We spent day 11 of our trip sightseeing in San Francisco, staying over for a second night. Until this stop we haven’t spent more than one night in any hotel. We finally got a break from loading and unloading the car for a day! Soooo…..let me share something with you about San Francisco in the summer. I am assuming this will be new information for all of you, because not a single person warned us of what we would encounter here in the foggy city.
Apparently Mark Twain once said, “The coldest winter I ever spent was the summer I spent in San Francisco.” I learned this while on our open top motorized cable car tour, shivering beneath fleece blankets. Why is it cold in San Francisco in the summer, you ask. The friendly, native San Franciscan sitting next to me says it’s because of the fog that rolls in off the water coupled with the ocean winds. So if you ever want to know what the Golden Gate Bridge looks like in person, I am probably not the person to ask. The fog was so thick we could only see about 1/3 of the bridge at any given time, even when we were standing on it.
The good news is that the further east you travel from the coast, sometimes a mere 500 ft or so, the sunnier and warmer the weather becomes. If you ever come to San Francisco in the summer, dress like you would in New England – in layers! And when I say layers, I mean a tank top, then a t-shirt, then a long sleeve tee and then a heavy sweatshirt. Chances are you will need them all as the temperature can vary from place to place by 20 degrees, maybe more!
Being in a city as populated as San Francisco was quite a culture shock after a week in the mid-west. People, people everywhere! On our trip we have seen towns whose populations are smaller than our church’s membership (the lowest population was 10 in the town of Emblem, WY) and neighbors were three, five, ten or more miles apart. Yet in San Francisco, as in any major city, people literally live stacked upon one another. According to our tour guide, in San Fran’s Chinatown, about 12,000 people live within the 30 blocks. American lifestyles are so varied.
I found the streets of San Francisco the most interesting part of the city. Some hills were so steep, I was convinced that before our car reached the top, we would simply roll backwards, front end over rear end, all the way back to the bottom. Anyone living and walking in this city must be in great shape!
Doug and I celebrated our 17th anniversary on Saturday by having dinner (with the kids, of course) at Lori’s, a 50’s themed diner in Ghirardelli Square. No, this wasn’t your traditional anniversary date but I think fish ‘n chips and chili cheese fries suits our marriage well. For dessert we all shared a Ghirardelli sundae. Then we went to the hotel and warmed our chilled bones in the hot tub!
Remember, if you are holding information…like, oh I don’t know, in June San Francisco is blanketed in fog reminiscent of a Stephen King movie…if you are holding information like that about any of the other places we are headed, please share!!! I would hate to get to Sequoia National Forest and find out the trees only look big after a swig from Alice’s “Drink Me” bottle.
© Nichole Liza Q.
SF is ALWAYS foggy, not just summer. About 1/2 way over the Bay Bridge, the fog magically disappears. Tell me you got to see Lombard Street! Very cool street. And Alcatraz. Though, I have to admit, it’s a very nice city, but not one of my favorites.
Hi Beckie! We actually were able to drive Lombard St. The kids really got a kick out of that. Well, so did we! Hope you and the family are enjoying your summer 🙂
WOW! COOL! Last time we were there (’07), it had been closed to vehicular travel. Too many accidents.