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My San Francisco Vacation & Fun Things To Do
Cable Cars, Sea Lions, Beaches, Sightseeing, Alcatraz, Golden Gate Park. Fun, fun, fun !! ♥


San Francisco Skyline
San Francisco Holiday Vacation
Frisco Skyline

My San Francisco vacation was even better than I could have imagined. The long flight from the Midwest passed over empty deserts and snow-capped mountains. The airport was efficient with long distance people movers and underground trains to the gates. I took the Super Shuttle from the airport right to Suzie's apartment door, very inexpensive. After all, this was a budget vacation. They gave me a bedroom of my own with a bay window, a queen sized bed and a gold chaise lounge they had salvaged from the trash. Weather 76 degrees and sunny on an October afternoon; no need for those layers of wool sweaters yet. My San Francisco travel holiday vacation was off to a good start.

Lots of first impressions as we walked up to Panhandle Park, catching up on a year of absence. The red poppies, California's state flower, grow wild. Bougainvillea and orleander were also in bloom. We passed a retro seventies antique shop, a stained glass shop and ancient gnarled willow trees.

San Francisco Mission Dolores
San Francisco Holiday Vacation
Mission Dolores

Suzie and Jill, both vegetarians, planned a welcome dinner at a nouvelle cuisine vegetarian restaurant called The Millennium. Can you imagine a vegetable and balsamic rice Napoleum in phyllo pastry with coconut lime sauce? Desert was chocolate tapioca with white chocolate and banana ginger sauce. We tasted and shared around the table.

Each day I awoke to the lovely sound of foghorns from ships passing in the Bay. Suzie said that Divisidero Street was named because the morning fog from the Bay stops at that point. From my window I can see where the fog has been restrained by an invisible boundary. For the entire week my body stayed on Eastern Standard Time and refused to switch time zones, which made me first to wake and first to bed.

Best Cheap San Francisco Holiday
Travel Vacations Guide
Sightseeing in San Francisco

San Francisco Cable Car
San Francisco Holiday Vacation
Cable Car

Suzie took off work for the week to keep me company. Together we toured Pacific Heights with its ice cream colored houses, rode the cable car to the wharf, saw the Maritime Museum and walked through the last commercial sailing ship to sail under the U.S. flag. We shopped in Ghirardelli Square, tasted the chocolate, bought souvenir mugs that said "I left my heart in San Francisco," and then bused to the Palace of Fine Arts. As if that wasn't enough for the second day of my holiday vacation, we took a bus to the Golden Gate Bridge, which isn't golden at all, but dull red. To return home, we took the long bus route, still travel on the cheap. We rode through Golden Gate Park and through the Presidio, an old military base that dates back to the Spanish settlers. The flowers are everywhere. This was my first encounter with jasmine in bloom.

San Francisco is different from my Midwest home. The houses are close to the street and often share a common wall. Electrical wiring runs up the outside of each house and cast iron waste drains from the bathrooms run down the outside of the houses. Same way with cable and telephone wires. The wires and pipes are exposed inside, too. This would never pass the building code back home. Most of the homes have no central heat or air conditioning. Don't usually need it in SF, they say.

Best Cheap San Francisco Vacation Holiday
Travel Vacations Guide
Day Visit to Alcatraz

San Francisco Alcatraz
San Francisco Holiday Vacation
Alcatraz

Alcatraz is the famous prison island just off San Francisco. There's a cheap ferry cruise to the island and guided tours through the prison. Cells are stacked three stories high with a green guard cage at each end of the building where the guard sat watching. The big escape attempt in 1962 was foiled because a stolen key didn't fit the entry door. On the tour tape are voices of old geezers who were also prisoners: "His mind was all gone." "Convicts punished with solitary confinement lived in the dark, even though the light was supposed to be kept on." "The birdman was a mathematical whiz and knew many languages, all self-taught, and wrote a bird book which still used today, but he was a suicidal, homocidal maniac for all that." The recreation yard has a spectacular view of the San Francisco skyline, which would have driven any convict crazy. I had not expected to be so moved.

The sea lions gather on Pier 39 for daily sunbathing and scraps from the restaurants, to the delight of us tourists. There was a mime performing at the Pier. I made the mistake of trying to photograph him without putting a tip in his jar, but he kept turning away from the camera until I got his message. Then we took a taxi to the Exploratorium, a children's museum, for a whole afternoon of delights. We, two adults, were both intriqued by the hands-on experiments in music, memory, magnetism. There were frogs and toads, prisms and hot water geysers, optical illusions, giant soap bubbles to blow and a catenary arch to build from blocks. One afternoon was not nearly long enough to do the museum justice. This was turning out to be the best holiday travel vacation ever.

Continue with Part 2 of San Francisco.
I hope life brings you much success.
I wish you a very happy day.

Return to the best cheap vacation holiday travel guide

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