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Sunday, July 18, 2010

San Francisco: A Sunday Stroll and Fireworks over the Water

I absolutely love the 4th of July and all of the fun it brings, but I love the reason behind the holiday even more. My parents instilled a deep sense of patriotism in me at a very young age, and being a military wife has exemplified that even more. We live in such a complicated world and are truly so, so lucky to be Americans. I'm grateful for all of those who have given their lives--and for people like my husband who continue to dedicate their lives--to protect our freedom.

The highlight of our Independence Day celebrations was listening to patriotic music as we watched fireworks over the bay with a couple hundred thousand of our closest friends. But we'll get to that later in this post.
Since the 4th of July fell on a Sunday this year, we started the day off bright and early with 9:00 a.m. church. It was one of the most touching church meetings I've been to in a long time, and I loved starting off the holiday with beautiful hymns like "America the Beautiful" and "My Country 'Tis of Thee." The only downside (is there ever a downside to church?) was the surprise we had waiting for us in the parking lot:
Someone who was attending a later church meeting had parked directly behind us in the teeny-tiny parking lot. It took 21 minutes, lots of direction, and a very skilled 113-point turn by Talon to get out of that one without touching another car (although my legs may or may not have been gently pinned between the Scion and VW for a few seconds... better me than the car, right?). After lunch, we went on a nice, long Sunday walk through Golden Gate Park.
Golden Gate Park has lots of different areas within it, and their children's section is probably the coolest one of all. Just as we were admiring the cool climbing toys, we saw this sign and had a good laugh:
Isn't that the best? Apparently, the park has more adult-friendly options, like kite flying and lawn bowling. Yes, lawn bowling.
Aside from the various activities the park offers, it has various themed woods and gardens that are all so peaceful and pretty.
Matt and I spent the most time in the Japanese Tea Gardens. Everything was so beautiful and well-manicured, and the oriental theme provided such an interesting contrast to the rest of the park.
Following our Sunday stroll, we hopped back in the car and took the scenic route back to Tylee's, passing the famous Seven Sisters (better known as "the Full House house") on the way. Tylee's roommates hosted a gourmet BBQ that night and were kind enough to invite us to their feast in the backyard.
Then it was time for the main event, so we headed out to Fisherman's Wharf where the whole city seemed to be gathering for the fireworks.
Remember how uncharacteristically clear the San Francisco skies had been all weekend? We were crossing our fingers and toes that it would stay that way through Sunday night. Despite our best finger-crossing efforts, however, the fog rolled in just in time for the big show. But in the end, we were glad because it provided us with the unique San Francisco firework experience. You see, in the fog, you can't really see the actual fireworks--instead, it looks like clouds of color exploding in the sky, like so:
Happily for us, the fog wasn't too dense nor too low, so we got the best of both worlds: half the time we saw vibrant bursts of color, and the other half of the time we saw the real firework (or at least the bottom half of it). It was really neat!
The crowd scattered like ants at a picnic as soon as the fireworks ended. We made our way through the crowds, to the car, and finally to Tylee's flat, where we threw our last sleepover party of the weekend.
You know you have good friends when you can share a small bedroom four nights in a row and love every minute of it!
Monday morning came around all too fast and provided us with the true San Francisco fog for our grand exit. Isn't it lovely?
We think San Francisco is the most charming city in the world, and can't wait to visit again!


  1. what a great trip. I love those pictures of the Japanese Tea Gardens. Looks amazing!!!!

  2. I just love San Fransisco, it's so unique and so much fun. You all are just too cute with all your adventures! (Oh and this is BB from MN by the way :) )

  3. I have never seen San Fran in the fog. Really cool! What a great party you had all weekend! Nice to be so close you can take advantage of so many cool things!!

  4. I love San Fran! My favorite part - the Children's Park sign. Haha! Classic... Oh, and the oriental gardens. They have Japanese Gardens here in Bonn that are AMAZING, and I'll just go and read scriptures there some mornings. It's great! I should blog about that... Haha!

  5. Your story about the car parking behind you during church reflects so positively about your personality. Many people would be upset, negative, and speak ill, but instead you worked it out and got out of that tight spot without all of the negativity that you could have had.

    Thanks for being positive!

  6. You guys always have the best adventures. I'm so jealous you got to spend 4th of July in San Fransisco. Lucky you to have so many great friends all over the USA. Come stay with me next in Colorado Springs. =)

  7. Or....you could come stay with us and we'll take you to the awesome BEACH on LEIGH HILL!! Cum-on!...aren't you ready for another adventure with us???....we could cook another turkey!! hee hee
    Hey, these pics are so awesome! I love your adventure to san fran! My parents took our family there when I was like in my early teens and I remember it was so cool!


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