City by the bay

So we spent some time in San Francisco. Windy, chilly, hilly, amazing San Francisco. Except for our second day there, which wasn’t so chilly but was still windy, hilly and amazing. This was the day we (and several million of our closest friends and fellow tourists) headed to Fisherman’s Wharf. We also walked up and down Nob Hill, including famous Lombard Street.

A big highlight of our time in SF was our visit to Alcatraz. (Note – this extremely popular excursion must be booked about a month ahead of time. There is just no effing way to simply show up at the ticket booth and do it on that same day. Or that same week. Good thing I do research before I go somewhere.)

But it was totally worth it. I mean, how often do you get to see the inside of a real prison (hopefully, never, but maybe I don’t know you all that well after all?)? Alcatraz was closed down in 1962, and parts of it are pretty dilapidated and scary-looking now. The self-guided audio tour is wonderful and I highly recommend it.

We stayed in a lovely little motel near SF’s Presidio, which is near the Golden Gate Bridge. We actually had a New York-style apartment, with a separate kitchen (which of course we didn’t use. Like I’m going to cook on vacation! Ha!) The building was constructed in 1939, so it probably WAS apartments back then. There was a cobble-stone courtyard full of flowers and our car was parked in a garage right underneath our upstairs room. The garage arrangement is typical of much of San Francisco. The cobblestone courtyard may not be.

Oh yeah – that famous bridge –

And the famous fog. This would be SF as seen from Twin Peaks, which is the second-highest point in the city. Well, it WOULD be, if you could see it –

We did a bunch of other stuff too, as we were there for four whole days. We did a lot of eating. And drinking. And some more eating. And some more drinking. We ended up in a lot of local restaurants and bars, where we were the only tourists, simply because of where our motel was located, which was in an area not especially touristy. We met many, many awesome and friendly people, many of whom were quite happy to tell us all about their city – and ask us all about our Canadian health care system. It seems that many Americans have that on their minds right now.

Yes, Pinklea and PG were the quintessential ambassadors for Canada. I just hope we got all our facts straight – we WERE drinking, after all!

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8 responses to “City by the bay

  1. I LOVED SF. The first time – okay, the only time – I was there I was all set to emigrate. In fact, I even went to get one of those lottery green cards (yes, it was that long ago!!). I doubt I could ever afford to live there though. At least not in the style I want to live.

    • VioletSky – I know what you mean: there’s a very livable vibe in SF, and it totally appeals to me, too. I actually think Vancouver has quite a similar feel to it – and is also a very expensive city to live in (and near, as I do). No green cards necessary here – come on out west!

  2. We went there on our honeymoon (along with Vegas, where we wed, and LA) and actually had no difficulty in getting tickets for Alcatraz on the morning we wanted to go. Mind you, this was 15 years ago now.

    Thanks for popping by and leaving a comment on my blog today – Yes! We should both get back into the piano again! I’m considering having lessons but, well, have to get the piano first…

    • Mrs Jones – My last trip to that part of the world was, I believe, 25 years ago, and I certainly noticed a humongous increase in the amount of people now, so yes, I’m sure it would have been much easier to get tickets to Alcatraz back then. Cheaper, too, I’ll bet!

  3. Oh I love San Francisco. Surprisingly, the 3 or 4 times I went it was always sunny and warm with no fog to be seen.

    • Jazz – I’ve been there four times as well, twice in July, once in March and once in April. The weather on the April trip was the best: sunny and warm the whole time. This trip, I could have used some higher temperatures, less wind and fog, and more sun, for sure. You just never know what weather you’re going to get in SF – but it’s still one of my very fave cities!

  4. I hope you were good ambassadors and explained you health system well. Americans need to hear about it working well first hand and see that you’re not all stark raving socialists, which they are so scared of.

    • Nora – They were mostly quite impressed by how cheap it is, even for someone like PG who pays the entire cost himself, being self-employed. When I added that since DD is (was) a student, her medical is completely covered by the Canadian government because her income is so low, that pretty much blew most people’s minds! But the system doesn’t always work very well – our wait lists, especially for specialists, can be many months in length. We didn’t mention that very often! 😉