We planned our visit to San Francisco to coincide with friends’ arrival from Miami. Al and Bonnie flew into the City by the Bay to visit their daughter Natalie, who is a poet and was about to get her Masters in Fine Arts in Writing.
They stayed with us in Island Girl for a couple of nights at the (not) luxurious Candlestick RV Park. Well, it was basically a parking lot but very clean and the only centrally located park in the city.
It’s fun to meet friends at different places, and it so happens that San Francisco is our favorite city. In fact, we considered moving there many years ago.
Then she had to go to class, and Hector took over as tour guide (a favorite hobby of his). It was Al’s first visit, so we drove to some of the more famous places including of course: the wharfs, Crissy Field, and the Golden Gate Bridge as well as various overlooks with great views of the city.
That evening we all joined Natalie and Colin for a thai dinner. It was fun to walk in the Mission District with the eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, and of course colorful people.
The next day we had lunch in Sausalito and drove up to the dramatic Marin Headlands for sweeping views of the City and the Bay.
After lunch we went shopping in Haight-Ashbury. Angel was not too impressed, too much concrete for her (she thought she’d heard they had grass there).
On our second evening we had the honor of attending Natalie’s thesis reading. There were five total thesis readings that evening. Five very talented and impressive young people reading their poetry and stories. Touching, dark, heavy, funny, moving, complicated, emotional, and all inspiring.
Mom and Dad were bursting with pride and Natalie was amazing. Afterwards, there was an intimate celebration nearby, where we met more interesting people.
The next day, we drove Al and Bonnie to join other good friends of theirs who live north of the city. We met Jeff and Shelli at the beautiful Muir Woods National Monument, where we spent a few hours together before splitting up.
Muir Woods National Monument protects 554 acres of old-growth coastal redwood forest. Coasal redwoods are relatives of the Giant Sequoia that we recently visited. It’s one of the few stands of coastal redwood forest remaining in the San Francisco Bay area, very close to the city.
U.S. Congressman William Kent, and his wife, Elizabeth Kent purchased this land to preserve its beauty. They donated it to the federal government in 1908, with the stipulation that they name it in their friend, John Muir’s honor. A lovely forest.
But the band that actually played, Pacific Mambo Orchestra, was quite good, and we even got to dance a little on the grassy “dance floor”. A beautiful afternoon.
When we were walking back to the car after the concert we noticed that many people walking around financial district were wearing some bizarro outfits, even by SF standards. Curious, we followed them to what turned out to be the aptly named “How Weird Street Faire”. Which we crashed briefly.
After they left, we met Natalie for dinner once again – this time sampling some good food from Chinatown.
On one of our last days, we took Angel to Golden Gate Park. This, she liked very much.
We also went to the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. Saturday is the big day for this market, and this was Tuesday, so it was a bit smaller. We still found some good stuff though. Love farmers markets.
It was time to leave, and we’d found out that Candlestick Park was going to be demolished later this year. The San Francisco Giants, who played at Candlestick Park in the past, started playing in their new stadium, AT&T Park in 2000. And the 49ers will start their new season in the new Levi’s Stadium.
San Francisco has so much fun and funk on such a beautiful little peninsula, we always love spending time there. And spending time with friends made it even more special.