San Franscico-Final Day incapsulated
Our last day in San Franscisco was a little random, but it worked out very well. We started the day at Alamo Park viewing the so-called “Painted Ladies.” these were some old, decorative homes that have been restored to their former glory and brightly-painted walls. They were beautiful, but while standing in the park across the street taking pictures, we noted a sign on a building just down the street which said, “visit the paintedgentleman.” I don’t know what that was, and I’m not entirely sure I want to, but it did seem quite amusing in that particular spot. One building I did take a picture of there was the Ida B Wells High School. The name just struck me as important–I don’t know why!
Throughout our trip in San Franscisco, the word has been “up.” It seems like we spend more time climbing streets than the reverse. When I say the streets are uphill, I’m not kidding. There were times when I had to stop and breathe three times in a single block because the sidewalk was so steep it nearly reached up and touched me on the nose! This is a different way to live–thank goodness they don’t experience a lot of ice or life could “go downhill” fast, if you’ll excuse the expression.
We visited the Mission Delores, an old church whose mission among the Indians predates San Francisco. The modern cathedral there is gigantic and beautiful in the classic style. Such churches always leave me a little awestruck, but they are so majestic and so peaceful, they are well worth the visit.
From there, we took our first ride on the San Francisco underground train. Now for me, it’s enough that I am underground; that is what always bothered me about subways. But to be underground in a city nicknamed the “Quake city” was truely a little nerve-wracking. No arguing, however, that it got us to downtown San Francisco in a hurry! From there, we walked up to a small Wells Fargo museum which was not only free, but it was profoundly interesting, with information on everything from overland stages, to the gold rush, to the Pony Express.
We went on from there to Chinatown. I admit, I didn’t know what the big deal about Chinatown was until we got there (after a climb up a street that was almost vertical). Set off with a large, beautifully crafted gate and lined with lanterns on the street lights, it was a tourist’s delight. Lots of shops containing everything you might want to buy, and of course, I went shopping. However, I also had the best food ever at the Chinese restaurant where we stopped for lunch.
It wasn’t until the evening, though, that I might have had a better look at real Chinatown.Traveling cross town to the AT&T Park for a Giants game, we drove through sections of the city where fresh ducks, chickens, and other meats hung in small grocers’ windows and fresh produce stands spilled out practically into the streets, groaning under their loads and crowded with shoppers. Block after block of these shops made for an interesting sight, but which was in reality, merely the sight of ordinary people going about their ordinary lives.
AT&T Park, set right on the San Francisco Bay, was quite a sight. I am not a baseball fan, but Roy is, so I make it to a lot of parks. This one at least afforded a beautiful view as we walked along the walkway after a supper of fish and chips at one of the vendors. It turned out that Giants pitcher Matt Cain pitched a perfect game, the first ever for the Giants, completely shutting out the Houston Astros. Too bad I’m not a more appreciative fan.
Our last day in San Francisco was eventful and interesting, but it was definitely time to leave the city by the Bay and move forward to new adventures tomorrow!