St. Lou, MO Vacation Elation Revelation

Discussion in 'Mid West Regional Discussion' started by jedigal, Jun 14, 2001.

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  1. jedigal Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 2000
    star 4
    I've gotten a lot of questions about my vacation, and I thought I'd just answer them all in one place, instead of having to do it 5 million times. (Yep, I have 5 million friends. Isn't that cool? ;) )

    But seriously, this reminds of being in grade school and all those dumb papers we used to write. "My Summer Vacation" by Stephanie Murphy (I wasn't married yet, ya know.)

    N E WAY...

    We went to California with a friend of ours, Jay. While we were out there we stayed at his sister and brother-in-law's place in Fremont, which is East Bay and pretty far south for anyone not familiar with the San Fran' metro area.

    In San Francisco we checked out the following:
    The Haight - too commercialized now, but still carries the feel of the old hippy days.
    Golden Gate Park - a lovely city park, hosting all kinds of events, and the site of lots of touristy stuff. We took a nap on the grass in the AIDS Memorial Garden there. We could hear a rock concert off in the distance.
    Golden Gate Bridge - very beautiful, of course. What can I say? You've seen pictures.
    Chinatown - I loved it. I could have spent an entire day there, but the boys wouldn't let me. It was almost like stepping inside a different country.
    The Wharf areas: Pier 39, Ghirardelli Square, etc., etc. - This was the big tourist trap area. Panhandlers and street performers galore. We were in the area on two different occasions, and one panhandler (I recognized him b/c he was a white guy with dreadlocks and a mutt dog) was blind one day, panhandling for money, and the next time we were down there, he was strolling around, free and easy, with no vision problems. Didn't bother me, b/c I didn't give out any money to anyone. All kinds of shops with the same kind of souvenirs and different stuff. Each block farther from the water that you get, the cheaper the stuff gets. Personally, I thought the best things here were the sea lions that live by Pier 39, and the views of the Bay.
    Alcatraz - We took the ferry out to the Island, and did the walk-through tour they have on audio. That was pretty cool. When I got back to St. Louis I had to rent Escape from Alcatraz and compare the movie to what I'd seen. Interesting to me was that the prison was designed to hold no more than 360 prisoners, and was never full, I can't remember the most they had at one time, but maybe around 280-300. I also couldn't come to terms with the idea that the guards' families lived on the island with them. The whole thing of having children there kind of creeped me out. Also, the prison building itself was so small, that was odd considering how the idea of Alcatraz looms large in the imagination. Great views of San Fran' from the island.
    John Muir Woods - On the North Peninsula across the strait from San Fran' is a beautiful redwood forest nestled in a canyon. I wish I could put this into words, because the few hours we were there were truly lovely. Redwoods, for anyone who forgets, are the tallest growing trees in the world. Sequoias, which we didn't go see, as it would have been about a 4 hour drive one way from where we were, are the largest tree (pretty darn tall, and wider more massive trunks). The trees were terrifically beautiful, and the forest was surreal, very quiet, hardly any undergrowth. The best experience was standing by the trunk of one redwood, and gazing up into the sky through its branches.
    Coastline - We drove North from John Muir Woods along Highway 1 and just took in the views of the cliffs and the ocean. Once again, I just can't say in words what it felt like. It was magnificent.
    San Francisco - Back to the city itself, the things that were cool to me were the look and the feel of the city. Since whites are not the majority, but merely the largest minority, it was so much more diverse than boring old St. Louis. I felt more a member of the world than just a member of my country. The architecture of the city was beautiful, and I loved how bright and colorful everythin
  2. JediGemini Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 4
    Wow! Sounded awesome Steph! Seems like a wonderful place to vacation at. Glad you had a great time!
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