The Golden Gate Bridge…and football!

Hey guys! Did you enjoy the Superbowl last weekend? If you’re not a football lover, I hope you enjoyed the food–at the very least.

I’m a huge hockey fan (Go Bruins!) but I’ve started watching football too, since Cowboy’s a big fan. I’m not a complete stranger to the sport as I was on the girls’ Touch Football team in Junior High, and I used to played tackle football with my brother and his friends (ouch) growing up.

I also went to many Rough Rider games too, until our team suddenly disappeared in the mid ’90s. It’s back now though, under a new name (unfortunately) called ‘The Redblacks’. So now there’s no chance you can confuse us with Saskatchewan 😀

The Ottawa Rough Riders were formed in 1876, whereas the Regina Roughriders (later changed to Saskatchewan Roughriders) didn’t come onto the field until 1910. But since both teams played in different divisions across the country from one another, they never played each other until the CFL was formed in 1961. So the similar names (there’s a space between the Ottawa Rough Riders) wasn’t really a big deal. But when Ottawa’s team folded in 1996 and then came back in 2013, our team’s name changed. I’m just happy our city has football again! 

I enjoyed the Superbowl this past weekend and getting to see Peyton Manning (Broncos) win. And it’s even sweeter because this was likely Peyton’s last rodeo (as he’s presumably retiring), and this win means he’s finally tied with his (younger) brother for Superbowl rings. Now he can happily ride off into the sunset– at the age of 39! (like how I managed to connect football to my blog’s theme?) womp womp womp.

Okay, enough about football.

While watching the Superbowl coverage the last week—I promise this is no longer about football— I enjoyed seeing all the beautiful shots of San Francisco, which was home to this year’s Superbowl. It made me  reminisce about my road trip through California a few years ago. So I was then inspired to dig up some of my photos to share with you guys.

I’ll start with San Francisco, but don’t be surprised if you see posts from San Diego, the Big Sur and Hollywood in the near-ish future— since I’m on a roll (consider yourselves warned)

I was only in San Francisco for half a day–believe it or not–so I haven’t really seen the city. But at least I got to check out the gorgeous Bay and the famous bridge. Now, I bet you’re wondering: who in their right mind goes to San Francisco— for a few hours?  Before you go ahead and call me crazy(er), I promise I’ve got a good reason.

It was the summer of 2008 and my good friend Al and I were on a big road trip across the Western U.S. We hadn’t planned to hit the California coast at all, actually. We’d started our road trip in Vancouver, drove through Washington and Oregon, crossed over Northern Cali to Nevada, meandered around Arizona and only then, whilst in Tombstone contemplating where to go next, did we decide– on a whim– to drive to the coast.

It was a wonderful drive, and we’re glad we did it. But, by the time we arrived in San Francisco we had 2 days left to get back to Vancouver for our flight home. Of course that put a bit of a damper on our sightseeing and dilly-dallying.

But you can’t drive along the California coast and not see the world’s most photographed bridge, right?

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Hello San Francisco!

We’d left San Diego early that morning, stopped in Hollywood for the afternoon, and finally arrived in San Francisco late that night. We decided to stay for the night because we were exhausted, but also because we wanted to see the bridge, at the very least, while passing through the city.

It was sunny and beautiful when we got up the next morning and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. We were both pretty excited since neither of us have been to San Francisco before and we didn’t get to see too much in the dark last night.

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As we got closer to the bridge, though, we started to see some fog.  Which started to block our nice view of the bridge in the distance. 

We were now getting formally introduced to the world-famous San Francisco Fog!

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As many of you probably know, San Francisco is known for its fog, and it’s worse during the summer months. It’s caused by inland heat combining with the cool water of the Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The cold water then cools the air above it, and since cold air can’t hold as much moisture as warm air, the moisture then condenses into fog.

Voila! The reason we couldn’t see the bridge anymore.

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The fact that San Francisco is bordered by water on all three sides  doesn’t help, either.

As we started to drive over the bridge, I felt like we were driving onto the set of a horror movie. It was pretty eerie going through it, but insanely cool at the same time.

Sure we get a little fog back home once in a while (usually early in the morning–which is why I rarely see it–haha) so I’ve seen fog before. But nothing like this.

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I love how the fog drifted dreamily through the bridge and completely surrounded us. My imagination then suddenly went into overdrive and I started thinking about different scenes from horror movies that my friends have made me watch over the years. There is a reason I can’t stand horror movies, and it might have to do with the fact that I couldn’t sleep for 3 years after seeing Amityville Horror when I was just 8 years-old.

