We haven’t had a car in over four years so while we love weekend getaways, we generally don’t spend afternoons viewing the city from afar. The last few days have been a unique opportunity though, as our final immediate family member arrived for their first visit to San Francisco. Visitors are a wonderful way to see your home with new eyes, but as a host, It can be difficult to think through things a guest would want to see on their first time to the city. There are always those traditional tourist spots, but the beauty of visiting someone you know is their off-the-beaten-path knowledge.
While San Francisco is a magical wonderland of the weird and wild, seeing it from the other side of the bay puts the size and variety of terrains into perspective. We took the ferry crossing to Tiburon, and dined on Mexican small plates at an outside patio overlooking the water. There is no shortage of cruises around the bay, but taking the regular ferry can save you a few bucks without missing out on any of the views. It’s also a great way to break up the ride for those that get motion sick, and you can fill your day discovering areas outside of the city.
The company was wonderful and the food delish, but the real show stopper was seeing the city across the bay. It’s incredible to see it progress from a compact downtown with skyscrapers all around, through the avenues, and into the lush greenery of the Presidio. I can’t help but imagine how wild it must have been for those who arrived first to settle the land, and what it would have looked like during the gold rush boom.
As we stood on the top deck for our return ferry ride, there were jaw dropping views all around: the hills of Marin county, sailboats on the bay, the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance, and our fair city coming closer with each passing minute. A change in perspective often sheds new light on things but I kept coming back to the same thought… great family and these views, how did we get so lucky?