I’ve been hearing the phrase “get back on the horse” for months now since my accident. When the opportunity to travel to San Francisco came up, I was wary that I might not be physically fit for a solo journey up the coast, but also, that I wasn’t ready mentally. Now, sitting on the bus to return home after my busy, but fun-filled weekend riding the hills of San Francisco, I can’t believe I questioned my spur of the moment trip. The bumpy bus ride reminds me of our boat riding the waves in the San Francisco Bay just a few hours ago. I should have known that this trip could only help to restore my soul, the way travel always does. Getting out of the city where my accident happened is healthy. I achieve a respite that is impossible in my city-where I look at every car wondering if the driver is the man who hit me and left me in the road.
San Francisco has a nice energy to it and weather that keeps you on your toes. When I arrived, it was warm and sunny. Once inside my hotel room, I looked out the window over the city and the fog rolling over the hills and the Bay was so thick that I thought there must be a fire nearby, but I was told that was normal. The fog was beautiful, and watching it flow over the mountains made my soul feel free.
I love how many trees are in the city. They have trees in planters on the sidewalks, and parks in between some streets, as well as meridians with trees. The city has not forgotten nature. The large bay windows call to the writer within me. I love cozy writing nooks, and have always wanted a bay window with a view and sofa cushion in which to write. There are signs around the city spreading “compassion,” “love,” “and “family.” I love the open-mindedness of San Francisco, and the way it affects its residents.
A friend took me on a night-time adventure down Lombardi street in his car. Lombardi street is famous because it has multiple turns in one city block, on a steep hill. The houses were stunning, but I would think the residents would get bored of all the tourists riding down their street. We went to a forty-year old restaurant tucked away behind other restaurants, at the end of the wharf. The fish are literally delivered fresh from the bay a few feet from the restaurant. I don’t eat fish, but I can appreciate the uniqueness and the quality of fish that the restaurant has. That attention to food carried over into their vegetarian dishes as well. We had several glasses of wine, and I laughed the night away with good company. You know you’re in a good restaurant when all of the waiters are older than fifty years old. They’re pros, and they respect the patron, which in turn garners respect for their skills as a server. Even the bartender who was half the age of the waiters, would be sure to address the waiters as “sir” or “madam” when asking them to check on an order for him.
Today I went to Fisherman’s wharf for the second time in my life. I was a teenager when I went the last time ,and it was for only a few hours. My experience this time was quite different because it wasn’t the Summer, so it was far less crowded. Unfortunately, because it is not the high season, there weren’t many street-performers, which is one of my favorite memories from my last visit. We did see the man spray-painted silver and acting like a robot, which is one of my favorites, as well as a drummer, a smooth-jazz pianist, and a guitarist/singer.
My friend asked what I wanted to do, and I saw that there were boat rides in the Bay. We bought two tickets for the boat, boarded, ordered cocktails, and went to the top deck. It was a great experience in the open-air. We went under the Golden Gate Bridge, and swung around Alcatraz before returning back to the harbor. On the way back into the harbor, we spotted a replica Pirate ship. It was epic. The wood-work, and the sails were majestic, and as I turned around to take my picture, I saw that the sails were backlit by the sunset. I got magnificent photos of the ship, the Golden Gate, and the sunset.
Driving in San Fran can be a real adventure. So many of the streets are one-way streets, and the hills make it difficult to see if anyone is stopping at the intersection. At night we went to Haight-Ashbury, where the Grateful Dead played their first concerts out of their house. It was the Hippie Mecca during the Sixties, where people from all over the country came and lived in the parks, and smoked weed, made music and love. It was fun to imagine what the area must have looked like in its Hippie days. Now it is mostly Hippie-themed shops and cafes-an soft echo of what it once was.
I am already seeking my next travel adventure!
(To maintain the integrity of my blog, please note that this was written 11/4/13 right after my trip, and posted today, 12/26/13. My apologies for the late post.)