I’m going to San Francisco this weekend. I’ve been there a couple of times before, and have done most of the major tourist attractions: Alcatraz, Ghirardelli, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Chinatown. Surprisingly, I don’t think I’ve ever ridden a streetcar in San Francisco.
My first time in San Francisco was when I was young. I don’t remember how old I was. My family went out to visit my mom’s brother, and his family. We spent part of a day walking around, presumably doing the major tourist attractions, and a modicum of shopping. While my mom, sister, and cousin were poking their heads into one of the stores, I was left outside with my dad. Like most young kids, I was largely oblivious of the world around me, and began fooling around in the middle of the sidewalk. Most pedestrians simply walked around me, until this towering black man walked right up to me and stopped. He cast a malevolent gaze down at me. I know he said something mean – and as I recall, it was also rather profane – but I don’t remember what it was.
I remember very clearly staring up at this imposing man, and being absolutely terrified. I was certain that he would hurt me. I was paralyzed with fright. My dad was somewhere nearby, and he quickly snatched me out of this man’s way. There was no real commotion to attract attention, but I remember my mom coming quickly out of the store. To this day, more than two decades later, we still talk about this adventure.
I’m looking forward to having a number of new adventures in San Francisco this weekend. I’m very much looking forward to riding a streetcar. I’m looking forward to discovering new places, meeting new people, and making new memories. The more I travel, the more I’ve come to value the zany stories I can take home to share with family and friends. On just about every trip I’ve taken, some crazy thing has happened that I want to share. It’s these moments – the things that can’t really be captured in a photograph – that make travel so interesting, and so rewarding.
I actually don’t know much about what to do in San Francisco. If you have recommendations for stuff that’s off the beaten path, please share it in the comments!