After a delightful breakfast conversation with tourists from Germany, we planned to spend the day at San Francisco’s museums. Fortunately, we checked our tour book and discovered that many of them were closed on Mondays. Plan B was to visit various districts in San Francisco with which we weren’t familiar.
Our tour book told us about the hundreds of outdoor murals in the Mission District that had enabled residents to make statements through art for decades. We figured out which bus to take, and we were off.
We found the majority of San Francisco bus drivers to be helpful and courteous. One even announced, “The passengers looking for the Twitter Building should exit here.” It’s fascinating to see how San Francisco’s buses are set up to enable disabled passengers to use them. The bus has a fork-lift apparatus that can lift a wheelchair from the ground into the bus. The seats in the front fold up to make room for a wheelchair, and there are tethers on which to attach a wheelchair so that the passenger will remain safe during the ride. I haven’t been on a New Your City bus for several years, but I don’t remember anything like this during my bus riding days.
Nick loved photographing the murals. He has selected a few to include here. He will have a link to more of them when the blog is finished.
Our tour book recommended that we stop for lunch at La Taqueria, calling it “burrito bliss.” Everyone else’s tour book must have recommended it, too, because it was very crowded, but many locals were eating there as well as us tourists, which is always a sign that the food is good. I had never eaten a burrito before, and I loved it! I had noticed an Italian pastry shop a few stores away, where I thought we’d get cannoli for dessert. Instead we decided to share an almond horn. The customer after us was from Alabama, and he wanted to order many pastries that would be his breakfast the next day. I had fun explaining the variety of pastries and cookies to him.
After that, we decided to take another bus to Haight Ashbury, a district that neither of us had ever visited before. There were a few shops that reminded us of “The Summer of Love,” such as those selling tie-dyed clothes, but most people who were there then would be amazed at how upscale the area is now. We found a coffee shop that sold gelato. Because we had shared the almond horn, we decided we could share a gelato, too. Then it was time to return to our B & B for a rest!
While Nick was resting, Nicholas called. “Would you and Dad like to see my Electronics Club?” he asked. Of course we would! We decided that it would be easier if we went together rather than for us to try to find it ourselves, so we Ubered to his office to meet him. The Club met in an old factory building in a darker, quieter part of the city. Along our way, there were several men, and some women, sleeping on sheets of cardboard on the ground. I hoped that the city could find ways to help them, and that they will accept help.
We were greeted at the club by about a dozen of Nicholas’ friends who were both very happy to see him, and to meet us. Called Nick by his friends, he was in his element. He showed us every part of the Electronics Club’s floor of the building, demonstrating a piece of equipment in each area. His friends told us how helpful our son is, and what a great teacher he is, too. Can you imagine how thrilled I was to hear this? I thought of several of his teachers through the years, especially those who assured me that all would work out well for him. One of his teachers wrote on his report card, “Like a gem, always sparkling.” He was sparkling with his friends. As for Nick, he would have enjoyed going back to play with the machines himself!
It was way past our typical dinner time when we left, but many of the restaurants in the area were already closed for the night. Luckily, we found a Tex-Mex restaurant that was still serving. Fish tacos, steak fajitas, and chicken enchiladas satisfied us very well before we each went back “home” for the night.