Turns out I had nothing to worry about (even with Al beside me). As we approached the mid-point of the bridge, the fog suddenly started to dissipate and we could see blue sky again. And, more importantly, the view of the bridge and the bay! It was fabulous.

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It was even cooler that we got to experience the fog lifting right as we were crossing the bridge. And then we got to see the view at the tail end of it. We couldn’t ask for better luck than that.

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I love how striking the bridge looks against the brilliant blue sky.

I later learned that the bridge’s colour (called ‘International orange’) was actually the colour of the primer that was put on when the bridge was first built. The consulting architect (Irving Morrow) liked how the colour complemented the natural surroundings, so he decided to keep that colour scheme. It was probably a good call because the vibrant colour also helps make the bridge more visible in fog.

When we crossed the bridge, we arrived at the ‘Golden Gate National Recreation Area”. This was a perfect stop because I was hoping we could park somewhere so we could walk around a little.

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There was still a bit of fog in a few spots, but it had mostly evaporated from the late morning sun.

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The park was super busy with many other tourists who were just as excited as we were to finally be here.

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This is Joseph B. Strauss, who built the bridge in 1937. Sadly, he died a year later.   

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The Golden Gate Bridge was the longest suspension bridge ever built when it was completed in 1937. It spans the Golden Gate (hence the name), which is the opening of the San Francisco Bay into the Pacific Ocean. It’s now, of course, one of the most recognized symbols of the city, and is one of the most visited (and photographed) bridges in the world.

While we walked around and got a bit closer to the water, I got a nice shot of this boat coming down the Bay. It shows just how massive this bridge really is.

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When we were here in San Francisco, it was mid July. So, being in sunny California in the middle of summer, you’d think it’d be warm–right? Look at the fleece jacket Al is wearing. BRR!

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It was surprisingly chilly (even though it was almost noon) and very windy. We walked onto the bridge for awhile, but we eventually turned back because of the heavy winds and the damp chilly air.

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We were then told by a local that, like many tourists, we wrongly assumed that: “It’s California, in July…it’s gotta be hot, right?” 

Nope. It’s actually quite cool here during the summer because of the ‘natural air conditioning’. When the hot inland air (from surrounding cities) rises and the heavier cold ocean air rushes in to replace it, this causes a cool breeze. And a rather damp one at that, I thought.

Thank goodness we packed pants and jackets. I felt bad for the folks we saw hopping off the tour buses in shorts and flip-flops. Yikes!

Apparently Mark Twain once said that the coldest winter he ever spent was during the summer in San Francisco! (HA). Well, I’ve been here for half a day and I can see why 😉

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Part of the reason it seemed extra cold to us, I think, was because just yesterday we were sweating in the scorching heat of the desert (near San Diego). So we hadn’t had much of a chance to get acclimated yet. As a result, this felt like Fall to us.

Speaking of Fall, we were also told that September (or October) is THEE time to come for ‘summer’ weather in San Francisco. Apparently it’s much warmer then than it is in July or August. So, keep that in mind if you’re heading to San Francisco. If you go in the summer, pack lots of fall clothing (you’ll be glad you did). 

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Now, before Al and I hop back in the car to start our trek northward, I think I’m off to find a nice cup of hot chocolate to warm up.

Thanks for reading everyone! I can’t wait to get back there so I can actually see the city, the cool neighbourhoods, do a trolley ride, try all the amazing food that I’ve heard so much about, check out Alcatraz…and more! If you’ve been, I’d love to hear about your trip (and I’d love to hear your suggestions).

Stay tuned for more stories and photos from the gold coast! Hope you’re all doing great!

Love, Dana xo

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11 thoughts on “The Golden Gate Bridge…and football!

  1. Hi!

    Yes, my fave team, the Denver Broncos won last weekend. I was cheering with my Official NFL Peyton Manning jersey on. Go Broncos!!!

    Nice that you profiled one of my fave cities, San Francisco. Oh and Brad and I are going to San Diego at end of May for his sister’s 60th birthday (surprise) party. She has lived there for more than 40 years.

    Good post!

