bridge.
More Later.

1 comment:

  1. I eagerly await all of your postings. This one was beautiful. I guess I saw the other side of san fran, it wasn't at all interesting and were'nt near pier 39 at all. I guess that is why I didnt enjoy it. Your pics are beautiful. Our weather this morning was 63 degrees. It didn't last and thank god we missed a bullet with the hurricane. Not even a tree branch fell here but some folks were out of power for a few hours, not us thank god. Joel celebrated his 70th birthday yesterday and we and a couple we go out with celebrated it with him at Texas Roadhouse steakhouse. We had great food, and they put him on a saddle and gave him a great yee haw. I took a photo and put it on facebook. Lots of activities starting here. We are bowling in the league and that is a lot of fun. I am learning to play some new card games so I can go to the card parties. Hoping to see you soon. Be careful out there and travel safe.