We approached San Francisco by the ferry from Larkspur, a half hour trip which we’ve done before with our own teens. I love ferry rides, standing outside on the deck in the wind and seeing the land slip away as we depart and coming into view as we approach port. On this trip we saw the Golden Gate Bridge from the water and we passed the island prison Alcatraz.
We had our second blue sky day and even the bridge wasn’t obscured by fog. It was very windy and cold, though, especially on the ferry. Exhilarating! We clutched our hats, scarves, lapels, coffees purses and maps.
Once docked we rode a bus to Pier 39 (a shopping wharf) and took a bus to Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill. Coit Tower’s interior is covered in wall murals done by artists during the Depression.
I liked the look of this nice farmer ^
The girls took pictures of each other on the stairs, by the door, by the parking meters, by each other. They were their ‘own points of interest’! Thank goodness for digital cameras without film and developing.
We rode back down to the wharf and walked to Ghirardelli Square, the chocolate factory converted to shops. Along the way we happened by Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Parlor which was giving away free cones that day! Oh, yum. So we were too full of ice cream to have hot fudge sundae I’d been thinking about at Ghirardelli.
By the chocolate machine ^
We endured the wait for a cable car. I was determined that the girls would have this experience and be able to say that once they rode the cable cars in San Francisco. They fussed about the wait but it was worth it. Up and down the hills, sliding on the bench seats one way then the other…passing other cable cars a hair’s breadth away…going down hills so steep you wonder if the brakes will hold…and coming to the end of the run where they manually turn it around and head back.
We got off and shopped. The girls had spotted a “Forever 21” and we followed them in after pictures in the doorway. Now this was an intercultural experience for Mr. C and me. We felt very old, very large, and very Caucasian. The store is filled with waifs, mostly Asian, mostly size 0 or 1. I thought they were all girls but I was told later there were young men shopping there, too. We found a corner ledge to sit on and wait.
We walked then to the Gateway to China, through Chinatown, to the famous landmark Transamerica Tower building, and back to the ferry building. We got coffees and pulled away from the dock at sunset.
Home to dinner, hot tubbing, computer time, and making plans for tomorrow.