We had a big, non-stop adventure in San Francisco.
Our first full day there began with a visit to the Presidio. This is a beautiful, natural area of San Francisco that was used as an army post for over two hundred years.
While there, we spent a little time exploring the Palace of Fine Arts, an ornate, classic building that was originally constructed in 1915 for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition.
It was a Sunday and a nice day for the beach. I hear that October is one of the warmest months there. It was so pleasant.
This city’s fog is such a presence, such a character.
We left our car in an affordable garage near stunning City Hall (below) and took public transportation the rest of the day. Well, we planned on that, but we ended up mostly walking.
The poverty, drug abuse, and homelessness (sometimes seen separately, sometimes apparent all together) we ran into near that garage was jarring. In so many cities we’ve been on this trip there is extreme poverty right next to over-the-top opulence. People leaving on the street in front of million dollar condos. It is heartbreaking, confusing, and something I have to mention. I gotta say, though, there is always hope to be seen, that’s for sure. For instance, coming across a tiny community garden in a vacant lot.
Riding the streetcar was a highlight from my childhood trip.
It was a delight to ride it again.
We stayed with our sweet friends Mara and Mel (below).
About a week after we left, they got engaged. I’m so happy for these two awesome people! They look good together, right?
One grand side-benefit to this trip is visiting friends in their home bases and spending quality time. We all ate sushi at a cute little place and then went on a huge walk.
We ventured to Alamo Square, where the famous and gorgeous row of (below, behind me) Victorian houses sits. These homes are known as the “Painted Ladies,” but I kept accidentally calling them the “Pretty Ladies,” which I think could work too.
There was a festival happening, complete with naked guys holding political signs.
We made it to Haight-Ashbury, which definitely was touristy.
We bought a much needed knife at the Goodwill there. On this trip, we had been using leftover plastic utensils from our wedding up until then. A plastic fork had broken while making sandwiches and there were little pieces of plasticware in our peanut butter. No good – we were so thrilled with this purchase.
To complete the day, Niall and I hiked up to Twin Peaks, at a steep 922 feet in elevation, among stacked expensive, glorious houses. What a journey!
What a view!
We were sore the next day from our day of walking, but it was well worth it.