Tuesday, December 30, 2014

San Francisco Area

It was June 29th 2004 and it was cold in the city. By Texas standards, California has really mild summers. Their hottest months in San Francisco are September and October where it can get up to a scorching seventy degrees. But this was June and it was cool -- mid sixties in the daytime and high forties at night. We liked it. On days when the sun shines in San Francisco it is one of the best places to spend the summer.

We stayed in the Trailer Villa San Mateo RV Park in Redwood City and drove into San Francisco to see our son, almost every day for two weeks. We did make a few drives in the area south of San Francisco on US 101. Cities in the vicinity to the south include Atherton, Menlo Park, Palo Alto and Stanford. We drove through all of these towns, but did not do a lot of driving around in the towns since they are mostly residential neighborhoods once you get off the highway. We did drive around on the campus of Stanford University and saw students playing volleyball. It is always good to see kids having a good time.

We spent most of our time site seeing in the city itself. We think we have hills in the hill country of central Texas, but San Francisco is laid out on forty hills, some as high as 1,000 feet in elevation. Since the city is a peninsula bounded by three sides with water from the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay, baseline elevation is sea level.

We went up and down as many hills as we could find. I did not find driving in San Francisco very pleasurable. Pedestrians know they have the right of way and take advantage of it. As near as I can tell the only laws policemen enforce in the city is not letting people intentionally injure other people. Jay walkers, petty theft and drug dealing is pretty much ignored, especially in the evenings. Parking in the city is almost impossible. This means everywhere you stop in town, you can expect a lot of walking, usually up or down a hill. People in the city appear to be very fit.

Every time we go to San Francisco, we try and see all the tourist traps we can find -- it feels like an obligation. You meet people from all over the world, some living in the city and some are just visiting. We enjoyed driving through The Presidio which used to be an Army base. It has buildings that look like barracks with red tiled roofs, similar to what I remember seeing in picture of Hawaii in WWII. Now, The Presidio is a park that is part of the golden Gate Nation Recreation Area.

Traffic is always bad in the city. Since there are no places to park, truck drivers making deliveries to vendors have to park in the street. Throw in the number of pedestrians and their willingness to walk out in front of cars, driving can be nerve wracking. I always take my time and make sure the streets and sidewalks are clear near intersections before I turn a corner. These are the types of cities where public transportation is really needed. Reducing vehicles in the streets of San Francisco is better for everyone.

There will be other stories from San Francisco, because there is so much to write about. We really enjoyed spending a few weeks with AJ. Next stop 29 Palms to meet our Marine and his buddies flying in from Okinawa, Japan.    

Arlon on a hill with the city of San Francisco in the background.

One of many great ocean views along California 1 - The Pacific coast Highway.

You cannot tell by looking, but this water is cold.

Stanford University campus

This appears to be a church on the Stanford campus.

Vollyball at Stanford. -- Probably a weekend, because I do not remember any kids walking to classes.

A picture from the San Francisco Yacht Club.

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