“We serve a man of sorrows acquainted with grief” David Powlison CCEF

San Francisco 2012

Labor Day Weekend Day Trip

I sometimes wonder if yet another day trip to San Francisco will become a boring repeat of a previous trip. But there is so much to see and do in San Francisco that it’s like watching an old favorite movie after years gone by. You’ve seen the movie, you’ve experienced the plot-line, but the exact details have been forgotten. The movie is familiar, and yet at the same time the movie is fresh and new. Well, San Francisco can certainly be the same way. There are places and streets, like an old movie, that we haven’t visited for a year or more. And now as the kids are growing, they experience places as a 5 and 7 year old very differently than when they were infants or toddlers.

We’ve already been to Fort Point National Park. But prior to this day, we’ve somehow had a string of bad luck, as every time we wandered to this Fort, it has been closed. But now the Fort is open 7 days a week to share it’s history and it’s current life. It’s a really unique landmark at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. Inside the massive fortified brick walls with treturous drops into the ocean, hides canons, tight living-quarters, stone spiral-staircases, a courtyard, art exhibits and historical photographs, a gift-shop, and knowledgeable guides who can take you on a journey into the past.

Fort Point

Matthew, now 7 years-old, experienced this place in a whole new way, which invited us, as parents, to also experience it in a whole new way. How do canons work? How does the canon ball fly out of the front? How do they use gun powder? What do the soldier’s sleep on? When Matthew was 3 or 4 years old, the world is more like a playground and all the historical objects are just another thing to climb-on. And if he wasn’t allowed to climb on it, it would quickly become boring. But now everything has a new level of curiosity as his mind wonders about the inner working and purpose of things. What an exciting and fun time!

Our agenda included Chick-Fil-A for lunch in San Jose, and then head to San Francisco for Fort Point, a stop at the Alden shoe store for daddy, and a trip to the Maritime museum. After we took our sweet time at Fort Point, we realized we had little time for stopping at the Alden shoe store and the Maritime museum. So I said, if we can find a parking spot close to the shoe store, and close to the Maritime museum, then we can meet this schedule. If we cannot, then we will simply find something else to do. The most common experience of parking in San Francisco involves driving around for 30 minutes looking for parking, or driving to a parking garage and then walking for 30 minutes to get from the garage to your destination. So it seemed that my plans were hinging on the incredible to happen and, well, by the grace of God it happened! The Alden shoe store happened to be on a street with abundant parking directly in front of the store. And although the Maritime museum is in the heart of the hustling and busting Pier 49 area, we found a parking spot 1 block away (we didn’t have enough coins for the parking meter, but the parking meter took credit card)! And then again later, we loosely planned a trip to Delores park if we can find parking! And yet again, we found a parking spot at the park. Everything fell into place today. This is certainly not normal. There have been numerous times that our attempts at parking have frustrated the entire experience and soured our desire to ever come again, but not today!

Maritime Museum Ferry

The Maritime museum is a fun place for kids. You can explore Hercules, a 1907 steam-powered tug boat, or Balcutha an 1886 eco-friendly cargo ship powered by wind (a.k.a sail-boat), or Eureka, an 1890 steam-powered paddle-wheel Ferry and more. It would be easy to spend hours climbing around the ships, taking in the views, and learning the history of the various vessels. We didn’t have ample time to do this on this trip, but one day we will come back and it will be like a fresh old-movie.