For my birthday last summer, my Uncle John (“Tio”) made me a CD. He does this every now and then, celebrating various occasions. This CD in particular was my California-bound playlist. He and my Aunt Carol (“Auntie”) live out here, so they were particularly excited we were making the move cross-country. For my listening pleasure on the long haul to the West Coast, Tio made me a disc with 20 or so songs, every single one of them about the Golden State.
Though not every song is about San Francisco itself, many of them are about this magical city. About the peaceful, gentle people. About the music. About the protests and the peace rallies. While much of the mindset of these songs was focused around the ’70s and ’80s, you still feel the same energy and movement of the city. For example, the “World Naked Bike Tour” we saw riding near Ghirardelli Square. This group of people found a way to speak out against the consumption of foreign oil while encouraging healthy activity, all with a hippy flare. That is very “San Francisco” to me.
Before the naked cyclists, and before our delicious ice cream cones, Jake and I started the day walking around Pier 39. We were originally planning to do a tour of Alcatraz with Jake’s brother, Derek, but since Derek sadly broke his leg a few days before, Jake and I decided we would do a walking tour of the city instead. We parked near Pier 39 and began exploring from there. One of the first things we came across was the drumming team from Humboldt State University. The students were awesome drummers, the crowd was energized, and it was the perfect way to start off our adventure with an extra kick in our step.
Once we left Pier 39, we walked to Fisherman’s Wharf for a crab sandwich. Yum! I wish we had splurged the calories to get the fries to go with the crab, but we definitely made up for it when we stopped at Ghirardelli for the best ice cream cones on the planet. Then, as many of you may remember from a prior post, we saw naked cyclists! It was becoming quite an interesting day.
After dessert and a show, we looked at our walking map of the city and decided to make the trek up to Coit Tower. It was a long walk, and there were LOTS of stairs, but the view from the top was worth it. You could see in every direction. From the Golden Gate to the Bay Bridge, and back through the climbing hills of the city. We even saw a full rainbow, from end to end, springing from a pier and back down into the bay.
So, we had dessert, a show, and then a nice hike to burn off our delicious calories. We then hiked down through the many steep stairs on the north side of Coit Tower, past a quaint little cluster of apartments and a few small neighborhood gardens. We found a little oasis along those steps, where the noise was completely blocked by the steep cliffs of Telegraph Hill and the charm was maintained by the lush surrounding greenery. While I don’t know how we could possibly make a place like that work with our two greyhounds, it is certainly a peaceful nook of the city I would visit again.
It was a beautiful day, not to mention very good exercise. San Francisco has so many places to explore, and we only touched on a few them. I guess the good news is that we have plenty of time to explore the rest. Why? Because we live here!