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Monday, November 19, 2012

If you're going to San Francisco...

When I was a teenager, Scott McKenzie scored a big hit with the song San Francisco. Ever since hearing that song, I longed to see the town for myself, look at the Golden Gate Bridge, ride a cable car, ...

It took me until 1977 before my wish was granted. By then, the Flower Power movement was long over (when the song was a hit, I wore no flowers in my hair, but I had flowers on my hotpants - can you picture: dark blue hotpants, with red and yellow flowers on it, combined yellow or red panties?). No more hippies to be found in San Francisco.

When I became 21, my parents allowed me to spend my summer in California, and during this stay my guest family and I made a trip to San Francisco. I admit, it was a short visit, but I did see the red bridge and rode a cable car!

Time went by, and my sister and I made more trips, and we visited the United States more than once. However, she had never been in California, and so she suggested we make a trip to San Francisco. We did this in 2006, during the month of July. We spent some 10 days there, visiting the town, sailing the ocean, making trips on our rented bicycles (even one across the Golden Gate Bridge, to Sausolito and the hills), doing bus tours to Muir Woods and Carmel.

The weather was georgeous and this added to the well-being. We are not used to a lot of sunshine here in Belgium! I could live in San Francisco. I didn't feel any pains in my bones there (which I frequently feel here) were it not for the earthquakes. We stayed at an hotel on Russian Hill, from where we had a nice view on the harbor.

The cable cars ran up and down, but we prefered to walk. At first, it was a breather to walk uphill, but after a day or so we got used to it and walk as fast as anyone born in town.

We just loved to walk down to the harbor, where so many good restaurants are to be found and also a lot of shops in the neigborhood. Always something to see there. Moreover, the dollar was quite cheap for us that year, and so we did not spend a lot of money, either.

I don't know if you recall the TV series Party of Five, but it was filmed in this location:

The family lived in the second house from the right, if I remember well. These houses are quite famous in San Francisco, and are called the Painted Ladies.

Next to New York City, San Francisco is definitely my favorite town in the USA. If you ever have a chance, you certainly must visit there.

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