    Lenka

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    • me too, Lenka! Love Peyton and very happy that he won and tied his bro. Did you see how unimpressed his brother was? That win was worth it just for that, I think! ha ha I loved the bit I saw of San Fran, but I need to get back to do a proper tour. We’ve been talking about going sometime, maybe even next fall. I LOVED San Diego, you’ll have a blast. Beautiful city, and apparently it’s pretty much sunny and 27 degrees (on avg) every day of the year. Now that’s the kinda weather we should have 😀 Can you take us with you?

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  2. I’m not a big sports fan, even if I played soccer back in the old days, but I found watching the Super Bowl fascinating, although I only did this once :-).
    Ah, these photos are great. Looks mightily impressive that bridge. I guess it’s a completely different thing actually being on it that just seeing it. Thanks for sharing this experience, there are so many awesome places like this one and all different!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Super Bowl is always pretty fun, but more so if you like football! ha ha I do know a lot of people who watch it for the commercials, half-time shows or the excuse to make fun food. Thanks for your kind words, the Bridge was pretty impressive for sure. Nice to see it up close after seeing it in the movies.
      I just read an article today that says two pedestrians walking across this bridge were struck by blow darts!! Crazy…what is this world coming to? http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/2-Golden-Gate-Bridge-pedestrians-hit-by-blow-darts-6828206.php

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t remember any commercials, but maybe that’s because I usually don’t watch them (as I don’t watch any TV anyway) ;). But I’ll take any US commercial over German ones, as they’re more fun :).
        It’s always great to visit the places one knows from movies, games or books and see that they’re even more impressive.
        That blow darts thing is horrible! It’s a scary world, yes… especially with people taking this either as a fun distraction or to let out their frustration/anger on others who don’t have anything to do with them :(. But you get those wackos everywhere anytime, unfortunately.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m not a big tv fan, either but especially commercials. Many of the Superbowl ones are quite good, but I actually like the game (and the food) more haha! A lot of people watch it JUST for the commercials, it’s huge money too, I’m sure. That story about the Blow Darts is crazy, isn’t it? But yep, you’re right there are wackos everywhere. You just never think someone is going to throw something at you from under a bridge! Those poor tourists, but at least no one was seriously hurt. They haven’t found the culprits yet, I don’t believe. A lot of angry, unhappy and morbid people, isn’t there? Thanks for reading my San Francisco story, even though I didn’t get beyond the bridge area. Next time I go, I’ll have more to report. Will probably wear hockey equipment if I go back to the Bridge though 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • I like to watch TV shows when they’re available on DVD/BDs, so I don’t need to watch those commercials ;). Yes, it is quite an interesting and intense sports game. Do you know the movie “Any Given Sunday”? I guess this pretty much sums up what’s at stake behind the scenes ;).
        That Blow Darts thing is indeed more than a little bit crazy. Unexpected violence is always horrible, and this one is just… I don’t know what it is. Haha, yeah, hockey equipment might be the best way to protect yourself, although I’m not sure what the authorities will say ;). And while you’re at it, you could also make some evasive maneuvers. Might look silly, but makes you a less likely target to hit :).

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m the same, it’s much nicer to watch a show or movie straight though without all the commercials. And there are usually way too many. Though sometimes watching a show on a DVD can be way too time-consuming too, because then I’m tempting to keep watching ‘one more’ haha. Any Given Sunday was a great movie and definitely shows more than what meets the eye when it comes to football. It’s definitely like a religion in many places, they LOVE their football. That would definitely raise a few red flags if I was walking up and down the bridge (or any bridge, really) in hockey gear. I may end up in a straight jacket for awhile haha (at least until I can reassure them it was just paranoia…which may sound bad, too lol). Maybe football gear would stand out less, then? 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, doing a TV show marathon is no uncommon thing, although I usually try to be reasonable with the time spent, just like gaming ;). I guess that’s the nature of these series, that you get quite addicted to them, watching them week after week. Might pick some and write about them in the near future ;).
        Any Given Sunday was quite brutal, and what I’ve seen on TV, people seem to like this, just like watching cars crash, people throwing each other on top ;). In Germany it’s soccer, although I couldn’t care less watching this (even if I played it in my childhood) :).
        Yes, trying that hockey equipment could make you look like Jason Vorhees, and that’s not a good thing, but then again it’s the mask that counts for protection ;).

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    • That’s great, it’s a beautiful city. I wished I hadn’t run out of time when I got to the area. At least I had a good visit in San Diego and LA. I’m looking forward to going to SF for a few days next time and doing a nice thorough tour of the city. The trolley sounds like a lot of fun. And definitely will plan a visit to Alcatraz. I’m glad you had a great visit there.

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