Sunday, September 13, 2015 – Yesterday we explored San Francisco’s Fishermans Wharf. What an amazing place but the day did not go as planned. I’ll share the day as it unfolded but please know this was a wonderful experience being in San Francisco. It was very clean, colorful and welcoming. I have to pinch myself remembering that we are in California FINALLY!!
Our morning at home had some delays, so we didn’t leave as early as we wanted to. It was an hour drive from our RV resort to the Ferry. On the drive we saw an amazing 9/11 display of American flags on an overpass on the highway.
We planned to take the San Francisco Bay Ferry from the Port of Oakland to Pier 41 in San Francisco. I researched it (but not enough) and saw that about every 30 minutes a ferry leaves Oakland for Pier 41. However there is no ferry (I didn’t realize that) between 12:01 and 1:35. We arrived at 12:04 so we started the day off waiting an hour and a half for the ferry. I enjoyed walking around the docks area in Oakland waiting for the ferry. These pictures are from that area. A bowling alley right by the Bay! Next two pictures.Since there is a drought here all the water sculptures had no water! One of my favorite pictures, right by the Bay. The day was beautiful and clear skies! I’ve never seen a black flower like the one in the second picture below! How I wish I could have popped a leaf off to grow but, I couldn’t.And Roy patiently waiting for me while I explored.
One man sat by himself with the sign below! I asked if I could photograph him and he said yes, so I did. Then he asked for money for his weed and I told him no if that’s what he’d do with the money. He just shrugged and kept smiling! We smiled and walked on!.
There were several large restaurants and several roadside vendors. We were fairly determined to try dungeness crabs as we’ve heard so much about them. We decided to eat at Nick’s Lighthouse where they cook the food on the sidewalk and serve it to you inside in a restaurant. I described it on Facebook as we totally lost our minds when we ordered our food. One crab was $42.95. We couldn’t afford two so we decided to share one. It really wasn’t much bigger than what we consider a #1 crab in Louisiana. They served it with butter, ketchup, claw crackers and a tiny fork. Typical utensils for eating crabs. It was very delicious and tasted somewhat different than our Louisiana blue crabs. Since we are use to sitting down and splitting a dozen crabs that one crab felt like just a snack! The waitress told us this was the off season for dungeness crabs as the regular season is November through June and this is September. They have to get them from Washington state or Alaska causing the price to be very high. We are very glad we tried them so we know what it’s like but unless we come back when the price is 1/4th that we won’t have any more.
After we ate the crab we walked around and came across a chocolate shop where I got a chocolate and nut dipped banana and Roy had a chocolate and nut dipped ice cream bar! That helped fill us up!
We walked and walked and walked around the area looking in shops and seeing the sights! We found the end of the route for one of the cable car routes. We were shocked to see about 200 people in line waiting to get on one of the many cars. I had $18 in cash and had been able to pay for everything with my bank card. Again, we arrived a few minutes after the bank card window closed for the day so it was cash only. Since the fee was $7.50 per person each way we needed more money than we had. We didn’t get to ride the cable cars but we watched them manually turn around at the end and head back up the hill.
On the map Coit Towers did not look too far from the Wharf. In reality it is very far and you have to climb a big hill. As much as we wanted to see the views from up there we were so tired by that time so we chose to skip it.
Since we were getting pretty tired we headed back towards the ferry. We THOUGHT the next ferry left at 5:50 and we had some extra time so we visited a kite and other flying things shop that we visited right after getting there earlier in the day. We loved everything there and finally decided on a pink flamingo riding a bicycle with whirling tires! It sticks in the ground and the wind blows it around and makes the tires spin! Roy said we could get it for my birthday which is Monday.
Happy as a little lark over the pink flamingo purchase we headed to the Ferry dock. When we looked at the posted schedule at the gate to the ferry ramp, we realized that earlier we looked at the weekEND schedule when the real schedule on weekDAYS had no more ferries leave until 8:05. Over 2-1/2 hours from then….
A really nice man who was knowledgeable about the schedules and transportation in the area gave us advice. He said there were two ferries leaving from the Ferry Building about 22 walking minutes from there. It was 6:00 and the Ferry left at 6:25 from the Ferry Building. He said that we could go two streets over and catch streetcar that would get us there quickly.
We almost ran there to make sure we got there before the streetcar left. Us running is not a pretty sight! We waited 10 minutes and it arrived. It was mostly full already and many many people were trying to get on. When it left that streetcar stop, the streetcar had at least 3 times the amount of people it should have had on it. Being smashed in there like sardines we couldn’t look out the windows to see where we were and really didn’t know where we were going except to the Ferry Building which we listened for every stop it made. The driver called out the Pier number we were approaching but we had no idea what pier number the Ferry Building was on! FINALLY at 6:23 we arrived at the Ferry Building and most everyone on the train got off there. We ran with the crowd to the Ferry Building (again running not a pretty sight) where we were all able to get on that boat. Our legs hurt and it took the entire boat ride back to the Oakland dock to get our breath back!
Yes there were beautiful sights along the way and yes we really enjoyed our time there but the final leg of our journey today was the clincher. It’s been getting dark between 9-10 every night for the last several months. I didn’t realize it would get dark as early as it does here. BUT IT DID. At 7:45 darkness set in fast. We haven’t driven in the dark in months. Driving on dark unfamiliar roads when you have old eyes is not a good nor safe thing to do. We didn’t plan to do it but that’s how it went! Roy HATED IT. Most of the time there was no one ahead of us for us to follow their lights so we just went for it and made it the long long hour drive home safely.
This may have been our worst day travel wise, while being one of the coolest days with what we saw and experienced when things went right. We’ve realized we won’t be able to see everything we want to unless we kill ourselves trying. We’ve made plans for two days next week to see more things and those things don’t involve too much walking or strenuous activity.
We are going to the worship service here at the resort tomorrow morning (I love it when RV resorts have worship services!!) then shopping at Sam’s Club and picking up some Popeye’s chicken nearby tomorrow!!
We put our pink flamingo on wheels together today and he’s living with our other outdoor decorations in the yard next to Dora!
Ya’ll come now, ya’ hear!
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