Ah … San Francisco … the Bay City … one of the many gateways to America. It had been a while since we had set foot in the US. The last time Bethany was 7 months old and … as the title suggests, she left her sock there. More on that story later. 😉
We had been contemplating our ski holiday for February and were initially considering Japan. We started to look at airfares when Cathay Pacific announced a special for the west coast of the USA which was too good to ignore. Curiously we researched Lake Tahoe as we knew it wasn’t too far from San Francisco and after talking with friends who live there worked out it would be about the same price to have our ski holiday in Tahoe as Japan. Given the advantage of english speaking instructors, a life-long dream to ski in the US and a best friend who lives in San Francisco, how could we not make the most of such a good deal.
The flight from Hong Kong was surprisingly only around 12 hours. For those of you thinking “good grief – what do you mean ONLY 12 hours!”, when you tend to fly 10 and 11 hour flights at least twice a year an extra hour or two on a plane is nothing – that’s something you get used to when your home is down under. I am also blessed with two kids who (now) love to fly. Bethany has always been my little frequent flyer and Mitchell has a real passion for planes now so he gets quite caught up in the airline logos and the model of the planes, what is going on over the wing, in the sky, etc … Plus, the air pressure in the plane cabin tends to send him to sleep either as the plane is taking off or no more than an hour after it takes off and he sleeps a good amount of the flight.
We arrived into San Francisco and it was quite amusing to get off the plane and only hear english being spoken by the locals. You have no idea how used to other languages you become when you spend a lot of time in Asia. The first thing that always hits me about San Francisco is how friendly the people are. I find people in the US friendly but in San Francisco this seems to be taken to the next level. We had strangers offering to help us on numerous occasions to point us in the right direction or check if we were alright … or perhaps they were just curious to hear us talk funny. Either way … we were immediately made to feel welcome.
We only had a couple of days in San Francisco which we had to use to try and jump into the right timezone – no easy feat when you’re nigh on 12 hours in time difference – and we tried to get in a couple of the sights. For Titus that meant a chance to see Tiger Woods and other top golfers up close and personal at the Pebble Beach Pro Am while my best friend and I did the touristy thing and took the kids for a drive around San Francisco to see the Golden Gate Bridge, Lombard Street, etc.
Speaking of Lombard Street (the bendiest road in the world):
Flashback to May 2005:
Hard to believe this photo was taken so long ago. You will notice a very little Bethany in this photo with two … count them … TWO stripy pink socks on her little feet. Less than 15 minutes after this photo was taken we had walked to the very bottom of Lombard Street (it is actually more than just the windy bit ya know) and discovered she only had one sock on. Looking up the hill, we couldn’t see the sock she had lost and deterred by the steepness we decided it wasn’t worth the effort to climb back up and look for it.
Back to the present; we took another trip to Lombard Street which really hasn’t changed at all aside from a lot more tourists. Unfortunately Bethany wouldn’t co-operate for a matching photo to go alongside this one but she did manage not to lose her footware this time. He he
We stopped for a picnic lunch under the Golden Gate Bridge where the kids got to see the bridge up close and personal, watch the surfers underneath it and take in the beauty of the bay. We were lucky the weather made for a beautiful clear day to see the bridge in all its orange glory. Bethany was delighted as she has been wanting to see the Golden Gate bridge for a while (after all Superman saved a school bus on it) and it was top of her list of places to go in San Francisco.
Onward to the snow …