San Francisco, Tour of Golden Gate Park
When Sami was in 10th grade, one day on our way home from school, she was telling me story after story of her day. She said, Mom, I’m sorry I talk so much after school. I said, Honey, I live to hear every little detail of your life. We laughed and laughed and coined a phrase in our family called ELDs. Her first year of college I got a couple of emails titled ELDs. It’s the minutiae of your life that makes up life. Not just the big stuff. So the next few posts are in that spirit. You could ask me how was the Golden Gate Park and I would say wonderful. Or I can tell you all about it.
I literally took pictures along the way to remind me of the stories I wanted to tell and the feelings I was having. That idea I kind of stole from my son when he went to Honduras, he brought back a piece of paper filled with little phrases that would help him remember a story from the trip. We were encouraged to look over the paper and say, what does giant insects mean? Then he would tell the story. I loved it!!
Last disclaimer, I’m not the family photographer and I don’t take a lot of selfies and my children make fun of me for being the least technical Belford when it comes to a phone. So to entertain my children, there are a lot of selfies. You’ve been warned.
When I finally got my stuff together, I decided to purchase the City Pass. It includes unlimited rides on the Muni, metro trains, and cable cars besides tickets to several attractions I want to see.
Friday it’s supposed to rain, so I decided Thursday would be spent outdoors. It’s since been explained to me that in San Francisco rain is very intermittent and shouldn’t ruin my day.
Golden Gate Park has a multitude of activities. It reminded me of Grand Central Park in New York because of it’s size and all there is to do. SF Botanical Gardens, de Young Museum, Japanese Tea Garden, Stow Lake where you can rent paddle boats, the Dutch Windmill, the list goes on and on. I made my decision about how to plan my day based on an article I read about how to do SF with children. Yep, I’m a mom.
By the time I got to the park, I was hungry. The first food truck I saw was an ice cream truck so I HAD to buy a cup of organic banana, brown sugar with chocolate chip ice cream. Yum.
After a quick trip into Shakespeare’s Garden where they have species of plants from all the different plays that Shakespeare has written (many more than I realized), I started at the Japanese Tea Garden which is interesting because it’s an outdoor theater, but all the benches are amid the trees.
Outside the de Young Museum, there were a couple of cool statues.
After working with my friend Jamie Smith for a year, I don’t take accessibility for granted as much as I used to. I loved these rails on the sidewalks to add safety for those in wheelchairs.
The gardens throughout the park were plentiful and interesting. I actually skipped the Botanical Gardens and while I’ve heard it’s amazing, it’s hard to imagine them being more outstanding than all the gardens scattered throughout the park.
Geek alert: While on this trip I just finished reading a very long Benjamin Franklin biography. It has taken me like 8 weeks, great reading to fall asleep to. However it has definitely left me feeling patriotic so this statue was really interesting to me right now. I think other times I would have strolled on past.
Next I went to Stow Lake and managed to enjoy it so much that I didn’t take a picture. You can rent pedal boats, which as much as I was enjoying all my exercise and time alone, didn’t actually seem like a lot of fun by myself. I did take a picture to send to my hubby so he’d know where I was, and turned out to highlight my cool necklace I got from St. Kitts.
By this time I’d told Google Maps that I wanted to go to the Dutch windmill because it was the western edge of the park and looked like it would be cool. Google warns that walking directions are still in beta and when you wander down little trails, it’s slightly adventurous. However, I was wandering on a trail when I saw this really cool waterfall. Probably seemed cool because I’m IN THE MIDDLE OF A CITY. Turned out to be Rainbow Falls & Prayerbrook Cross. From my angle it looked like the water was flowing from the cross. Super cool imagery that I’m tucking away for later.
Just so we’re clear on the trail, and the shoes I was wearing. Normally not a big deal to shimmy down this trail, it was more fun in the shoes I was wearing.
I walked along JFK because it looked like the center of the Park I was delighted by all the lakes.
I’m also texting with my husband and he says, I can’t wait to hear how the Golden Gate Bridge is. I say, well the Golden Gate Park isn’t connected to the Golden Gate Park. He says, huh? I’d have to see a picture to understand what you mean. I send him this picture of the map. He says, Oh, you meant the Bridge isn’t attached to the Park. I re-read the text I sent. Oops, one word can completely change your meaning. Dang, this whole trip is full of great stories for my book.
I’ve already been impressed by the buildings so close to nature. Next was even better, there is a Bison Paddock (in the above map it was called Buffalo Paddock) the signs said Bison.
By now I’m getting bored walking and am significantly tempted by the shuttle sign, but decide to persevere and I’m glad I did.
Just past the Dutch Windmill is the Ocean. Ahh, how I would have loved to enjoy it. However, by now I’m really hungry, but I was meeting my friend Lizz in 3 hours. Mac & Cheese to the rescue. I think I was really missing Barry Belford to order Truffled Mac & Cheese. Later this gets worse when I order poutine.