A Day in The City

It’s been a while since we’ve gone somewhere as a family. Seems like time just flies by and we never really get a chance to get away and have some fun, just the three of us. So today we took off and spend the day in San Francisco.

If there’s one thing I really like about Fresno it’s the fact that we can easily spend a weekend or even just a day in Sacramento, San Francisco or Los Angeles. They are all close enough to enjoy without having to actually live there. San Francisco is even easier because the transit system is so good. We left at 6:30am, drove to Pleasanton, hopped on BART and by 9:30am we were in the city. Not bad at all.

We started our exploration in the Haight-Ashbury section of the city. I’d never been there before and Deanna wanted to do some thrift store shopping so we headed in. Made famous back in the 60’s for being the place to be for pot smoking hippies, it’s still an eclectic neighborhood, but not as weird as you’d expect. There’s a lot of cool cafe’s, used clothing stores, record stores, tattoo shops and stuff like that. Everyone we came in contact with was super cool, and we enjoyed shopping and then a sandwich at a the Peace Cafe.

After that we decided to head to China Town. There was some huge flower festival going on and the whole area was packed full of people. Chinatown is a trip because it’s such a radical change in culture from just a few blocks over. The city literally changes in a heartbeat and suddenly there’s chinese architecture everywhere, all signage is in chinese, and there are almost no people groups other than chinese. It’s really wild, but very cool.

We strolled around for a while and then decided to head over to Fisherman’s Wharf so we walked over to Little Italy, and hopped back on the bus. Fisherman’s Wharf is what it is. It’s far more commercial and less interesting than other parts of the city, but it’s fun none the less. We had lunch at the Hard Rock and then jumped on the train back to Market Street and to our BART station.

We had a great day out together. I really love San Francisco. It’s just such a diverse town and there’s always so much going on and so much to see. It’s easy to think of it as some crazy place if you’ve never been there, but honestly, my experiences in The City have always been positive. I’ve never been attacked by gay sex addicts, or stabbed by a crazed homeless person. It’s actually a very civil city and much more comfortable than most places I’ve been to in the L.A. basin. Honestly, I’d say the rudest people in San Fran are probably the tourists in the high traffic areas. There is definitely a very liberal vibe to the place, but all in all, the city is a live and let live type of place.

One thing I really love about San Francisco is how easy it is to get around. I always take BART to get to the city, but today was the first time I ever spent time getting around on the buses and trolleys. $2 takes you anywhere you want to go in the city. That’s a steal considering that in places like Chicago you take cabs everywhere and they usually hit you for $10 a ride. I also can not get over how many interesting restaurants there are. I swear could have eaten 8 meals today if I had the room in my belly. The only downside really is that the place starts closing in on me after a while. San Fran is just so packed. There’s no open land anywhere with the exception of Golden Gate Park, but even that is fairly small considering the wide open spaces we’re used to here in the valley. So while I really enjoy visiting, I could never live there without getting claustrophobic.

So it was a great time hanging in The City with my girls. We’re already planning our next trip.