Fleet Week in San Francisco was a great experience. I rode the metro into the city with family and just love riding the escalator up onto street level. It's fun to see the building architecture from that angle.
We walked to the Ferry Building...that is its tower in the first photo...where a wonderful farmer's market is located and waited for the "F" line bus to take us to a north bay spot to view the air show. That big tower clock chimed 12 times for noon...very cool.
Some of the buses are really old, like maybe from the 30's. Very retro and painted in just about any color you can imagine. Luckily, though, we caught a bigger, modern bus which accommodated my godson's stroller.
In less than 10 minutes we were at the famous Pier 39 which is way to commercial for me and the streets were packed with fast walking folk. It was a pleasure to move away from there and stroll the open air crab and seafood stands of Fisherman's Wharf...the smells of hot fresh bread, chowder and boiled crab was fabulous and our mouths began to water for the simple
picnic lunch we carried with us. I spied a possible viewing area off to our right, but me and Sis realized it was covered at the end and would hinder our view...and just then, a lovely lanky woman walking her dog entered a short dock which, from our perspective, had looked closed. We dashed over to it and saw the sign: "authorized berth owners only". Sis said, hey, we have a berth, just not in San Francisco...let's go!"
We were the only people there and it was suddenly very quiet although we could look across these cute little boats and see all the street traffic. We were so happy as we pulled out our fresh rolls, salami, cheese, olives, cherry tomatoes and grapes. Dad dashed off to grab a couple of beers and a cigar.
It wasn't long until the stunt planes started the air show and we were dazzled at new moves we hadn't seen in past years....like a vertical climb and then a stall in the same position followed by crazy weaving moves that indeed made it appear the craft would crash but then at the last moment, he'd pull up and make us all
say "wow". Virgin America debuted their first flyby of their new commercial liner, an Airbus A320 that flew back and forth and maneuvered rather quickly, not what you'd expect from a big jet.
The Blue Angels flight team is what we really were there for. They always finish the show. We were totally surprised first with a Blue Angels C-130...a gigantic plane that is large enough to haul a few military tanks. It was painted blue with gold like the fighter jets but it moved in completely unexpected ways!
I've seen C-130's fly before and they are so huge they appear very cumbersome and slow...but this guy was awesome...he flew quite quickly and even vertically! None of us had ever seen that before. It was so agile in its moves we were in awe.
Then, of course, it was time to be the "winner" that spotted the fighters first. They move so fast that you only have a second or two to hear them before you see them. They flew in differently than in the past...bro in law spotted them from way far off so they weren't a surprise this time. I just kept putting my camera up to the sky and clicking having no idea if I even had them in my sight, but this photo turned out pretty darned good, I think.
During our lunch, a boat owner walked past us and we asked if we'd get in trouble or cited for being on this dock. He said, "oh, no, you might be asked to leave if too many additional people enter, though, because basically, this dock is condemned and could crumble under too much weight".
Sheesh! Okay. All was well until more viewers entered "our" dock. Several people brought with them freshly fried lunches and suddenly we were inundated with seagulls wanting to partake. Yeah, they had no interest when we had our fresh lunch I mentioned earlier...they wanted the fried food! One even flew right up to a woman's french fries and stole one right in front of her...funny.
My godson's favorite part of the day, I think, were those seagulls. And guess what...we did feel the dock sway a bit at one point with all those people on it...a little scary. As we walked back toward the metro, we passed Houston's restaurant and Dad treated us to a yummy dinner. We reached the metro as darkness fell and waited only a few minutes for the train home. All in all a great day with smooth traveling and perfect weather.
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