Riding the Cable Car in San Francisco

For $6 you can jump on the traditional old style cable car in San Francisco and take a ride up to Fisherman’s Wharf or hop off at the windiest road in the world (Lombard Street). This one is definitely for the tourists. An out of towner special. You can get on or off at any stop, but in order to get the full $6 worth, you might as well ride from one end to another or stop off at a good point of interest. Also, if you’re not boarding at a starting point, there may not be room for more passengers, because they get pretty packed out.
There was a long line, but it moved along moderately and after a 20-30 minute wait I was able to board. However, this was in May. At peak times of year, you should expect to wait longer. There is more than one route as well, so make sure the cable car you’re boarding is the correct route to get you to your destination.
I opted to sit outside to get what I considered the fuller experience. Inside was pretty crowded and of course the views were more obstructed. On the outside it was pretty exciting, sitting on the edge and whizzing by people and traffic. You can also stand and sort of hang off the side of it, as I’m sure you’ve seen in many a movie!
I found the whole thing pretty exciting, as flashbacks of the opening of Full House played in my head. Ah, nostalgia. It really felt like a scene in a movie, after seeing it so many times on screen. Our driver was also pretty hilarious. As we peaked the highest point of the ride and went over the hill, a lovely view of the ocean greeted us, lined with the buzzing streets down below. Gliding down the hill was like an extremely mild roller coaster, though we did have some speed behind us *wheeeeee*!
At the last stop, everyone alighted, including the driver. He then assisted the other staff members with manually turning the cable car around, using the rotating plate it sat on, on the road. I thanked the driver and went off to explore some new territory.



Santa Monica and Sun


I was only in Santa Monica for the day. When I first arrived, I spent my time walking through the Palisades Park. It provided great views of the beach and of the Santa Monica Pier, which was my next spot to check out.




I took a very leisurely stroll along the pier, stopping for photo opps, people watching, ocean watching and taking in the pleasant melodious surprise of steel pan in the air. That was provided by Trinidad and Tobago national, Desmond Bedlow, one man band and steel drummer. There’s is something about steel pan that undeniably sweetens the vibe of a place. That made me smile. We chatted briefly and then I made my way down to the beach.




I walked along the coast for a bit, dipped my toes in and thought about how happy I was not to have gone there in the hopes of swimming. Still, it was refreshing to have my feet in the chilly splash of the waves, with the sun beaming down on us.
I sat for a while, listening to the waves, playing with the sand between my toes and taking in the scene of the vast pacific. I love the ocean. Then I saw London written in the sand which brought a wave of excitement about heading back there in a couple months. A group of Korean students came by. That brought up happy thoughts of my former students back in Korea. These girls were brimming with excitement. It was so cute.
After that, I headed over to the 3rd Street Promenade for some lunch and then meandered my way along the promenade, browsing in shops as I went along. By around 4pm I decided to close off my time there and I headed on back. It was indeed a day well spent.