The City by the Bay

San FranGolden Gate

San Fran  002We 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.

San Fran  004Our first day there, we visited Natalie, who lives in the Mission neighborhood, and sampled one of the breakfast places nearby.San Fran  011San Fran  005

Sidewalk art appropriate to the occasion!

Sidewalk art appropriate to the occasion!

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San Fran  019San Fran  006Then 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.San Fran  012


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San Fran  031That 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.San Fran  033San Fran  032San Fran  028

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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.

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San Fran  037San Fran  040After 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).San Fran  045

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San Fran  051San Fran  048On 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.San Fran  049San Fran  052San Fran  050


Mom and Dad were bursting with pride and Natalie was amazing. Afterwards, there was an intimate celebration nearby, where we met more interesting people.

San Fran  062San Fran  060The 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.San Fran  072

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.San Fran  061San Fran  063

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.

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San Fran  081San Fran  082The next day, Hector and I met my friend Angela and some of her friends for an outdoor concert on a glorious Sunday. She’s a very busy lady also so I was fortunate to connect with her.

The concert, at Yerba Buena Gardens downtown, was to feature Eddie Palmieri, but he had to cancel for personal reasons.  Bummer.

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.

San Fran  085San Fran  083When 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.  San Fran  095

Several blocks long, with several performance stages, a young crowd, some trying very hard to be weird, some strange acts and some actually interesting music.   San Fran  093San Fran  096San Fran  087



San Fran  119That evening we had one last chance to catch up with our friends back at Natalie’s.   Al, a great cook, made a wonderful seafood dinner.

After they left, we met Natalie for dinner once again – this time sampling some good food from  Chinatown.

San Fran  102San Fran  106On one of our last days, we took Angel to Golden Gate Park. This, she liked very much.San Fran  103San Fran  107San Fran  109San Fran  110San Fran  104San Fran  105San Fran  101San Fran  108

San Fran  100San Fran  111We 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.San Fran  112

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 Fran  120

It always makes me sad to see places like these, so full of memories, be destroyed.   We took a photo of the soon to be gone park as a memento. City by the BayGolden Gate Sunset

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.

~ BrendaBay Bridge at Dawn

30 thoughts on “The City by the Bay

  1. Thanks for the fantastic tour of San Fran:) We’ve been there twice but both time it was just to spend a night or two while picking up a motorcycle for a week touring trip. Hector the photos of the bridge are just gorgeous! Sure looks like a wonderful time with your friends and their daughter.

  2. Thanks for the fantastic tour of San Fran:) We’ve been there twice but both time it was just to spend a night or two while picking up a motorcycle for a week touring trip. Hector the photos of the bridge are just gorgeous! Sure looks like a wonderful time with your friends and their daughter.

  3. Aw this is wonderful! Yet another gift that commemorates the fantastic weekend. I was so happy to get to see a little slice of your big journey and that you were here to take care of my ma and pa. I’ll be in Vancouver from July 16-30. I’m sure our itinerary will be crazy, but let me know if you’ll happen to be there then! <3

    • We had such a wonderful time with you. And you know we love your folks. Right now it looks like we’ll be arriving in Vancouver on the 23rd and stay in the area until August 6th – we’d love to see you and of course you’re welcome to stay with us if you’d like. We don’t know where we’re camping yet though, will let you know when we do.
      If any of your presentations are open to the public I’d also be interested. Anyhow, send us a text when it’s closer and let’s definitely plan to see each other – you know we are totally flexible and will work around your schedule.

  4. Sounds like a great time. Al lived in San Fran….before meeting me and he’s yet to take me there for a visit. I think I need to have a word with that boy 🙂

    • Hmmm. Sounds like you need to have a few words with him 🙂 I wouldn’t recommend Candlestick Park, we stayed there because we had a “schedule” of places to be in the city. There is another campground that is just outside the city but not too far called Pacifica Campground (in Pacifica). It has mixed reviews but we heard it’s in a beautiful location, and definitely nicer than Candlestick. They are all expensive though, that’s the problem with “urban” campgrounds.

  5. Looks like fun! San Francisco is always great and yes, even better with good friends. So many big smiles and congrats to Natalie! Bal and Onnie looked so happy!
    Love the descriptions and the photos, both seem to be getting better!!!!! Thanks!

  6. What a wonderful share of what sounds and looks like a great visit… I just love that bridge and you’ve captured it so well from different angles… love the visit with you and your special friends Brenda…

  7. What a fun post!!! How nice to meet friends, see their daughter present her thesis, AND get many great pix of the Golden Gate Bridge! Some of us have been to San Fran several times and not seen the bridge in its entirity due to fog!!! Lovely photos, fun post, great times. Thanks for keeping us along with you! Godspeed, Friends. xo

    • Funny, Hector wanted the fog to come in so he could get the photo with the bridge in the fog! Thanks for coming along.

  8. Holy Molly, you are in my city! I left my heart in San Francisco 🙁
    Across the Bay Bridge is the city of Oakland and that is where Steve used to work, while I in the Silicon Valley in San Jose. I can just imagine the drive you had with Island girl on 101N for that is one busy highway 🙂
    Thanks for the great pics of the city by the bay. A wave of nostalgia just hit me.

    • This comment came through as MonaLiza Lowe, a new commenter, fyi. Awww, for some reason I knew you were from California but didn’t realize San Francisco. We did have a busy drive to the city, but we survived! Awww, so sweet you are nostalgic.

  9. You two crack me up… playing tour guide in a city you’re “touristing”…. love it!
    Such cool photos… we’ll be in S.F. next week… I hope you didn’t do too much photoshop to those travel pics. HA! Just kidding. S.F. is one of our favorite places – although I’ve yet to get out and explore the Muir Woods. Glad you got to see a funky festival as well… we usually catch one while in town and that is truly an S.F. experience. Cheers and happy travels, Friends!

  10. Hmm, my original comment is gone 🙁
    Anyhow, Id say I left my heart in San Francisco. Across the Bay Bridge is where Steve used to work in Oakland while I in the Silicon Valley.
    Thank you for sharing great photos thats bringing lots of great memories of our stomping ground, the city by the bat!

  11. Awesome recount! Thank you so much. Angel smiles so pretty, as do you both. Loved the photo of the leafy branch over the water. : ) I’ve never been to San Fran, but thank you oodles, as always, for bringing me along on your wonderful adventures! Love you!

  12. Jeezy Creezy Guys!!! What a great keepsake for my family. Thank you, thank you, thank you… We owe you guys a debt of gratitude for your incredible hospitality and true friendship. Or dinner at Fox’s! : ). The cool thing for me to see those beautiful pics is… I WAS THERE!!!

    BTW Hector, why did you only use the wide angle lens on me? : )

    You guys are truly loved and appreciated!… Hi to Angel!


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