Tuesday, August 5, 2008

San Fran

*I wrote this post last week not knowing that I was not going to have time to write this week. Quick update: We made it to Oregon safely. I have already spent some time with Amy and the rest of the family helping them through the funeral home process and getting the memorial together. Thank you for your prayers.

When people come to visit they usually want to take a day trip to San Fransisco and Yosemite National Park. My niece, Trinity, has been staying with us this week and these two stops were on our agenda but due to "circumstancs beyond our control" we were not able to go to Yosemite. Yosemite was Eric's favorite place on earth and so I knew that a trip up there would be very difficult. We visited the park two weeks before Eric died...that is how much he loved the area. I constantly tell people that in the new heaven and new earth Eric's mansion is going to be right smack dab in the middle of the Yosemite valley. All joking aside, the outlying areas of the National park have been on fire leaving the valley full of smoke. Since we have had enough smoke over the past month and you can't really see anything through the smoke, we decided to forgo that trip (whew! sigh of relief!) and instead pack in a full day in San Fransisco.
Now, I know what you all think of San Fran and yes, you are right! It is full of sin as much as any other big metropolis area. But, it is no coincidence that those who love to wallow in their sin also pick the most beautiful places to live. I say we take back these beautiful areas and ship them all out to the desert...but that is a whole other post altogether!
Anyway, there is a lot to do in this city but summer is really one of the worst times of the year to visit it. Mark Twain once said "The coldest winter I ever spent was the summer I spent in San Fransisco." He is right. It gets down right cold in the summer and yet the winter is absolutely gorgeous. Tuck that info away if you ever plan a visit out this way. This was when Trinity could come visit so we made the best of our time.
First stop was the AT&T ball park. I did not get a good picture of it since I really did not want to get out of the car. I dropped off Trin and drove around the block so that she could get the pictures up close and personal. I must add that I am not a sports fan. I just don't get into much more than the Olympics. Above is Coit Tower which looks a bit like the Leaning Tower of Pisa in this picture! It is a staple for visitors since you can see the whole bay from top Telegraph Hill. The great part is that the parking is free and they have a hall of great murals depicting the San Fransisco area during the Great Depression.
From Coit Tower it is just a few miles to the famous Lombard street. Can you imagine living off on this portion of the street? It is fun to drive down and right now the Hydrangeas are in full bloom (and so are the tourists!)
This is, by far, my favorite flower. I love the Hydrangea in all of its forms. One of the reasons I love the bay area is because these grow big and beautiful with the help of the cooler weather and fog that rolls in quite often.
Here's something that some people do not know exists in San Fransisco. Within the perameters of Golden Gate Park there are Bison. The American Bison has been roaming the grounds of Golden Gate Park for over a hundred years. They were given to the city as gifts and as a symbol of the Western way of life. They are taken care of by the San Fransisco Zoo but continue to live at the park.
Here is a gem of a playground. It is in the heart of Golden Gate Park. This slide is just a small part of a huge play area for parents and children. The sign specifically says that Adults are to be accompanied by a child!
One of the play structures in the park. When my parents took me as a child to the park we spent most of our time at the Steinhart Aquarium which is much more like a science museum. I have such fond memories of the museum and the DeHart art museum. The Steinhart is scheduled to open the end of September after an incredible face lift. I can't wait to take my kids...and the best part is all museums and the zoo are free on the first Wednesday of every month. Can't beat that.
So, this is the view of the bridge during the summer but even so it is a beautiful structre. It is usually crystal clear during the winter.
I can not number the photos we have of our family on the bridge but one without Eric is a first. My feelings matched the fog that surrounded us.

The famous Fisherman's wharf. Eric and I spent many years coming to San Fransisco to walk around the city and then enjoy a loaf of sourdough, a fresh crab, and a cold beer while sitting on the wharf.
Not my favorite chocolate but it will do in a pinch. Ghirardelli had its start in California and this sign is one of the beauties of Fisherman's wharf at night.
I love old building...indulge me a bit by adding a picture of one such old building at The Cannery.
We ended our day at Boudin's bakery. It is also at Fisherman's Wharf and has the best parking fees that I have found in the city. It sits next to Pier 39 which is a tourist trap but has the enduring Sea Lions that have taken over the pier. We ate Clam Chowder in Sourdough bowls. Yum! And, the great part is it is fairly inexpensive compared to most city restaurants.
We had such a great day hanging out and showing Trinity the sites. We all saw much more of the city than we had planned to because I did not know exactly how to get to Golden Gate Park. I knew one entrance/exit came out at the ocean and since you couldn't get me lost in the city if you tried I just headed toward the ocean. What a grand adventure!
If you are ever headed to San Fransisco let me know..I love to play tour guide!


Kenj said...

Yes, but your favorite chocolate is just across the bay...

Is there a World Mark in Berkeley? Lis? Why have we never thought of this???

Valerie said...


Thinking of you and praying while you are in Oregon and will look forward to that lunch to hear all about it.
:-) Kirk and I just spent Sunday and Monday in SF and we too love that city. We just love driving around even if we are lost. IT is always an adventure when we are there. I know what you mean about the summer but it was a beautiful day when we were there. The weather was perfect so you never know. We have discovered Fort Point which is part of the presidio and is very fun and interesting to explore and free I might add. Great field trip for all you homeschoolers. Also the lighthouse Bonita which is over near Soscilito (again free) and a beautiful hike. Check hours though as they are limited and also there is a missile sight near there you can tour and go underground and see the missles (again free!). Check it out!

Love you all and let us know when you will be back. How did the summer get by us without a swim day? Maybe if it gets hot we can come over one day after school and connect the kids.


reformedtngirl said...

I can barely remember San Fransisco from when we went out California-way about 6 years ago. I'd love to go back, and if we had y'all as tour guides it would be even better!!!


The Bradshaws said...


I, too, love SF, in spite of all the...well...strange folks (saw a man a few years ago with a tin-foil hat--literally--and it matched his outfit!) It's a beautiful city, and has so much to do. The family we have near there, however, cannot stand it; I think I can get around the city better than most of them, and I've only been a few times, from the time I was 3yo or so until six years ago.

I wish we had you for a tour guide; it would make things so much easier just to have someone know of some of the great things to do. Last time we were there, we actually took a tour, which was better than driving around trying to find parking, not really knowing where we're going, etc.

So if we make it out there again, I'm calling you!

I also love Yosemite, although last time I was there (18 years ago, I think!), I couldn't do much in the way of hiking, since I was having to take it easy, being close to 7 mos pregnant and not real well the day we were there.

Mary Susan

julie said...

Wow, what a great tour. I remember goin to SF in the summer and freezing my bum off. Crazy, crazy weather there.

djm1521 said...

"We glory in tribulations also:knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience experience; and experience, hope; and hope maketh not ashamed: because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts" Thinking of you dear Heather at this distressing time and praying that as you walk through the valley of the shadow of death once again you may be so strengthened in the inner person as to be a real blessing to your dear cousin's wife.

rebecca said...

You look like an awesome tour guide Heather! How fun! : )