Golden Gate Groaning


I know – I’m late with my blog post this week.  But I’ve been extremely busy leaving my heart in San Francisco.  Cue that dreamy crooner, Tony Bennett.  Sigh…

City by the Bay.  SFO.  Fog City.  ‘Frisco.  The Golden City.  The Paris of the West.

What’s up with this city?

First of all, there’s the hills.  They’re everywhere.  And there’s no avoiding them.  They’re around every block. They’re in between wherever you are now and where you want to be.  Anywhere you want to be.  Anywhere.

Oh – and the hills are not the hills that you and I know.  Not even close.  They seem to approach a forty five degree gradient making it impossible for a normal human achieve any sort of forward movement.  Your brain signals your muscles to make the effort of stepping forward but the result is that you will actually lose ground. Five minutes into your ascent, the hill you are trying to walk up appears twice as long as it did at the beginning.  Like “Ground Hog Day” for your legs.

Clearly, the half goat, half humans who inhabit this city have evolved over millennia.  Okay, maybe only a couple of years…  But they seem perfectly adapted to walking up the hills without excessive breath gasping or chest grasping.  And they all could be finalists in any shapely calf contest.  I saw some beauties.  I think I smell a reality series.

There’s also an interesting meteorological phenomenon here called “microclimates.”  This basically means that if you are out of doors for any longer than thirty minutes, you will need clothing that spans the global latitudes.  From the heat of the equatorial tropics to the more temperate middle latitudes to the frigid polar ice caps.  Stuff it in a bag and bring it all with you!

They call it “layering.”

And don’t expect to see anything that is in the water or near the water.   Or on top of a hill or the tops of any tall structures.  These things will be shrouded in fog.  So you just have to trust the Hop On Hop Off Bus tour guide when he tells you they are there.  Just look at the picture on Tony’s album cover…  And if it’s not all enveloped in fog right now, snap that picture quick because it will be in five minutes.  Just wait.

Still, it was a brilliant trip!

San Francisco’s a beautiful city.  The parts that I could see…

The food is better than wonderful. The waist of my jeans agree.

It’s an hour or so south from one of the best wine growing regions in the world.  ‘Nuff said on that one.

The people are amazing.  I made some new BFFs the other night at Gigi’s Sotto Mare in North Beach.  They told me all about growing up in the area during the Jack Kerouac and Alan Ginsberg years. Witnesses to The Beat Generation.  We moved to a locals bar for a nightcap where we saw THE Carol Doda sitting at the bar.  Click the link.

Honestly, you can’t make this stuff up!

I’m ready to go home.  I miss my husband, cats and routine.  I miss my bed and pillow.  I miss wearing t-shirts and shorts in June.  I miss seeing the tops of buildings.

But I think I’m leaving a bit of my heart in this wonderful city.

Thanks for the great time San Francisco AND my new shapely calfs!

6 thoughts on “Golden Gate Groaning

  1. Yup, I think you captured San Francisco to a T. Everything from the hills to the dressing in layers to the fog to the food. Nice job. And just think, you’ll be going back to where you can were t-shirts and shorts in June, but you have to bundle up in long, winter-underwear and heavy coats, boots, hats, and gloves in the winter. Here in San Francisco it’s pretty much the same all year round…for better or worse!


    • Glad I passed the expert muster! I honestly could have used my long johns (which I brought to SFO by the way…) and heavy coat and a hat and gloves on Wednesday when I was at Alcatraz. I thought my head was going to blow off from the wind and I was afraid nobody would find it in the fog! And I live in the South, so the bundling up is minimal. Oh – except for the occasional apocalyptic snowstorm that strands people on freeways for 18 hours…


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