06
Mag-2013

San Francisco, ranking second in my hit parade

If I weren’t afraid of earthquakes, I think San Francisco would be my first choice amongst the different cities I could live in, along with Miami Beach and right after New York. I stay in New York therefore, since it’s less prone to be shaken or to be hit by a hurricane, even if in the past years my poor city has been devastated by some natural elements (and not so natural ones!).

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(Mom, Dad, Justin and the girls at Pier 39)

The thing I like the most about San Francisco is the feeling that we are in a city! I missed this sensation when I visit Los Angeles, too spread out and too impersonal. We do not need a car to move around: public transportation is available anywhere and we can even walk if the distances allow us. At Pier 39, the most famous one thanks to its mall and its restaurants, the loud voice of the sea lions is deafening. There are hundreds of them, all piled one on top of the other on the barges at the port and it almost seems they are talking to you. Well, I’ve already got enough issues understanding English that I do not have time for further translations.

We walk across Little Italy (in San Francisco it’s called North Beach) and we go back towards Ghirardelli Square, named after the famous chocolate maker that here has his headquarters. We can’t really skip this very important leg of this trip and spend about two hours stuffing our mouths with chocolate and ice cream. Thank god with are down by the bay, since San Francisco is built on seven hills, just like Rome, otherwise after “non-skipping” Ghirardelli, we will be “rolling” down to the piers, in spite of our low calories diet.

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 (low calories snack at Ghirardelli Square)

The view on the Golden Gate is really exciting for me. It’s one of those places you always see on TV and when finally you find yourself right in front of it you feel like thinking “ YOU DO EXIST!!!” It’s the same thing when I see Alcatraz, once home to the prison by the same name, where people of the caliber of Al Capone ‘vacationed’ here until they died. Unfortunately they are remodeling the museum that took over the prison and we can only admire it from afar. Around the city we can notice the trolleys, cable cars very similar to the trams in Italy, but here they do not have windows.

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(Justin and Alcatraz behind him)

From the highest point of the city, we can see distinguish the famous streets of San Francisco going downhill (or uphill based on one’s direction!) and I would really like to stop at Lombard Street, the most popular of all, because of its twists and sharp turns that have earned the street the distinction of being the crookedest in the world. Time is running out though since we need to head toward the Redwood Forest in northern California. Our vacation is almost over and soon we will be back in Spokane, where we hope to find spring instead of snow and cold weather.

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