We gave ourselves three days, late summer to get out of the Sacramento valley’s triple digit heat. Our room overlooked the estuary at Jack London Square, Oakland. That first evening we walked Park Avenue in Alameda and found “China House” restaurant still open and the food still wonderful. Alameda, the town where Barbara and I first met, dated and lived together thirty-five years ago. After dinner we cruised the south shore beaches and watched the sun set over Yerba Buena island. I recorded the temperature change from the valley at sunny 101 degrees to a cloudy low 60’s at the hotel . Yes, thankfully we remembered sweaters and stashed the tank tops.
Tuesday morning 9:15 am, August 21st, we were huddled with scarfs on the lower aft deck of a ferry boat to San Francisco watching the Port of Oakland disappear. A cloudy cool 59 degrees on arrival. Scones and cappuchino for breakfast at Peets Coffee in the Ferry building and then we walk up past the financial district to Chinatown. Through Saint Mary’s Square we stopped to watch morning tai chi and then over to Union Square, window shopping all the way. By 11am, we knew it was time for the art galleries at “49 Geary” to open. There are several floors of paintings, photographs and other mixed media artwork. Most all of the pieces were for sale but we were “just looking” simply to appreciate the art and observe the lastest trends.
Leaving the art galleries and with a glow of inspiration we caught the No. 30 Stockton bus loaded with seniors and workers towards the Ghiradelli shops at the wharf. Here, Barbara and I searched and located the neighborhood just below Lombard on north Polk street where her great grandmother had lived in the 1930’s and where her mother had spent many of her summers. We took some photographs to share with her family. By now we were famished and ready to find a place for lunch.
Walking we crossed Van Ness avenue, west and over to the boutiques of Union Street. The shops there are small but unique and the window displays show marvelous eclectic creativity. At a childrens clothing store we found gifts for the granddaughters. We stopped at the “Real Food Company” a community grocery store and commissioned the deli to build us sandwiches. After a good long picnic style break we headed north on Divisadero Street to the Marina green to see some of the “America’s Cup” sailboat racing. (My primary secret reason for leading Barbara in this direction). The sailboats were catamarans…the fastest sailboats on water and the teams of sailors from around the world were amazing to watch in action. There was lots of wind for the sails and quality sunshine for pictures.
Another long break by the water and we’re headed back to the City this time on a bus filled with young students and commuters. Standing room only! Its nearly 6pm when we stopped to eat at Tad’s steakhouse to give us the energy to continue shopping. By 7:30 pm we’re back on the ferry to Oakland. One really nice day. I counted several sweet romantic moments this day, but I’ll have to check with Barbara to see if she concurs. (LOL)
Each trip to the City is an adventure, unique, exhausting, and enjoyable. We’ve vowed to return again soon. Check out some of the photos taken that day.