Fares please…ting ting…Let’s go.
Not too fast…and not too slow…
Stop at the crossing…
Wait for the light…
Then ride the cable
right up to the top…
Stop…and look at the view.
Down we go
on the other side.
‘K out for hte curve.
to the end of the line.
Turn around and do it again
Fares please…ting-ting…let’s go.
No hill to steep…
no load too heavy…
and most polite…
She rang her gong
and sang her song
from early morn
till late at night.
From Maybelle the Cable Car
Virginia Lee Burton
Day two dawned bright and early..or not. Being one time zone over, we actually slept in until almost 8am! First up, showers and get dressed. Next – breakfast! The last great surprise at our hotel. Made to order omlets. Bacon. Sausage. Pancakes. Scrambled eggs. Fruit. Yogurt. All you can eat. FOR FREE. Who doesn’t love that?!? With our bellies full of sustenance we set out for our first real foray into sunny San Fran.
Our hotel also provided a free shuttle back to the airport where we could pick up the BART into downtown. Cool! Another train!
We hit the BART about 10 am and stepped off at the Market & Powell exit. Right out the station doors is the San Francisco visitors center where you can buy Muni passes – basically pay a flat rate for unlimited rides on any public transport except BART. We picked up a couple passes for the ad-ults as the two chillins are young enough to ride free.
We were off to a bit of a late start – I’d read you really ought to get to the Cable Cars as soon as you can in the morning. Those folks are right. Especially if you have a traveler with you like my beloved hubby. Upon emerging from the very stinky elevator (oh please I don’t want to remember that!) we caught a glimpse of the folks waiting for the cable cars. Wrapped around the turn point and probably a quarter mile long. Josh is not very good at standing in line. My bigger fear was seeing the masses of people hanging on the cable cars and wondering if they’d let us take the ginormous stroller.
(This photo makes me think we’re going to be in trouble in about, oh, 10 years.)
Luckily the line moved quickly and we even had entertainment!
(For the unfamiliar – those are some shiny gold tap shoes.)
We opted to just jump on whatever cable car was available when we reached the front of the line. The brakeman was great and grabbed the stroller no questions asked (I had it collapsed for him at least). Our car was actually relatively empty at first.
Good thing, because I was able to get some awesome photos.
Even the Girl thought this cable car business was a whole lotta fun.
We rode the Bay Line up to the end, which is at Fisherman’s Wharf. From there we walked along checking out the sights (and a quick stop at Starbucks). We were also looking to pick up a blanket for the Girl. I’d packed blankets for both the kids, but we’d left them at the hotel. We new it was going to be relatively chilly (hence the long sleeves and pants), but the wind proved to be more brisk than expected.
Cue heavenly music…
We found a sweet little shop and picked up a flannel blanket for the Girl which just so happens to perfectly match her bedroom. (Don’t worry, I’m sure there are photos of it coming some where in here.) Ghiradelli Square was, of course, one of the key “must do’s” on my list. Although I was a bit disappointed – I thought we’d be able to see more of the original factory. But it’s really just a big shopping center. Not that that stopped me from buying about 5 bars of chocolate. And no, I won’t share.
We spent some time walking around the stores, checking out some of the construction that was going on, and enjoying the view of the waterfront.
The Boy and I enjoyed the fountain. He had fun splashing in the water until I went to take a quick photo of the dediation plaque…which wasn’t a dedication plaque. It was a notice that the fountain used reclaimed water. Oops.
We decided to forgo the additional 45 minute wait to pick up a Cable Car right at Ghiradelli Square and walked back to the Bay Line. On the way back we hopped of to tour the Cable Car Museum. What a great place! First off – it’s free. Second – it’s full of such great history. Third – you get to see how the Cable Cars work!
You get to actually look down and see the cables and the big wheels turning that make the cable cars run! What I found the most fascinating was how many cable lines there used to be.
There are only 3 lines left now. In 1947 the city was going to get rid of them all! Mrs. Friedel Klussmann started the Citizens’ Committee to Save the Cable Cars which staged a public campaign that successfully saved the Cable Cars – this is the story told in Maybelle. What a tragedy it would have been to lose such a wonderful piece of the city’s history.
On with our journey…By this point we were nearing nap time. The Boy was getting crabby and insisting on riding in the stroller. Not on the front, but IN the stroller. Which means carrying the Girl. So we didn’t spend as much time as I’d have liked at the museum. We did purchase some postcards, a small metal cable car for the Girl, and a larger (ting!ting!) cable car for the Boy.
We hitched a ride on the Cable Cars one more time to head back to Powell and Market and the BART station. Along the way the adults were not so adult like, arguing weather it would be best to go straight back to the hotel or stop and have a late lunch. I argued for stopping (I admit, I just didn’t want to go back to the hotel yet), Josh wanted to go back. I regret to say I won. We walked around a half dozen blocks, and finally landed at Loris Diner, a 50’s diner. The food was okay, nothing great, but at least it wasn’t very expensive. Unfortunately we were all worn out and crabby at this point and the real casualty of this decision won’t be revealed until tomorrow.
We hopped back on the BART, rode to the airport, hopped the shuttle, and finally returned to the hotel. Naps were had. Swimming was done. More free beer, soda, and snacks were consumed. And another early night was called to an end.