Thursday, May 17, 2012


Tuesday, May 15 – About 31-years ago, we visited San Francisco. We are exploring the city again today and are anxious to revisit some of those same sights. I sure wish we would of thought to bring some of those old pictures with us....darn!

the city

Our first stop was the Golden Gate Bridge.


They are about to celebrate its 75th Anniversary on May 27th. It opened in 1937, for those of you not wanting to do the math. We walked under the bridge and even strolled partway on the bridge. You can walk, run or ride your bike across the bridge. Pretty neat. There is a list of Bridge facts at the bottom of the post.

View from underneath.
Looking up

After parking ($15 for all day), we headed over to Fisherman's Wharf.

fisherman's wharf

Some of the seafood being sold by the vendors sure looked delicious, but not for breakfast....ha ha! We did stop at the famous Boudin's Bakery and Café for a cup of coffee and a cinnamon roll.

Excellent bakery and cafe

It was unique the way they transferred the freshly baked sourdough bread from the bakery to the sales area – an overhead pulley system.

Rolls coming from the bakery to the shop.

We strolled along the pier to see Alcatraz Island. You can take a tour of the closed prison and even go on a haunted tour at night. We walked out on Pier 39, an area full of unique touristy shops. If you are ever in the area, be sure to walk over to the west side of the pier and watch the sea lions sunning themselves on the docks. They make quite a racket barking at each other.

sea lions 2

We considered riding the Cable Car up to Lombard Hill ($6 each for a one way ride) to see the serpentine street, but decided to walk instead. By the end of the day, we may have regretted that decision.

paul on trolley

We walked uphill.
up hill

Then downhill.
Down, down, down.

Lombard Street…known as the crooked street. It has eight switchbacks in one block.


While walking in that direction we heard sirens going off followed by an announcement that is was a test of the Tsunami Warning System. First time for something like that.

Tsunami? United States?

We walked a very long way through Chinatown to see the famous front gate.



This is the largest Chinese settlement outside mainland China. What an amazing walk through the market place. You could buy just about anything in the many small shops lining the street.

Who needs Walmart?
Competition for Walmart.

An man, were the people out shopping. What an enjoyable time we had watching the shoppers examine the produce, sea food, and fruit & vegetables.

This is really how red these fish are. We didn't touch up the photo at all. YUCK!

This is the true color of these fish.

The shoppers were sure checking things over before making any purchases.

Above the stores, you could see the apartments where many of these residents lived. They weren't shy about hanging their laundry out the windows to dry......even their underwear!

We thought only the Italians did this. Chinatown. I thought we Italians only did this.

This sign cracked us up. This guy can do just about anything.
This guy can do anything.

We finally arrived at North Beach, more commonly referred to as Little Italy.

We knew we were in Little Italy when we saw the flag painted on the poles.
We are entering Little Italy or North Beach.

On the way, we passed hundreds of “painted-houses.” Wonder what it's like to live so close to your neighbors. Much like some of the campgrounds we've stayed-in, I'll bet!

painted houses

We stopped for a quick visit in St. Mary's Cathedral and St. Francis Cathedral. Very beautiful and a nice relaxing break from our long walk.

St. Francis of Assisi.

By this time we were getting pretty tired and looked forward to a break and a bite to eat. We looked forward to dining in one of the little eateries, so spent some time finding just the right spot. A couple nice slices of Italian Pizza was what we were after. We found it at Golden Boy Pizza...yummy!

We ate at Golden Boy Pizza. Super.

Last stop was to jump in the car and drive to the top of Telegraph Hill for an over-view of the city. There was no way we had enough energy remaining to walk up this hill. A wonderful place for a 360 degree view of the City.

city 2

THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE: Some interesting facts!

  1. It took 4 years, 4 months and 26 days to build the 8981-foot bridge

  2. The bridge's suspension span is 4,200 feet (the ninth longest in the world).

  3. More than 1.9 billion vehicles have crossed the bridge in its 75 years.

  4. A total of 600,000 rivets hold together the steel in each tower.

  5. Each of the two main cables weigh 12,250 tons and have 25,572 wires – a total of 80,000 miles of wire (enough to span the equator more than 3 times).

  6. For the bridges 50th birthday in 1897, 250,000 people surged onto the span that morning and another 500,000 gathered anywhere they could in the areas surrounding the span.

  7. The bridge has been closed only three times due to weather – the longest closure was 3 hours, 27 minutes on December 3, 1983, because of 75-mile per hour wind gusts.

  8. Headed southbound toward San Francisco, it will cost you $6 toll to cross the bridge.  There is no charge if headed northbound.

  9. The Golden Gate Bridge spans the strait of the same name, which is approximately 3 miles long and 1 mile wide.

  10. If you like the Golden Gate's color you can get it at your paint store: Cyan 0%, Magenta 69%, Yellow 100%, Black 6 %.

There is so much to see and do here. We couldn't possible begin to show all the photos we took. If you would like to see more painted houses, Chinatown, Golden Gate Bridge, etc., please click here.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y'all back real soon. Have a great day!