California dreaming (2)

Some more San Francisco sights

We took advantage of the bus tour again today and set off to ride to look at The Painted Ladies, which is a row of quaint looking houses painted in different colours They are very much the kind of houses you see in films and on TVs when you think of San Francisco.

After viewing the houses we got back on the bus and took another trip across a very windy Golden Gate Bridge. It’s hard to describe how impressive the bridge is until you see it, or just how cold you can feel, even on a fairly warm day.

We then wandered around Pier 39 and has some lunch before taking our trip to Alcatraz.

Alcatraz – impressive and thought provoking

In order to get to Alcatraz you have to take a ferry. Now anyone who knows me will tell you that I am not a fan of boats, particularly when the sea is so choppy.  However I really wanted to see Alcatraz and the ferry journey is only about 15 minutes.

From a distance Alcatraz appears to be a small building on top of a hill on a small island. When you actually arrive there you realise how huge it is.

The pre recorded walking tour is done in a way that tells the history of the prison in an interesting way. It certainly makes you think about the people that were placed in there. It’s quite an eerie place and it helps you to imagine what it would have been like when it was a prison which housed what were seen as the most dangerous criminals of America.

One other important thing that I learned was the occupation of Alcatraz by the Native  Americans after it was closed down as a prison. Although the attempts to make it into a heritage centre and university didn’t quite happen, I understand from the visit that it certainly made America reconsider their actions against the Native Americans, which could have only been a good thing.

I really enjoyed the visit and it is certainly worthwhile booking if you ever get chance to visit San Francisco.

Cable car journey

Our last event of the day was to take a Cable car back up to the hotel. There were two reasons for this. One was that we were all exhausted and the second was that we just couldn’t leave San Francisco without travelling on the Cable car at least once.

It was only a short journey and of course we had to do it standing and holding on, not sitting down. What a great end to a busy couple of days!

Finally Fifty

 

So the party was last week, but on Wednesday I finally turned fifty this week. I can’t say that I really feel any different. I don’t look any different. The world is still turning, so I survived pretty well. When I started my blog in January, being fifty in April still seemed a long tome away, but now its here and yes I am 50!

The first Quarter

I feel that I have achieved quite a lot in the first quarter of this year and feel proud of myself. According to my Strava I have walked a total of 183 miles so far. I think that’s pretty good. I have lost almost 2 stones (1 stone 12 1/2 lbs to be precise). I have taken part in several park runs, including one in London, where I turned up on my own to run, without knowing anyone at all. I have completed a training qualification. Most of all, I have managed to write a blog each Sunday and find something interesting to put in it. All in all a pretty good start to the year.

Easter Sunday

Toady was Easter day, which has always been an important day in our family. This year was a bit different, as my eldest daughter did not come home from university and my youngest had been out with friends and stayed over, so we did not see her until lunchtime.

My husband and I went to church. Part of me feels that this is something that I do out of habit these days. I have always gone to church and would have said that I have a strong faith. However these days I find myself questioning quite a lot of things that I have always believed (Maybe that’s a conversation for another day). However, today I enjoyed the service and also socialising with members of the congregation afterwards.

After church we had family at our house for Sunday lunch. This consisted of my mum and dad, in laws, a lovely lady from church who is a really good friend of the family and my sister in laws mum. When our youngest daughter came home for lunch it reduced our average age to about 70! After spending last weekend with all the young people, it was certainly different to have the older generation with us this weekend, but it was really lovely to sit and chat and for them to catch up with each other too.

Looking Forward

So what’s next? Well later this week my husband and I are setting off on holiday with friends. We are driving the Pacific Coast Road, starting in San Francisco and ending in San Diego. Like my party, it has been a long time in planning. As I write I haven’t started packing yet. I’ve bought a new suitcase and a pair of trousers, so tomorrow I definitely need to get organised and start sorting put some clothes and packing.

It is the longest time that we will have been away without our girls. It’s not like we are abandoning them, they are old enough to be left at home, but it will seem strange to have a long holiday without them.

My intention is to write a blog more often over the next couple of weeks, hopefully updating on our travels in California. Again I don’t know whether anyone will read it, but it will be a record for me of what we did each day, the sights that we have seen and any other interesting snippets along the way.

Shortly after I return I will then be taking part in the moonwalk in London, so sitting down on holiday for two weeks is not an option. I will definitely need to keep up walking some distances whilst I am away.

So hopefully I will write later in the week and let you know about my travels.