Julie, with Alcatraz in the distance

Back in October 1995, I spent a day in San Francisco with my friend Julie. I’m pretty sure we both had a good time, although to be honest I don’t remember all the details of our rather haphazard excursion. Luckily I wrote about that day in my journal.

I did take pictures, but my photography skills weren’t the greatest and to top it off, after we were already well on our way I discovered that the disposable camera I bought for the trip only shot panoramic images.

I do know that, after a nearly sleepless night full of anticipation, I got up at 4:30 AM and left my house to meet Julie by 7 o’clock. We rode from Sacramento to San Francisco via Amtrak’s Capitol Corridor train, and for me, that was a big part of the fun — any time I can ride on a train, I’m there! We would have arrived in the City by about 9 AM. Neither of us had bothered to make up an agenda for the day other than to see as much as we could while traveling mostly on foot.


Somehow we managed to get from the Ferry Building at Pier 1 on the Embarcadero to Nordstrom at the San Francisco Centre (nearly a mile away up Market Street), where we enjoyed coffee and a muffin. Then we hurried to catch a cable car to Fisherman’s Wharf, stopping to explore Lombard Street and catch views of Coit Tower from a distance.


I’ve tried and failed to figure out where I was standing when I shot the two pictures below (actually one wide image split into sections). It seems to be somewhere northwest of Coit Tower — but it was more than 20 years ago, and I’m sure the area has changed a lot since then.



We spent awhile near the Aquatic Park — close to Ghirardelli Square. There were simply loads of sights I would have loved to explore, but we were on a very strict budget of both time and money. Still, we couldn’t leave Fisherman’s Wharf without indulging in a steaming cup of clam chowder and a slice of San Francisco’s famous sourdough bread!

Balclutha in the background. I suspect I was wishing I could also lie down and take a quick nap before moving on…


Yours truly, pretending I didn’t feel like a walking zombie:




By 5:30 in the afternoon we had walked all the way back along the Embarcadero to the Ferry Building, where we caught the bus connecting us to the Amtrak station in Emeryville for our trip back to Sacramento. I eventually arrived home at 9:30 that night, so it was a pretty full day — but one that absolutely inspired me to return to San Francisco again and again.


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