Just outside San Francisco, in Vallejo California, we found an RV Park to use as our basecamp for the motorhome as we explored San Francisco by car. On our approach to the city, I was impacted with how “overdeveloped” San Francisco appeared to be. The San Francisco suburbs boast the highest rents in the U.S., topping even NYC and LA. We’ve seen this overcrowding in other countries but this is the first time in the U.S. The reason…jobs! San Francisco boasts 1.75 million jobs within a 10 mile radius and the farther you live from the city, the more travel time/wasted time you live with.
Our itinerary consisted of what you’d expect, trolleys, Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown, Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. Many years ago I had business in San Francisco and dinner at Fisherman’s Wharf, but this was our first true tourist trip to San Francisco. Navigating the city required a lot of patience but was really not a problem. We found relatively central parking and did a lot of walking, uphill and downhill, and riding trolleys to make our way around. It was nice to see the things first hand that we’ve seen on TV over the years. Our visit to San Francisco was unremarkable, but pleasant. We particularly enjoyed Chinatown. Of course there were the junk shops, China imports and knock off goods, but if you looked a layer deeper, there were some great buys on everything from furniture and decor to electronics and jewelry. Caveat Emptor…buyer beware. However with that in mind, it was fun. Obviously our purchases were small in size, because we’re living in a “tiny house” on wheels. We enjoyed some great dining in Chinatown, too. I found it thought provoking how these neighborhoods have formed and stuck together all these years based on their culture.
Another cool thing we did was finding Lombard Street. Lombard Street is known for the one-way block on Russian Hill between Hyde and Leavenworth Streets, where eight sharp turns are said to make it the most crooked street in the world. The design, first suggested by property owner Carl Henry and built in 1922, was intended to reduce the hill’s natural 27% grade, which was too steep for most vehicles.
Just as a sidebar, for those of you old enough to
remember, while riding the Streetcars and Trolleys we never heard the Rice-A-Roni jingle playing in the background.