Don’t look down!
My cousins and their Egyptian foreign exchange student came to visit San Francisco for business/pleasure from Phoenix. Deciding not to plan ahead my cousins and I , both San Francisco tourist veterans in our own right, set to decide what important sites their new “daughter” must see. The conversation went like this, “What do you think she should see?” “I don’t know, what do you think she should see? All I know is I am hungry.” “Anything you want to do that you have never done before?” “Ah, no. I feel like I have done everything.” Then my cousin asked me if I had ever walked over the iconic Golden Gate Bridge? Well, heck. I never had. I guess I just never wanted to deal with the wind and the crowds. So we set out…
The parking Gods were with us. Someone pulled out right in front of us. Parking was only $5! Parking is NEVER only $5 in San Francisco.
It turns out there is a lovely gift shop at the bridge. I don’t know why this comes as a surprise to me but it does. Near the gift shop there is a cool representation of what it takes to build this magnificent bridge. Did you know that those gigantic orange cables holding up that thing is made of thousands of of smaller cables? There are a few interactive toys/models to show folks the engineering behind the bridge too.
And then there is the bridge! Just walk on out there. Put earthquakes out of your mind. Put tsunamis from the Rock’s new movie out of your mind. Pay no attention to the police officer yelling at someone doing something they aren’t supposed to over the intercom. Take some fun little selfies. And then behold the beauty that is the Marin Headlands in one direction and the most beautiful city in the United States in the other. (Reference some of my favorite lesser known spots in SF: Botanical gardens, ChinaTown, Japanese Tea Garden, Coit Tower…) You have a birdseye view of Alcatraz and Angel islands. You can see the new span of the Bay Bridge and all its glory connected by Treasure island. You can see Berkeley and Oakland. You can see seals frolicking in the water below. Wait, don’t look down! You can see sailboats at 90 degree angles. You can feel the vibration of the bridge moving by both natural forces and the hundreds of cars zooming by. It is loud, very loud and the wind is whipping up in your ears making it seem even louder. You dodge runners and bicyclists as well as other tourists walking with their cameras up not paying attention to anyone or anything around them. We turn around 3/4 of the way over the bridge because it is a long darn bridge and the loudness and the wind is getting to us all.
It never fails to surprise me that every time I go to the City I have a good time and can experience something new. I know it will be this way for the rest of my life.
To read about my other San Francisco exploits click here!