A Gorgeous Summer Day By The Bay  

Posted by Heidi in

It was Mark Twain (or Oscar Wilde or Jack London depending on who you ask) who said "The coldest winter I ever spent was summer in San Francisco", my point being that you take your chances when heading out to San Fran in June, July or August. Downtown, the buildings are so tall that the sun never reaches the pavement. I believe it was me who said, "The most wool I have ever seen in one place is SF in July". Yes--yes, I do believe it was I. So, therefore and heretofore, we were thrilled and exceedingly lucky one day in August when we ventured out and spent a glorious day by the bay.

Our first stop was Coit Tower to show the kiddios where their father popped the question. This was on a cold and stormy Valentine's eve after we had spent hours driving around the city so that The Spouse could find the perfect place to propose. The wet grass under a tree on the back lawn of the Tower was pretty perfect since the rain had stopped, the stars were like bits of crystal in the sky with a view of the lighted Bay Bridge in one direction and the Golden Gate in the other. (We found the tree in spite of some remodeling in the last 25 years but the photos the Middle Child took of us there are pretty much unpublishable. Our posterity can chuckle over them in future. And in private.) (Not because they are R rated, silly! Just terribly unflattering. Ugh!)

The view from there was fantastic, though, as long as the camera wasn't pointed at moi. Crystal clear sky, crystal clear water, just a FABulous day. I wish I knew what that long white building in the background is but in spite of an hours long search online of the historic sites in the city, I couldn't be sure. I think the dome showing just above it is the civic center.

On our drive back down Telegraph Hill we spotted this gorgeous church. Research reveals it to be the Saints Peter and Paul Church. It looks like something out of a fairy tale--or a castle spun out of sugar. It was shortly after this that I saw a couple with backpacks along the side of the road. I know the guy is a celebrity of some kind, a non-working child actor, but I can't think of his name or anything he's been in. He smiled and waved as if we were ready to pull out our cameras but we were concentrating on getting down the steep hill in one piece. (Having said that, I wish I had taken his picture b/c it is BUGGING me not knowing his name.) (I once saw Clint Eastwood drive by in the back of a limo when he was Mayor of Carmel--which is where I was at the time--but he went by too fast for a photo.) (Man, I love where I live!) We then headed to Ocean Beach which, 9 times out of 10, is foggy and overcast and 40 degrees.

Some of the sites we saw along the way . . .Love the detail on this house!

And this one. . . .I can't help but wonder how my life would be different if I lived in such a house. (Reason says it won't be any better but my heart says different. I mean, just look at all that gorgeous trim!)

This is called the McCormick House. That's all I know. Unless I got it wrong. It looks like a church but I couldn't find it on the historic register. It looks like the photos of McCormick House. Please correct me, someone, if I am wrong.

Oh, and here we have a pirate permanently swinging from the Levi's store. Perhaps the manager sees a similarity between pirate garb and the ratty jeans of today. I can't think why we don't have one at our mall but I suppose my sweet little valley attracts a less colorful crowd.

Quite literally, I might add. (This is one of those photos you really need to click on and see closer up. In fact, most of these pics look much more stunning in larger versions.)

Then we hit the beach. It was a tad overcast at first but it cleared up nicely. There is nothing, no nothing, like a day at the beach. (As long as it's not freezing.)

The kids frolicked in the water and I took some stunning photos because you can't help but get stunning photos on a day like this one.

Tip: it helps to dress your subjects in blue when posing against sea and sky.

Tip 2: It helps when you have the kind of hair that, though straight as a pin the rest of the time, curls up fetchingly around your face when by the sea.

Next came the surprising delight of the whole trip--Golden Gate Park. I had been there a number of times as a child but hadn't--for some unexplicable reason--been back since. When heading towards Ocean Beach, we drive along a street parallel to the park so this time I said, "Gol-darn it! Why don't we drive through the park this time?!?" What a glorious, glorious place! I can't believe I have lived an hour away from it most of my life and haven't been in so long. What's more, I couldn't believe my eyes when I laid them on this edifice.

