A weekend in San Francisco!
SAN FRANCISCO ~ named in the honor of Saint Francis, wows the visitors anytime, with its beautiful sights and steep rolling hills. Like anybody, I’m no exception, fell in love with the city. The first thing I noticed was, the city is very neat and clean and is a Cool city. Every street, every house(i must say mansions) are well maintained and flamboyant. This city is the destination for multidimensional nature including the culture and food, architecture and landmarks.The weather was so unexpected on the day we reached SFO. It was raining in few areas and sunny in the other. But it was a beautiful casual environment, fresh air, cool breeze, not much pollution, little chilly by evenings. Coming from a cold NY (this year is in peaks), we felt the weather was pleasant and awesome. With just three days in hand, I was not sure if we can cover the checklist, my husband prepared. To my surprise, we got time to see lot of sights, meeting friends and family, driving through small towns.. and we were very happy with whatever we covered.
For me, this is my first visit to the west side and California State. I was so excited to experience the beautiful San Francisco and very much the Golden Gate Bridge as it was my one of the dream sights!!!! A must to mention here – SFO is the place where Chaitanya landed for the very first time in the United States of America for pursuing his Masters. So our trip is more Personal and Nostalgic and emotional.
This post will be overloaded with the pictures we captured(we both love to take pictures) just to make it look more real and attractive 🙂
First Day: SFO City part(1)
We headed to the city after the hotel check-in and Chaitanya was very very excited stepping in after 10 long years. He mentioned that San Francisco smells like a new book. (;-) that is his first sense when he was in the city for the first time) Our first sight was the LOMBARD Street also known as Crooked Street which has eight steep turns and is One-Way going down. I was the one who was screaming and enjoying the drive through these steep roads. And this was his first drive on that Crookedest street ever. simply loved it!!! Then we went to the famous Swiss chocolate Ghirardelli Chocolate Company at Ghirardelli square. We loved the place with waterfront dining area, a cute water fountain, opposite to it a pinkish interiors Kara’s Cupcake shop and the few more shops and restaurants. After buying chocolates there we went to visit Chaitanya’s Graduate school, the prestigious, University of San Francisco, CA. He was there for first semester and transferred to California State University, Fresno.
Who will not become emotional and excited when they revisit their school? I really cant express his inner feelings but I can say his face lit up with glee. He took us to his classroom, the professors chamber (he wanted to introduce me to his best, favorite professor unfortunately could not as he was retired by then.), the library, his favorite lush greenery area where he studied and spent the evenings with friends and the very beautiful Church in the campus. He also showed us the house he rented there, the grocery store where he usually shops, the corner Mc Donald and also the famous Mel’s Drive in (An American food place). Purely Nostalgic!!! Then he took us to the Pacific Ocean Beach to the other side of the city. The beach was beautiful in sunset and the water was very cold. Then we went to shop around Chinatown. By this we ended the day after having dinner at Indian place in downtown.
Second Day: Livermore Hindu temple, 17 mile drive and Fresno city
This is happening every time when we are traveling places, “visiting Hindu temples around”, and it happened again for us and we decided to start our day by going to the Livermore Hindu Temple in a beautiful small town Livermore Valley. This is where my husband got his Car Puja (ceremony) done when he bought his first car. We went and fortunately took part at the Venkateswara Swamy’s Abhishekam (a devotional activity of giving shower to the LORD) and left the place with happy hearts.
Later part of the day, Chaitanya, decided to take us to the 17-mile drive, pebble beach. It is one of the best scenic road drive through pacific coastline I have ever been and passes famous Huge Golf courses, Beautiful Mansions, Cypress trees, many attractions like, pebble beach, ghost trees, bird rock etc., You also come across the Monterey Bay, a small town Carmel and breath taking hills and houses on the hills etc. All through the drive it was a WOW experience. Worth the drive and seeing the nature and playing in the beach. You can see the surfers, seagulls, big rocks and the water splashing on the rocks. JUST AMAZING!!! It almost took 2 hours drive and we head towards the Fresno City, where Chaitanya spent rest of his Education and time for the Reunion Party 🙂
On our way to Fresno, we experienced, also Arya enjoyed and literally shouting R.A.I.N.B.O.W. Yes, it was the full rainbow after the mild rain in the fields and it was AWESOME. It was very clear that Arya was saying the colors. Chaitanya and I were totally mesmerized by seeing the full version. (I know it sounds childish. 😉 …but we were enjoying nature.) It was actually double rainbow. Two big arch’s on our way…… WhooHoooooo!!!!Also passed through huge mountains and the water between them. It was lovely and your ears can feel that air pressure. Before we were entering, we will come across more and more Cherry Blossom tress. Pink, White, Purple….And this is other beautiful experience drive. I took most of the pictures from the Car itself.
Chaitanya and I were thinking so hard why the Cherry Bloosom fields everywhere? We know it will be there for one season and that is early spring and why people raising farms with hundreds and hundreds trees? What is the other purpose, other than sights? Finally we came to a conclusion that they need this in perfumes, showergels, body lotions etc etc (the famous Bath and Body Works products … l0l) Anyways, COUNTRYSIDE in NORTHERN CALIFORNIA IS LOVELY! PERIOD(.) (Please get time to visit the countryside. of California. DO NOT MISS IT.)
Third Day: SFO City part(2) and San Jose city
Chaitanya was very happy meeting his friends and they all had great time talking about their old days, work days, family and the present. After that reunion, we were on the wheels to round the city and here it is same again. His University, CSU-Fresno, his block, his apartment, the famous Bull Dogs Stadium, his first work place after school as Director of IT, the Robertitos Taco Shop, the bus stops and so on and on. Revisiting is always a great feeling if you have the best memories for lifetime. He is the one happy man on the planet while this whole trip. Leaving the city with heavy heart, we decided to spend the whole day in the SFO and after two and half hours drive from Fresno to the city, we directly went to the Golden Gate Bridge. OMG! my dream sight. always wanted to come here (I dont know why I was crazy about this 🙂 ) Finally the day came and the Geddam family is at the Bridge. The day was so welcoming not so chilly and not so hot, very pleasant day and so the bridge views. One of the best views of the bridge is in the foggy morning around 5:30 Am. I wish I could experience that but I was happy visiting this place anytime in a day. Being there for 45 mins is superb feeling.
Gradually we headed to Park Presidio and is a trekking place and good for joggers and bicyclists. We drove in the park for half an hour and we went to the last sight of our trip, Pier 39 – Fisherman’s Wharf. This place is all crowded and quite opposite to the other side of the city. It is a nice eatery place as well and there is a famous Boudin bakery and Bread company.
You cannot leave SFO, without experiencing the cable car ride. 🙂 We took the to and fro ride from Powell Street to Union Square (the busy place with all stores and malls). Damn, I’m missing the city and the ride now. This was our last activity in San Francisco and I truly enjoyed the time with my family.
Lastly, we visited my husband’s cousins family in San Jose. It was like 45mins – 1 hour drive and the gathering was a much needed relief to us. We love you and Thank You Lakshmi Akka, Vijay Annayya and their kids and akka’s parents for the great time and delightful dinner.With Love Prashanthi.