View from the top of Old Man of Coniston hike in Lake District National Park, England.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Preston, Lancashire, England.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Wyke, West Yorkshire, England on May 29th!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Streets of San Francisco

I was a young teen when this 1970's series starring Karl Malden and a very young looking Michael Douglas was popular. So I don't remember it very well, but it would sure be interesting to watch it now that we've seen some of those streets!

We did a hop-on hop-off bus tour yesterday. It took us all over the streets of San Francisco!

We left our hotel at about 9:30am and it was a sunny day with a clear blue sky. Oh...took a pic of the exterior of our hotel...

The San Remo Hotel, built in 1906.

And it hasn't changed much since then! We'll tell you all about it another day, including why it was our top choice of places to stay in San Francisco.

It's located a very short distance from Fisherman's Wharf, so we only had a five minute walk to get to the tourist area where the buses leave from. We chose the City Sightseeing tour bus, which does a 48 hour pass for $49.99 per person. It's a little pricey, but it's a convenient way of visiting all of the important things to see in the city.

I have to mention that it's tough to get decent pictures in San Francisco if you try to take them from the bus. They have a lot of electric buses here, and the wires that crisscross the sky do a great job of getting in the way of a lot of photo opportunities! Kind of frustrating at times, so I didn't take many photos from the bus itself.

Our first building of interest isn't even built yet!

They've begun construction of "Salesforce Tower" at 50 Fremont St.

This new skyscraper will be the tallest building in San Francisco when it opens in 2017. At over 1,000 feet tall and 62 stories, it will also be the tallest building in the western United States!

We got off the bus at Union Square. This is a block of park space that is surrounded by expensive stores and a pricey hotel. There's a Nieman Marcus, a Tiffany, a Saks Fifth Avenue...that kind of thing. And a Macy's department store among others.

We went into the Nieman Marcus because we had been told about the stained glass decorating the roof of the entrance...

Yep, that's an impressive stained glass in Nieman Marcus.

We wandered up to the 3rd floor for a view out to the plaza.

Then, we went into Macy's for a view overlooking the plaza itself... 

Can you see what they're building with the crane?

Yep, forget about Thanksgiving, because they're putting the Christmas Tree up! And all of the stores are right into the Christmas spirit as well already.

From there, it was on to City Hall. We were very impressed with San Francisco's City Hall building, and it's well worth a visit as something to do for free.

San Francisco City Hall.

Impressive lobby.

Once you're in past the security check, they pretty much allow you to roam at will.

That's a heavy duty door!

Huge hallways.

Looking down at the grand staircase.

Outside the city hall is the James Lick Pioneer Monument. Nice looking statue!

We had brought some lunch with us and we sat in the shade near the above statue as we waited for the next City Sightseeing hop on bus to come along. It was a gorgeous day, pretty much perfect and they're calling for the same thing tomorrow!

We got off the bus again at the amazing Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church. This church was prominently featured in Clint Eastwood's "Dirty Harry" movie. Also, when Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio got married, they posed for pictures outside the church. DiMaggio's funeral was held here in 1999.

Inside the church.

From there, we walked...uphill...

How steep is this road?!

We walked up to Lombard and Hyde in order to get the view from there, as well as to have a look at the world's crookedest street. Oh, but first...

We found another view of this famous landmark!

Did I mention it was a beautiful day...?

And, looking the opposite way towards the Coit Tower.

World famous Lombard Street. Looking down from the top.

And looking up from the bottom.

Next up...the world famous (there sure are a lot of famous things here) Golden Gate Bridge!

The bridge is 1.7 miles (2.7 kms) to cross!

Sure is high up.

Kevin, and a view back at the city.

San Francisco as see from the Golden Gate Bridge.

What a great day we had. And it's looking even better for tomorrow.


Because we're going to visit the world famous Alcatraz Island! I have always wanted to go there! Can you imagine the stories if those walls could talk...


  1. Great pictures Kevin!! What gorgeous weather compared to Seattle, huh? But like someone said of our rain..."It keeps the dust down"!! We have fond memories of driving Euri down Lombard Street. Incredible city for sure!!! Hugs to you both!! <3

    1. Thanks Doug and Nancy! Yes, the weather is so much nicer here. We will have to go back and visit Seattle again one day when there is some nice sunny weather there.

      That part of Lombard is certainly the "crookedest" road I have ever seen, Euri must have loved the adventure!

  2. Kevin, when you get to Alcatraz, don't let them know anything about your wild and misspent youth, or they may try to keep you there... ;c)

    1. We'll definitely keep that a secret Paul and Marti! ;-p

  3. Was an interesting tour again, thanks for the great pics.

  4. I was born and raised in Oakland across that other beautiful bridge. In my late teens, we would take our boat out to Mile Rock(Look out to sea from the Golden Gate and you will see it), then drift under the GG fishing for Striped Bass and other goodies. It was truly a playground, I miss it terribly when I see pics like yours.

    I have not lived there since the 70's so I'm out of touch with the bay area.

    Glad your having so much fun. Splurge on some Sour Dough and Clam Chowder down at the Wharf. Ask where the best deal is.


    1. Looks like you had a beautiful area to grow up in. It would have been wonderful to have been able to drift under the Golden Gate Bridge. Hope that you were able to catch some fish while you were doing it.

      I am sure that it has changed quite a lot since you were here in the 70's, maybe you will have to make a trip back here, to check it out.

  5. Aaaahhh, now you're in my neck of the woods. Glad you're having a great time in MY city!!! This is the BEST time of the year to visit San Francisco - because the air temperature and the water temperature don't have quite so much difference, the fog that shrouds the City in Winter and Summer doesn't come in as frequently in Spring and Fall so you have beautiful sunshine without too much heat.
    I was born in San Francisco while my dad was stationed at the Presideo. Only actually lived in the City for 6 weeks! But, since then, I've lived all over the Bay Area - north, south and east! Last home was in Tiburon, but I love the whole area. After having been on the GG Bridge, you may be able to imagine how insignificant I felt as I swam the Golden Gate. Jumped into the water outside the bridge on the San Francisco side and swam to the Sausalito side and had to touch land at the little light house to make it an official swim.

    1. We agree, we think it is the best time to visit as well, or in the spring!

      Wow, I can't even image trying to do that swim, good for you Mary-Pat! We hear that there is a swimming club that swims from San Francisco to Alcatraz, or maybe it is the other way around, or both ways, I can't remember what we were told now. I know that I could never have done it, even in my younger years!

    2. I've done the "Escape From Alcatraz" swim also. It's another not-so-fun-to-do-but-fun-to-say-you've-done swim in the COLD and current-ridden Bay. I'm so happy you're enjoying my town.

    3. Well done! We know that feeling of not so much fun doing it but very happy to have done it afterward. I'm afraid it is one that we won't be doing.


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