It is glorious to behold (this is not a postcard--I took this picture--that's the kind of enchanted day it was!) and is modeled after the conservatory in Kew Gardens, London (which, incidentally, happens to be the site of some of the action in my next book . . .). I believe this particular conservatory was built in the late 1800's. Be still my beating heart. For my birthday, my hunny is going to take me there since I only got as close to it as seen due to utterly disinterested kids in the car who will one day say "I came here as a kid! I can't believe I haven't been back!". Believe me when I say that there are many more truly awe-inspiring things to see in Golden Gate Park but I think I shall make that a subject of a different post, especially since I just accidentally deleted the pics I had of it that should have been below and since I don't know how to insert photos but only put them in a post, in backwards order, prior to any writing, I can't do anything about it at this point except start over. I think you know which option I chose.

Since it had been a while since I had been to Sausalito, the Middle Child and I persuaded The Spouse to drive across the Golden Gate Bridge and visit. One of our better decisions if I do say so myself. A glorious day in SF is bound to be an uber-glorious day in Sausalito. In fact, it was almost psychedelic.

(This is another one of those pics you might want to click on and view larger--spectacular!)

And this one, too, taken from a moving car. What can I say? A beautiful subject makes for a beautiful photo.

Enter downtown Sausalito. (Click on this one, too.) (Am I getting obnoxious, yet?)

Who wouldn't want to check this out?

I was glad that I did. There are few things that make my heart go pitty pat more than a display of impatiens such as this one.

The shot below made me wonder what it would be like to live where you can feast your eyes on this view every day? I'm willing to bet the crime rate is much lower here than places with no ocean view.

More cool California architecture. I can't get enough of it.

This is the kind of place where you can go and get an ice cream cone, walk past a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and take in a view of San Francisco all at the same time.

Speaking of ice cream, it's a pretty great way to end a perfect day. Wish you had been there with us . . .

Come! If you do, we'll show you a really great time!

This entry was posted on Monday, September 26, 2011 at Monday, September 26, 2011 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

10 wise, witty and wonderful comments

You know I want to co e out their so much! It is beautiful AND you live there. Thanks so much for the photos. :)

September 26, 2011 at 7:58 PM

Those are some beautiful pictures. And some seriously beautiful eyes on your children!

September 26, 2011 at 9:13 PM

Oh my goodness! Gorgeous!! I need to go to San Fran again!! No wonder it's one of my husband's (who's traveled through much of Europe) favorite cities! What a great day! I hope to go there some day soon, especially to see you!!

September 27, 2011 at 2:49 AM

So beautiful!! I have been to CA many times but have never made it up the San Fran area. Now for sure i have to go!!!! No twisting my arm!:)

September 27, 2011 at 6:20 AM

I want to come visit right now! Thank you for sharing your lovely day with us, and happy birthday!

September 27, 2011 at 7:04 AM

Wow! It's so beautiful. And it looks like you had such a great time! <3

September 27, 2011 at 7:24 AM

Truly beautiful pictures! So glad you got to have such a beautiful day with your family, those are the kinds of memories that last forever!

(I hear San Francisco's crime rate is like one of the highest in the country, isn't that right?) ;)

September 27, 2011 at 12:52 PM

Oh my!! Those pictures are gorgeous!! What a beautiful day!! How fun!! I haven't been to SF since I was five (a very long time ago!) and have never really cared to go back, but seeing your pictures is changing that.

September 27, 2011 at 2:44 PM

your children are more beautiful then the scenery you posted...and their eyes, so mysterious and beautiful!!
I have never been to SF, and perhaps may never get there, but it was wonderful to see these pictures.
when you have a good day, one totally must take advantage of it eh.
architecture is one of my favorite things, and those buildings/church you posted are amazing.
I love to be surrounded by beauty, and I think that is how you live your life.

September 27, 2011 at 8:15 PM

So beautiful! I wish I could come visit! That one house you posted actually looks like a Mosque but that's just me! I do so miss the ocean!

September 27, 2011 at 8:48 PM

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