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Nick and I play tourist at the Ferry Building
Outside the San Francisco Ferry Building: Nick’s first selfie

A quick travel post about San Francisco.  This week a former boss and his wife were in town. Charles hadn’t spent much time in San Francisco and Sandra had never been to the City by the Bay.  I was excited when they asked me play tour guide!

San Francisco was recently named the best food city in the country by Bon Appetit magazine and has been named one of the top vacation destinations in America many times.  This means there are loads of tourists in San Francisco on any given day. Given that, I should mention I am a self-proclaimed savvy traveller.  Because I am a savvy traveller, I have also become a savvy tour guide.  I take it personally when it is foggy, the wine is sour or we have to wait in a long line.  Living through our fourth year of a drought in Northern California, when it rains and everyone is skipping down the street smiling – I explain that phenomenon to the visitors as well.

Mark Twain is credited with saying “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” I won’t debate if he actually said this or someone said it to him, but one thing is for sure – someone was spot on.

A hurricane force wind and fog greeted Brainard and I last
What Bridge? Fog and hurricane force wind greeted us

Case in point, when my friend Brainard (the Pie Master) was in town last July, we had trouble with heavy fog and hurricane winds up in the Marin Highlands.  We couldn’t see most of the Golden Gate Bridge that day and he had no idea that San Francisco was just across the water.

cable car
Brainard recovered from the wind and fog to ride a Cable Car!

In the fall, especially in September and October, San Francisco’s weather is amazing. It is sunny and mid-70s with no humidity and no bugs. Just the kind of day you want to show off to tourists.

Living in the Bay Area the last seven and a half years, I am secretly thrilled every time I cross the Golden Gate Bridge!  Like most people who visit us, my friends wanted to drive across the Golden Gate Bridge.  They also wanted to take some pictures of the city.  We drove across the bridge and skipped the first exit (a tourist vista point). We took the next exit – Alexander Ave. We then turned left at the stop sign to go up in to the Marin Highlands.  We drove about a half a mile,  parked at a little-used vista and walked up the hill for the most beautiful view! No fog and we could see the entire city.

Charles and Sandra Waddell
Charles and Sandra Waddell
A few numbers on Golden Gate Bridge.
A few numbers on Golden Gate Bridge.

After we cruised back across the bridge, using my husband’s Fast-Trak monitor which saved us a dollar, we drove down Lombard, the famed crooked street.  There was not a single car in line. In the past, I have waited more than an hour to drive down Lombard for 10 seconds!

We then drove a few blocks, got rock-star parking, and went up the Coit Tower elevator for a 360 degree view of the city.

Love this view from the first floor of Coit Tower.
Love this view from the first floor of Coit Tower.
That's Oakland way past the Bay Bridge.
From Coit Tower you can see Oakland way past the Bay Bridge.
Christopher Columbus is featured outside of Coit Tower
Christopher Columbus is featured outside of Coit Tower.

We then drove a mile, and parked near the Ferry Building.  We walked along the water and into the Ferry Building to the Marketplace. We sat down and ate the best cheese sandwiches in town at the Cowgirl Creamery.  If we had another hour of sunshine, we would have walked over to Pier 5 to have a speciality cocktail at Michael Chiarello’s restaurant, Coqueta.

Pretty much a perfect afternoon if you ask me!

Traveling

daysunplanned View All →

Why Travel, Cooking and DIY? A creative type, I have always loved painting and decorating as a hobby. Upcycling is a real passion. My mom was a Home Ec teacher when we were growing up. I learned a lot from her and because I love hosting get-togethers, I had to step up my game in the kitchen as well. And lastly, my love of travel comes from my Grandma Schmitt.

An Illinois native, I worked in the White House Communications Agency early in my career (President Reagan), prior to returning to Illinois State University to finish my undergraduate and Master's. After a couple of post-graduate internships (minor league baseball and Big Ten Conference), I then worked in college athletics full-time for more than 22 years -- first at the University of South Carolina for 15 years and then at Santa Clara University for the last seven years. We moved to Tampa, Florida in Dec., 2016 after spending 8.5 years in Northern California.

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