Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Park, The Wharf, The Animals: A Final San Francisco Album

It has been nearly a month since we embarked on our sweet trip to San Francisco. I wish I could share the entire experience with you here.  Mark and I look back on it with a sense of golden wonder, almost nostalgia.  I will not let the warm embrace of the city and the good feeling of our languid exploration fade.  I want to record some of those things I will remember fondly.  All of the photos (except the last two) are Mark's or my originals.

GOLDEN GATE PARK:  California's answer to Central Park; Chicago's Lakefront between Mag Mile and Lincoln park may qualify as a similar attraction.  But the trip through the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood by streetcar, and the 5-mile stretch of  the park and its attractions, ending at the Pacific Ocean, make this one of my favorite places on earth that I have visited...

One could spend an entire day strolling in the Botanical gardens to gape at the Redwoods; sipping tea and stepping through the delicate landscapes of the Japanese Gardens; becoming enlightened at the Science Museum or the deYoung Art Gallery;  climbing Strawberry Hill, surrounded by the row-boaters lagoon, for views of the city among cool pines; or just wandering aimlessly through miles of gently landscaped walks.

FISHERMAN'S WHARF AND THE BAY: We could not wait to get back to the Piers on Fisherman's Wharf.  Interesting sculptures and fountains sit at the threshold of wonderful architecture and painterly horizons.  Sometimes great rolls of fog float swiftly in, and soften the entire canvas.  The Farmers' Market at the Ferry Building offers an incredible variety of items from unusual fruits and heirloom vegetables to goat's milk yogurt and tastes from local restaurants.  The ferry from the bay to Sausalito, a small artist's enclave and quaint shopping village, was quick and refreshing. 

ANIMALS: There was Duke, the little Basset hound mix at our inn; and the tame squirrels at the park; the sea lions at the wharf; and the buffalo in the park.  Not to mention the myriad pets, mostly dogs, who were seen walking their caregivers bravely up and down the steep hills around the Castro. And the parrots (see post from September 30).  The creatures provided a sense of laid-back acceptance, and more than anything, made me feel at home.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST: "BEACH BLANKET BABYLON"--A terrific musical review that has played in San Francisco for over 30 years!  Nothing is sacred, and everyone is fair game in the wickedly satirical skits and numbers.  Well-known for the outrageous headdresses, some of which weigh about 300 pounds! Lots of good laughs, and a cast filled with attractive and talented singers and dancers.  A real unforgettable evening in a memorable trip.

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