First full day of vacation. I had booked a spot on a guided walking tour of the Golden Gate Bridge. Three prior trips, and I’d still never gotten close to it. First, Tim & I walked the dogs down to Golden Gate Park and got Flywheel Roasters coffee at a little renovated park outbuilding and sat outside. Then we took an Uber to the bridge’s visitor center. Great views from there:

Alcatraz in the distance.

We met at the statue of Joseph Strauss, the chief engineer of the bridge’s construction.

The walking tour was more of a standing-around-in-the-sun tour, but it was informative. The bridge is the second most-recognized modern structure in the world, after the Eiffel Tower. The large cables are actually made up of thousands of smaller cables – here’s a cross-section they have outside:

I dressed warmly – it’s cold and windy there, even in the sun.

More views:

Inside the gift shop, they have the original scale model of a tower that they used to test in wind tunnels.

Then we walked over to another area where there was an interactive model of the bridge showing how suspension bridges flex and move:

More views from this spot:

And we’re walking, and we’re walking…

Fort Point is a popular surfing spot.
Fort Point, through the chain-link fencing that prevents thrill-seekers from accessing the cables.
Chrissy Field in the distance.
Getting closer to the south tower.

You can feel the vibration in the thin cables:

At the south tower, we heard a lot about suicides. Ugh. Our tour guide, who is a retired prosecutor and also hates bicyclists:

This hobbit-like access door:

There are 1.2 million rivets in the two towers alone.

View to the south from the south tower. You can see the new extension arms; they will support future suicide nets. Which seems stupid and unsightly, since jumpers could just jump onto the net, walk to the edge, and then jump from there.

We walked back and popped in at the Round House Cafe there and got fresh-squeezed orange juice (for me) and coffee (for Tim).

One last photo op:

You can see how windy it was there.

Before we left, I had to pop into the gift shop and get some swag. Got a t-shirt, a pen, a wee dish, and a replica rivet, which is probably my favorite souvenir of this trip. It makes a great paperweight.

Ubered to Japan Center for sushi train at Izumi Sushi. All aboard!

In the afternoon, I did some window-shopping on Haight Street. Wandered through the several Tibetan shops as well. I was hoping for a big statement ring, and those shops have lots of big chunky jewelry, but nothing spoke to me. I popped into Hobson’s Choice for a beer and read my book.

Later, Tim & I took the Muni train to get Chinese food at Chang’s. Alex asked Tim to bring certain orders back for him, and we ended up with an obscene amount of food. It was SO good.

In the evening, we watched the first episode of Julia, an HBO biopic series about Julia Child. It was delightful. David Hyde Pierce (Niles Crane on Frasier) stars as Paul Child, Bebe Neuwirth (Lillith on Cheers and Frasier) plays Childs’ best friend, and Isabella Rossellini (who needs no introduction) plays Childs’ co-author of “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.”

Next post: Aimless Wandering & Bar-Hopping!