I woke up on our latest road trip destination (Concord California), today feeling confident that my body would be up for a nice, long walk today. For today was my wife’s birthday and we were planning to visit a dear friend in S.F. downtown. On the previous evening, I sensed a good omen for our Bay Area visit. The Indian manager of our motel offered us a surprising gift-a bottle of decent red wine-after we shared the details of our recent tour of India with him. He even offered to drive us to the nearest BART station the next morning.
For all the negativity you hear about the public transportation quality in this country, BART should be the exception. From our outlying suburban location , we rode efficiently to the Civic Center Station in less than 45 minutes and started our long to walk to visit our friend. We knew he was “under the weather” so it was decided to make our visit short yet full of positivity to cheer him up. I felt doubly happy that my wife would successfully share a much needed conversation with him and we would be taking an interesting hike up and down steep hills in S.F. downtown at the same time.
After this brief stop, we decided to “play tourist” and saunter downhill to S.F. Bay for a birthday lunch and waterfront sightseeing. I seemed to lose sight of time and distance then as we wracked up the miles toward our new destination. After a brief stop at Ghirardelli Square for a sugar rush of the famous chocolate, we searched for the perfect birthday lunch, traveling on the shoreline toward the famous Fisherman’s Wharf.
Now the interesting times really began as we selected a historic pub called “The Buena Vista” and enjoyed a cup of their famous Irish coffee accompanied by a sour dough, clam chowder bowl. Never being known as a social eater, I seemed to revel in the conversation about politics, marijuana, and baseball, with strangers sitting at our table. Maybe it was the whiskey.
Across the turbulent waters of the bay, Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge loomed as the most sought of photo attractions today. The best place to see both seemed along Pier 39, which jutted conveniently into the bay. Always popular for their colony of barking seals, we weaved our way amidst the curious throngs to find the best vantage point for our snapshots.
Rush hour in San Francisco on a Friday late afternoon now brought us in full force with the local commuter scene. Yet it somehow seemed fun relinquish the responsibility of a car to stand in a streetcar crowded with friendly people to return to reach our return BART destination with little pressure of deadlines that day.
Six miles walking counts for a good day of exertion for this day. The body and mind seem to cooperate more for me when I am not trying hard to have fun than when I am consciously looking at revelry as a planned routine to follow. Not a single thought popped in mind about our tragic Presidency. Perhaps my physical challenges today enabled me to find a personal protest strategy to cope with the uncertain future.