Vacations Are Fun!

Real skatersft point1

I have been lucky enough to have my daughter and granddaughter visiting me the last 5 weeks, and so we have been doing all kinds of fun things that I, living here in San Francisco, don’t ordinarily do… On Sunday, for example, we rented some roller skates and went roller skating in Golden Gate Park!

Not me of course, I never could keep my balance on those darn things, but my daughter grew up on roller skates and she can still flash that old fluid form, although after a 10 year lapse she admitted to being a little rusty, and of course she ached for a few days after…My granddaughter also roller skated with her mom, but she prefers ice skating…

The day was warm and sunny for a change, in the low 60’s, and it was a welcome break from the relentless fog that socks in the whole city every summer….They had a certain area in the park, which is closed off to traffic on the weekends, for the most experienced skaters to do their thing…There was disco music pounding and the very best of the skaters whipped around a small oval area, showing off their “flash dance” moves, skating backwards and crouching and spinning and some actually dancing in tandem with their partners in a marvelous display of rhythmic skill…

It was so serene and peaceful and beautiful that I couldn’t help but get caught up in the emotional release of it all, and I really appreciated the intricacies of the experienced skaters dance moves….This used to be very common thing to do here in the Golden Gate park in the late 70’s and early 80’s, in fact it was THE weekend thing to do for several years, but then the trends shifted and moved on to the next new, hip trend, like they always do ….

But for the time we spent there on Sunday, it was like a glorious recreation of the past, and for that short time, we were actually back IN that past, reliving that time period, and it was fun seeing the hardcore skaters still doing their thing, I truly believe that they never stopped skating, and for them time was frozen, and that they come out there still every weekend….

After that we went to Baker’s Beach, it is a smaller beach than Ocean Beach, which I live nearby, and you get a spectacular view of the Golden Gate bridge and the giant container ships coming in from across their perilous voyage across the Pacific ocean, loaded with containers carrying cars, clothing, and merchandise…

They pass through the Golden Gate bridge and then are met by skilled tug boat operators who act as pilots, navigating them through the treacherous Bay currents to their safe haven in nearby Oakland, where they have deep water facilities to berth the ships and giant cranes to unload the containers….Without the small tugboats to pilot them, these giant container ships could easily run aground, because the San Francisco bay is windy, choppy and has varying depths that only the locals know fully and can safely navigate…

We stopped by after that at the old Ft. Point military installation, which has been around for centuries and is actually built directly underneath the Golden Gate bridge…..According to my Google sources, “Fort Point was built between 1853 and 1861 by the U.S. Army Engineers as part of a defense system of forts planned for the protection of San Francisco Bay. Designed at the height of the Gold Rush, the Fort and its companion fortifications would protect the Bay’s important commercial and military installations against foreign attack”….

“The Fort has been called “the pride of the Pacific,” “the Gibraltar of the West Coast,” and “one of the most perfect models of masonry in America.” When construction began during the height of the California Gold Rush, Fort Point was planned as the most formidable deterrence America could offer to a naval attack on California. Although its guns never fired a shot in anger, the “Fort at Fort Point” as it was originally named has witnessed Civil War, obsolescence, earthquake, bridge construction, reuse for World War II, and preservation as a National Historic Site.”

You can tour this historic site for free on the weekends, and they have those funky winding, stone steps up to the roof, the ones that are narrow on one end and wider at the other, and then view actual rooms where the Union army stationed it’s officers and soldiers….

There are recreations, like dioramas, of several Civil War soldiers standing about, and you can see some of their rooms, their beds, their cabinets, desks and other furniture, all perfectly preserved…And if you climb all the way up those steep, winding stairs, (they look exactly like the castle steps in the old Walt Disney movie “Fantasia” where Mickey Mouse kept trying futiley to sweep up the water), anyway at the very top you can see the original cannons, and see some of the giant cannon balls and imagine the Civil War soldiers once stationed there standing by, ready for action….The top of Ft. Point is nestled directly under the Golden Gate bridge….

Yes vacations are fun, and I have been taking full advantage of my family visiting me to see all the wonders of the San Francisco Bay area without having to actually travel myself…In a very real way, just showing them around town IS a real vacation for me, because like I said, I would never go to all these scenic sites alone, it would just never occur to me, and it is more fun in a group anyway….

I would recommend any of my readers who live in cities or towns wih great natural historic or fun scenic attractions to visit them yourself, after all,  you only live once…

Or should I say, we only live one life at a time….

Just leave it like it is right now

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