Lisa and Bob in San Francisco and Napa Valley:
Thursday, October 11th

While some might have been afraid of flying coast-to-coast in the US after the events of September 11th, I really wasn’t at all. With the enhanced security and Air Marshalls and everything else, this was probably one of the most unlikely times for a security threat to happen. It was interesting to see troops with assault rifles strolling the halls of the airports. The flight from Providence to Detroit was quick and uneventful, and then the remaining leg out to San Jose was quiet. The plane was pretty full, so we weren’t the only ones enjoying the flight. The airline attendants said that all of the recent flights had been quite full. Maybe it was the $205 round trip airfare?

We landed and grabbed our car - also quite inexpensive. Our plan for the first day was to take it easy and just see the sights. We’d gotten an early flight out - 6am - and not slept the night before in order to take care of as much work as possible before leaving. So our brains were in no shape at this point to taste wines! Instead, we explored San Jose first. My boyfriend is a bass player, so we hit a number of bass shops in the area, exploring their wares. There were some quite impressive bass guitars in the shops, and the shops were much as he remembered them from a previous visit.

Despite my wanting to eat "native food", I wasn't quite eager to try the various fast-food restaurants we drove past. They were a little too slimy, at least in this neck of the woods. We drove up pretty much the center of the peninsula from San Jose to San Francisco, down a long, straight road, with lots of shops and fast food on either side of us.

Then it was north into San Francisco itself. What a city! We drove up Lombard Street. I was very impressed by how steep it was. Then we crested the top and I saw the cool zig-zag street going down the other side! I can't imagine having to live on that. The houses were all very narrow and squeezed in with each other, but each was quite individual and well kept for.

We drove by the Presidio, along the coast and hiked it for a while. It was a spot Bob knew about, that was really interesting.

The area we hiked was great - there were waves crashing into the rocks, seagulls down to one side in the ruins of ancient baths. Bob joked that we should take a 'shortcut' through the killer ocean waves to get back to the street. The waves were pretty powerful, and a rock tunnel at one area had ocean pounding into it, quite impressive. I did do a balancing act along one stone wall to get out to take pictures of the birds. There were even a pair of hummingbirds over the bushes! I tried to get a photo of them, but they came out as dark blurs. Here's a picture of the gulls at least.

Eventually we headed east across the bridge to where we were staying, east of Oakland. A lovely apartment that is owned by friends of my mom's, the perfect base from which to launch our explorations of the area. We got some Chinese food, plus "Authentic" Chinese beer, and called it a night.

Lisa's Trip to San Francisco & Napa Valley
Lisa's Travelogue Pages