Friday, June 8, 2012

San Francisco Visit with Son

Since we were fairly close to the San Francisco area, we planned a quick trip to The City to visit and take him to lunch.  We left around 10:30, and got to his place by noon.  On the way, we again saw many grape vineyards along the way, like the one below.
It did not take long before the vineyards vanished, and San Francisco Bay and the hills to the north of the bay were upon us.  The traffic got heavier and heavier as we got closer to the city, but nothing bad what-so-ever...but we were both happy that we were not in the motor home.  Quickly we came to the prettiest bridge in the world, in my opinion at least.
Well, ok...this is the view from the vista from the northbound side...which is when we stopped. I will share more of these pictures later.  

We got to Michael's house to pick him up and we drove over to Daly City where we pulled up at a Outback Steakhouse.  The parking lot was packed, and I think we got the last parking place.  But when we got inside, it was not even half full!  I guess they share a parking lot with many other businesses.  Parking inside the City of San Francisco is difficult unless you pay at a parking lot.  Many of the daily activities of San Franciscans who own a car is to keep moving their car so that it does not get a ticket or towed away.

We had a good lunch considering it was a chain restaurant.  Outback was formed in 1988 in Tampa Florida, just across the bay from where our house is.  As with any chain restaurant, they are only as good as the management and the staff who work there.  This one did a fairly good job.

We then took Michael over to the nearby mall because he needed to get some shoes.  He was in there for a good hour, and came out empty handed...but they are going to send the shoes directly to his house because they did not have the size he needed.  As we took him home, I got this shot of where he lives.
He lives in the off-white house just to the left of this blue one.  That is his roommate just in front of that red car, looking across the street at his car to see if the police had marked his tires. ...just one of the things that need to be done every day, a few times a day sometimes.

The wires along the top are for the electric buses that go up and down the street.  San Francisco has all sorts of public transportation.  First there is BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) to bring people into and out of the city, along with trains, intercity buses, charter buses, etc.  Once inside San Francisco, people can use the light rail which runs on electric lines from overhead, electric buses that run along the electric lines shown above, trolley buses, hybrid buses, regular buses and, of course, the famous San Francisco Cable Cars....not to forget the taxi cab.  I think if the city leaders could, they would outlaw all cars not driven by tourist and make everyone use public transit.

So we head back the way we came....along highway 1, also known as 19th street.  As chance would have it...we ran into a power failure of over 11,000 PG&E customers, including about 6 major street corners along highway 1 that we were heading through.  What should have taken us 10 minutes, took us an hour to cover.  How fun....
....like sitting in a parking lot at times. 

By the time we made it to the affected street corners, police were manning four of the six affected corners...things moved along fairly quickly after that.  By the time we crossed the Golden Gate, it was 4:45.  We pulled over at the vista on the north side of the bridge to get a few pictures, and get rid of all that water we drank during lunch. From the vista, you don't get the best "side view" of the bridge, but you do get a good view of the the San Francisco bay.
Above is another look at the Golden Gate Bridge, which just celebrated its 75th year anniversary.  If you have never seen some of the awesome pictures of this bridge, click here to view google images of the bridge in the fog, or click here to view images of the bridge at night.
Above is the view of the City from across the Golden Gate.  The strait got its name from John Fremont after gold was discovered in California.  Below you can see the City to the right.  The island left-center is the famous Alcatraz Island, also known as "The Rock".  The prison on Alcatraz closed in 1963.  It is hard to see, but the Bay Bridge goes from the far left point of The City over to Oakland, which is behind Alcatraz.  They are replacing a major portion of the bridge due to the problems with the earthquake of 1989 when a span fell from the upper deck onto the lower deck.  Although it reopened a month later, they have been building a new eastern span for the past 10 years, and it should be ready in a few more years.  To the very far left is the city of Berkley.  The large land mass in the middle is Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island, the latter separates the eastern and the western span of the Bay Bridge.  There are way better pictures of these out on the Internet....give google images a try and you will be amazed at what you will find.
Well, it was a quick visit to The City, and it was sure nice seeing Michael, who hopes to come over to Sacramento area again Father's Day weekend.  I have been to San Francisco so much, I didn't feel the need to see it all again, and Marcia had been there once before herself, and as one who does not enjoy such large cities, once was enough.

Tomorrow we move over to Clear Lake.  It will be a 135 mile trip, to go the 90 miles to get there if we were not driving a 40 foot motor home.  But when we head back to Sacramento, we can cut right over to I-5 and it will only be another 125 mile trip back to the Citrus Heights/Roseville area for a final 10 days before we start heading north.

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