We chose to meet at one of my local cafes last Sunday morning. As I sat there with my coffee and muffin, I thought about what we might do during their one day in The Bay Area.
When I had asked them for their list of things they wanted to see or do, there was only one entry:
Drive across the Golden Gate Bridge.
Oh, and drive down Lombard Street.
If there is one thing that everyone wants to see or do when the come to the Bay Area for the first time, it’s – what the locals call – The GG Bridge. I get that. It’s a monument to engineering and the American can-do spirit. It’s an icon. The bridge is a backdrop on many a television show or in many a movie. It’s recognizable as the entry, or exit, from the west coast of the United States.
Lombard Street too … I had to dig through a lot of memories though to recapture the excitement I had the first time I drove down it.
But the only things?
I contemplated how to maneuver them through the city on a full circle tour and maybe get in a few more experiences. Most people who come to visit just tell me to take them somewhere. Instead of dragging The Cousins around to places they probably wouldn’t appreciate, I decided to just go with the flow of the day, be as gracious of a hostess as I could be and at the end of the day allow them to drive away happy to continue their adventure. The idea of this was so contra me.
For what it was, it was a clear and beautiful day. Not much fog. No getting lost. Good food at L’Osteria in North Beach, after walking a bit of the span and spending time at the bridge’s tourist center and then driving through The Presidio with a stop at the Yoda Fountain, then on to the “squiggly street”. Driving down it, all I could think was that I couldn’t even imagine what it would be like to live on that circus of a block … After lunch I coerced them into a climb up to Coit Tower just to experience the street-hiking and the views.
At the end of the day, for me, it was about spending time with them and catching up. They enjoyed their day, it was exactly what they wanted, and they went to bed exhausted (from what I hear), and that means my job was done well.