Monday, July 12, 2021

Crowds and Chowds: San Francisco

My wife is feeling better after a good night sleep. After yesterday's Giants game, she wasn't at her best. Today we're going back to San Francisco but we're leaving the car behind. 

We walk a lot so the mile from our hotel to the local BART station isn't a problem for us. A ride under the bay puts us at Market Street in downtown San Francisco. The wheelchair platform for the street level trolley stop is out of order so we have to walk a couple of blocks to the next one.

The trolley arrives. It's very crowded but somehow the operator wedges enough people out of the way so Tim and his wheelchair can get onboard (this was all before Covid so crowds weren't as big of a thing as they are now).

We go all the way to the end of the line, which is near Ghirardelli Square. After an Irish Coffee to calm our nerves and a sundae at the ice cream bar, we walk around the waterfront and Fisherman's Wharf.

I get some oysters and chowder for my wife and we wander down the Embarcadero to Pier 39. Again, the crowds are crushing.

I find a back way out so Tim doesn't have to fight his way back and we continue along the way.

Eventually we get back to Market Street. San Francisco is very crowded and just doesn't have the vibe for us today. Truthfully, it's disappointing today so we get back on BART and head back to Castro Valley.

Back on the other side of the bay, we take a quick look to see what's over here. I see that in very nearby Hayward, there's a Japanese Garden. With nothing left to do, we drive over to take a look.

Inside the Hayward Japanese Gardens, there are peaceful pagodas, raked rocks, and heavily curated plantings.

Paths wind through it all, maybe 90% accessible (a couple of connecting paths have steps or rocks in the way). A gardener is working away and happily explains some of the work he's doing.

A creek runs nearby, providing a peaceful contrast...and a few spots for the homeless to put up tents.

It's all very peaceful and provides a nice contrast to the hectic, busy, and crowded city on the other side of the bay. 

With that, we call it a day and prepare to make the drive back home after another night in the hotel.

Darryl Musick
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