I (heart) San Francisco.

I have nine grandchildren. Anyone who reads my blog or has ever met me knows this fact about me.photo-61 Being a grandmother is my best job yet. As each grandchild graduates from high school, I try to take him/her on a trip. Last year I took grandchild #3 to San Francisco. (I wrote about it here.) This year grandchild #4 requested the same trip. I think, initially, the attraction of the City by the Bay is its frequent presence in television programs and movies. I’m happy to report, though, that there is a great deal more depth than that in today’s youth and once they find themselves in the city, they are as captivated as I am by the history, the art, the people, et al.

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Flowers, flowers
everywhere, we should have worn some in our hair.

 

Chinatown is a must. We went there twice. The colors, the smells, the lanterns, the people. photo-44 photo-45Wonderful.

 

 

 

 

Some people told us not to miss Pier 39, others told us it was nothing but an amusement park. I disagree with the latter. It’s much more than that.photo-52 One of my granddaughter’s favorite things there was observing the sea lions from above.photo-62 There was one grumpy old fellow (or gal) who defended his territory with a vengeance. Fascinating to watch.

The only thing Iphoto-43 saw that gave the pier an amusement park feel was the carousel. We didn’t ride it but it has some imaginative and interesting animals for those who are so inclined.

photo-46I don’t know why I’m fascinated by the piano-playing stairway, but I am.photo-60 On the left is a photo of granddaughter #3 playing us a lively tune. On the right is this year’s traveler doing the same.

There’s a wonderful produce kiosk on the pier. Fresh fruits and vegetables galore.photo-59  photo-58Ranier cherries and freshly picked strawberries. Does life get any better? Yum!

Almost everyone who goes to San Francisco wants to visit the crookedest road in the country, or so they say. It’s very difficult to get a good shot of the curviness of the road with a phone camera. photo-42I was intrigued by this fairytale-like entry to one of the houses on Lombard Street so I’m showing you that instead.

We had lunch in Sausalito–best crab cake I’ve ever eaten.photo-63



Last year we didn’t make it to Haight Ashbury. I’m happy to say we went there this trip. I, being an old hippie, enjoyed that part of the trip more than my daughter and granddaughter did. photo-47It was (and still is) much romanticized. Truthfully, the only thing I find romantic about it is some of the architecture. photo-49I like the painted ladies. Many of them are being well cared for now and are simply lovely to look at. I think my travel buddies enjoyed the “ladies” too. And H (age 18) loved the huge music/poster store on Haight Street.

I went “heart” seeking again this year. I wrote about the hearts last year so I won’t repeat myself. I will leave you with a photo one of my favorite this-year hearts along with two of my favorite people in the whole wide world.photo-54

 


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We left the hearts in San Francisco…

photo(20)Recently I had the good fortune to travel to San Francisco with my youngest daughter S and her oldest daughter H.  I had been to California a couple of times before but this was my first trip to the lovely city by the bay.  I have a serious case of “love at first visit.”

Thanks to Tony Bennett’s famous “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” there’s an ongoing heart presence in various sites around the city.  The hearts pictured in this post are the ones that are on the four corners of Union Square.  photo(21)The only permanent heart is the one Tony Bennett painted.  (See the photos above and to the left.)  Can you believe the fabulous singer is also a painter?

Click here and/or here if you would like to learn more about the San Francisco heart project and the noted artists who have participated.  I am enamored by them and have been thinking maybe I could commission my gifted grandchildren to paint some for my yard and house.  It could happen.

I think this blue one might be my favorite.  I’m a bit of a blue/green girl.photo(41)  I posed my girls in front of it.  I think they added to its beauty.  Moments later a very kind woman came along and took a shot of all three of us. That one’s on my daughter’s camera so I don’t have a copy.  We were grinning and obviously having a fun time.

This notion of taking each  grandchild on a trip after his/her high school graduation started when my ex-husband and I took our first granddaughter to Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  She chose the location.  D and I had been there before but Granddaughter E had  not.  We loved going again.  But most of all we enjoyed the company of our 17-year-old.  I still laugh when I remember E’s indignation as security pulled her out of the line, made her take off her hiking boots and answer additional questions while I stood behind the agent and mouthed “Be Nice”.photo(23)  She couldn’t help rolling her eyes.

There are six grandchildren still to graduate and I keep thinking “Ahh, the best laid plans…”  I can’t help feeling a degree of nostalgia.  D and I had planned these little trips together.  I have learned, though, that I’m quite capable of doing them without his help.  And have fun in the doing.

As it happens I will have a granddaughter graduate each of the next four years.  Then I have a break before my second boy graduates and an even bigger break before my little one finishes up.  I’m planning to stay physically strong and financially solvent enough to travel with every one of them.photo(27)  That’s my plan and I’m sticking to it.

I never know where my writing is going to take me.  I started out intending to write about the glorious time I spent with S and H in San Francisco.  My fingers took another direction.  Sometimes I think they have a mind of their own, kinda like my unruly hair.

Stay tuned for San Francisco, Part 2.