Home > at home, life in pictures > trains, sea lions, and a kite

trains, sea lions, and a kite

Nancy and I arranged to meet our friends Chris and Jen in San Francisco on Saturday. We decided to take the Caltrain up to the City to meet them, rather than drive. It’s actually cheaper when you consider parking fees, and riding the train is fun!

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The train makes a lot of stops along the way, and we noticed that many of them are strategically placed near great shopping areas. So we’ll probably be making more weekend trips on Caltrain. :-)

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Chris and Jen live in Sonoma county, about as far north of San Francisco as we are south of it. They drove down to the City and met us at the train station. Then we all continued on to Ghirardelli Square on the North Beach, where we had lunch, did some window shopping, and (of course) bought some Ghirardelli chocolate. :-)

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Then we strolled along the beach below Ghirardelli Square, past the historic ships, and the tourist shops and restaurants of Fisherman’s Wharf, till we got to Pier 39.

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The main attraction of Pier 39 for me is the colony of sea lions that has taken over a section of the boat moorings. The story I heard is that some years ago these moorings were unused for a while, and the local sea lions found them a safe and convenient place to sleep. It became such a tourist attraction that the site was declared a protected area, and is now officially reserved for the sea lions.

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The sea lions seem to spend most of their time sleeping in the sun (not that I blame them! :-), with a few younger ones playing in the water. Occasionally there’s some excitement, as some sea lions “battle” for possession of a raft all to themselves. Mostly it’s just barking and posturing and shoving.

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I could easily spend a whole day watching the sea lions. Leaning on the rail, with their sounds of the sea lions and the waves under the pier, and the view across the Bay, is very relaxing.

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Meanwhile, Nancy and Jen were delighted to discover that they have a hobby in common: crocheting! Here, Jen is showing Nancy a new crochet stitch.

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After a while we left off watching the sea lions to go explore the rest of Pier 39. We found a kite shop and, inspired by Eric and Michelle’s kite-flying exploits from last year, I bought a kite. We walked back to the park below Ghirardelli Square to test-fly it.

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Unfortunately, I wasn’t very successful, as it was near sunset by then so the breeze was dying down. Nancy took a turn with the kite, and had better luck than I did (or perhaps talent had something to do with it! :-)

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After sunset, we all had dinner at a great Chinese restaurant, then Chris and Jen dropped us off at the train station, where we caught the last train of the evening for the ride home. What a fun day!

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