I flew out of Boston this morning with my brother Brian and his two sons Matt and Michael to meet my other brother, Tom, in San Francisco. We’ll be here in San Francisco for three days, then shift south down the coast to wind up in Monterey.
The flight to San Francisco was long but uneventful. We ended up having to check our baggage, but baggage pickup was easy; the luggage was already on the carousel by the time we got there.
Once Tom arrived, we headed into the city. First stop: lunch. Locally, it was around noon, but for our stomachs, it was 2-ish, and we’d had breakfast around five. After lunch, we decided to head for Coit Tower, a big concrete tower on top a high hill.
My god, the hills. The hills are so steep around here. It’s like a bunch of natural roller coasters. We walked up a super steep hill to the base of the Coit Tower, and then climbed the thirteen stories (243 steps) to the top. The view was worth it, though. From one side, you could see the TransAmerica Pyramid; on another the Oakland Bridge, on another the Bay, on another Alcatraz Island, and in the distance, the Golden Gate Bridge.
After Coit Tower, we walked a few blocks to see the cable cars. The tracks have a slot running between them and the moving cable is running under the street. The car sends a grip down into the slot; and the grip grabs hold of the moving cable. To stop, the operator opens the grip. You can actually hear the cable running under the street. We saw a couple of cable cards, and got to ride one for a few blocks.
Once we got off the cable car, we walked through Chinatown, where they were having a car show of antique cars. There were cars from the 40s and 50s, as well as a bunch of Lamborghinis and Ferraris.
From there, we went back to the car. We were going to see Lombard Street, “The Curviest Street in the World”, but got stuck in traffic trying to get onto it, so we decided it wasn’t worth the wait. So instead, Brian, Tom and the boys decided to hit a couple of bars, and then head down to Pacifica where the rental house is. Along the way, we wound up getting on the Golden Gate Bridge by accident. It’s impressive, and we’ll get a better look at it tomorrow. From there, we headed to the rental house, which is really nice. Five bedrooms and a hot tub, way up in the hills.