Wednesday, October 3, 2012

DAY 41-San Francisco – A Day of Highlights…

It was a quick day of highlights and beautiful weather.  The day was sunny and in the low 90's; which is unusual for the San Fransico area.  Mona had the day off and wanted to show me some of her favorite spots of the city.  We started out with a quick visit on Treasure Island; yes, there’s such a place and it’s the last exit on the Bay Bridge before you enter into San Francisco County.  Part of the island is a naval base.  On Treasure Island, I got to see my first true look of the city skyline of San Fran.  Mona also showed me a cool sculpture of a large woman all hollow and made with pieces of metal.  It was huge and cool!

Photo- My first true sight of San Francisco skyline on Treasure Island.
Photos- Of female statue made of metal on Treasure Island.

Next stop was the Golden Gate Bridge; where Mona drove the car around in circles because of a shortage of parking while I walked over and on part of the Golden Gate Bridge.  It was very windy and noisy but a clear day.  Just beautiful!  But the parking was a pain.  While we were there a double decker bus broke down and it was causing all kinds of traffic issues in the parking lot.  A bus even had to back up over the curb to go around the broken down bus.  It was a bit of frustrating entertainment for a bit but I was glad to be moving along.
Photo- The Golden Gate Bridge behind me.
Photo- The Golden Gate and Fort Point down below.
Photo- The inside of Fort Point.
Photo- Some incredible views from the top of Fort Point.
Then, Mona showed me one of her favorites just down the hill from the Golden Gate Bridge—Fort Point.  Fort Point was the Fort and lighthouse that used to be there before the Golden Gate Bridge.  In fact, the Golden Gate Bridge was built over it.  It had some wonderful views from the top and was still windy but was not nearly as noisy as the top area of the bridge.  We also explored the actual fort area where soldiers had bunked and ate.  They even had cannons.  It was interesting looking at all of it and reading about the history of the fort.
Photo- The famous Lombard Street in San Francisco.

We also took our turn driving down Lombard Street.  So of you may know this as the crookedist street in San Fransico.  There were groups taking pictures at the top and the bottom of this road.  Also there was a bit of waiting to drive down it.  I'll tell you this much-- make sure that your car brakes are in good shape bfore you head down this street.  It was wonderfully landscaped and a brick roadway.  I would imagine that the people that live on it would hate it to a certain extent because of all the tourist traffic on the street.  But then again it might be part of the prestige of living at such an address.  Or maybe they have a way out the back?

Then, we drove through the Presidio on our way to the Aquatic Park.  We finally found a parking spot in Aquatic Park, where you can park for free on Sundays or up to 4 hours other days.  We walked along the beach area over to Fisherman’s Wharf.  But first we made a stop at the Ghirardelli Square.  You could smell chocolate in the air and they were handing out free samples of a pumpkin spiced caramel squares.  It was an interesting flavor.
Photo- Ghirardelli Square's Original Chocolate Shop.

We continued walking towards the wharf area and walked by a ton of street market artists.  Some had drawings or paintings of the area for sale, others would draw pictures of you, and then others had jewelry of all types for sale; all of their prices were for a few bucks.
Photos- A parade near Fisherman's Wharf.

Fisherman’s Wharf is fun to walk through but very crowded.  We walked a little ways looking for a spot to have a beer.  We ended up at a place called Pompei’s Grotto.  It was a nice casual easy going place with wood paneling and polished wooden tables and bar area.  We sat inside but there was a very nice sidewalk patio area where you could sit under umbrellas.  As we were sitting there a little parade went by on the street.  I, of course acting like the total tourist, ran out with my camera and got a few pictures.  After a beer and a bit to eat, I left Mona at Pompei’s to venture on the wharf more. 
Photo- The sea lions at Pier 39.

I ended up walking around Pier 39; where I saw sea lions.  I watched them for a bit but they were rather a smelly lot.  So I explored some of the shops on Pier 39, but after a while I just felt like I had enough of the large crowds and turned around to meet up with Mona at the bar.  We had one more beer and then proceeded to commute back to Walnut Creek.  I had enough sightseeing for one day.   
Photo- A cool photo I took of the Trans American Building
thru Mona's Sunroof as we drove out of San Fran.


  1. I remember Fisherman's Wharf are very well and Ghirardelli Square. I also remember taking a trolley car all over the downtown area. Do they still have those? And the San Francisco Opera is a treat not to be missed if you can swing it. Enjoy!

    1. Hi Di!
      Yes, they still have the trolley cars and I ended up taking one of them when I went to Alcatraz which I still need to write up about it. I got driven by the wonderful building of the Opera. But San Fran is a wonderful place to visit and SO much to do.