Tuesday after Pentecost 3
July 15, 2010
Day 16, Vacation
The Lord be with you
We woke-up in San Francisco. I did not sleep all that well because I left my C-Pap machine in the car and the car had been parked by a valet so I couldn’t go back and get it. So, even though it isn’t quite 11:00 PM as I begin to write this, I am dead tired. (You better believe that I brought my C-Pap in with us tonight!)
We got our car and drove down to Fisherman’s Warf where we parked it for the day. We did many of the traditional tourist things, including riding on the cable cars, visiting Ghirardelli Square, eating seafood, visiting China town, going down Lombard Street, and shopping.
My general impressions of San Francisco are diverse. First, and this is no doubt because of the areas we saw, it is set up for tourists. That means that everything is overpriced. It also means that there are many more things to see and do than can be accomplished in one day. There are countless shops and restaurants. You can take boat trips, visit WWII ships and old sailing vessels, visit Alcatraz, and much more. Some are interesting, some are not. For example, Ghirardelli Square was a disappointment to me. They haven’t made chocolate there for over 30 years. It is just a string of shops. On the other hand, the cable cars are a blast. Different things will appeal to different people.
My second impression is the amazing architecture of the city. Their downtown is filled with skyscrapers, and the designs are quite imaginative. The older sections of town have many five-story buildings with very distinctive designs. There is great care taken of the public places as well, green grass, blooming flowers, and the like. There is also an abundance of public art objects, some I appreciated, some I didn’t.
The third observation the city has no control over. It was cold. There was a stead cold wind blowing off the ocean.
The next observation is something of a black eye. There were two groups of people we ran into. Group one is tourists. They are generally having a good time. The second group is locals. Among the locals there seemed to be a larger proportion that come across as desperate than you would expect. There are homeless people, people walking through the streets cussing, I even saw one panhandler with a sign asking for spare change so he could buy some “weed” (marijuana). A local T.V. news program I watched did not have a single positive story to report. They did run two stories that cast Christianity in a less than positive light. The buses had pro-homosexual propaganda plastered on their sides as they tried to dumb-up support for a cure for AIDS. (By-the-way, I do support research for the cure of AIDS, just as a support ethical research for the cure of all life-threatening diseases.) While on the cable car we went by Nob Hill, where I saw advertised in large letters an all-male nude review. I could go on, but I will not. There just seemed to be an abundance of spiritual poverty in the city.
Now I really can’t say that the spiritual poverty of San Francisco is greater than LA. We were only in LA for a couple of hours. However in that time we ran into a disagreeable traffic officer and a drunk (and it was not even 11:00 AM) who kept trying to get into everyone’s pictures that they were taking in front of the Mann’s Chinese Theater. Maybe it was just the places we visited. Still the dark undercurrent is present.
Before we left the city we went over the Golden Gate Bridge, even though it was out of our way. Then we headed out to spend the night in Sacramento. Tomorrow we will see Yellowstone. All in all, we had a great time, as I hope the following pictures will bear witness to. They are:
1. The view as we drove down Lombard Street.
2. Dixie and Rachel are ready to enjoy some seafood.
3. Gregory on the Cable Car.
4. Rachel and Kitty on the Cable Car.
5. Kitty in China Town.
6. Gregory and Dixie with a “silver” man.
7. Kitty and I in front of the Golden Gate Bridge.
8. Gregory and Dixie in front of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert