The Fog

The streets of San Francisco

The streets of San Francisco

Two weeks ago I joined Kelly for a short roadtrip on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.  She was from San Francisco and when she heard my plans to visit the city in July, she told me it was ‘winter’ in her city with a lot of fog.  I was a little sceptic but when I approached San Francisco, I saw indeed a dense layer of clouds hanging over the city with chilly temperatures of 14C.  I just came from 35C so i would say… Don’t plan your trip to San Francisco in July/August.  The city is renowned for its cool summers & fog.  September & October would be the best time.

Lola & Pete McPeterton

Lola & Pete McPeterton

San Francisco was founded in 1776 when colonists from Spain established a fort at the Golden Gate & a mission for St. Francis of Assisi a few miles away.  Today, the steep rolling hills, eclectic mix of architecture and of course the famous Golden Gate Bridge, the cable cars & Alcatraz are the main attractions.  Kelly was so kind to invite me in her beautiful apartment in Ocean Beach. Great was my surprise when I saw that Kelly owned 2 cute black cats… Lola & Pete McPeterton. They looked exactly the same as my cat, named Maeva, back in Belgium. Unfortunately I got a message the same evening from my father that Maeva had passed away after 16 long years in our company.   To cheer me up and welcome me in the city, Kelly invited me for dinner in a restaurant nearby called ‘Pacific Cafe’ known only by locals with delicious local food.

Kelly @ the Contemporary Jewish museum

Kelly @ the Contemporary Jewish museum

The Jewish Contemporary Museum in downtown San Francisco had an exhibition about Allen Ginsburg & the Beat generation & an exhibition called ‘Beyond Belief’ about 100 years of the spiritual in Modern Art. This exhibition contained a famous painting by Mark Ruthko, Kelly’s favorite artist and Allen Ginsberg was Kelly’s favorite writer.  Allen Ginsberg was a photographer & one of the most visionary writers of his generation, author of the celebrated poem ‘Howl’.  She was keen to introduce me to both artists. Chris, a guy who planned to join me on the roadtrip and who was a fan of Allen Ginsberg as well, joined us for the exhibition.

With Kelly, Ana & Erin @ Black Bird cafe

With Kelly, Ana & Erin @ Black Bird cafe

The same evening Kelly took me to Black Bird cafe to meet Ana & Erin, some of her closest friends for a few drinks & to Lucky Strike bar afterwards where we spend a lovely evening with some more of her friends… a nice but talkative company of Italian dudes.

Kelly & me @ Davenport beach

Kelly & me @ Davenport beach

To escape the ‘winter’, Kelly drove me to Davenport beach, a beautiful beachtown close to Santa Cruz with towering cliffs & an unspoiled beach facing the Pacific. We spent a lovely day enjoying some sunshine, beachtime, the lighthouse, … Once back in the fog, Kelly cooked us a delicious home made butternut squash pasta with tomato, mozzarella & salad and treated me on a guava spumante with blueberries as aperitivo! No need to say that she loved Italy! In fact she lived in Italy for 8 years and teached Italian in San Francisco.

Sausalito

Sausalito

Some of the main attractions in San Francisco are the famous Lombard street with it’s steep and sharp hairpin turns, the steep California street and of course the Golden Gate Bridge!  Unfortunately it was covered by a thick fog so I could only use my imagination! Once again we escaped the San Francisco fog and drove to the very cute ‘European’ town of Sausalito, right across the Golden Gate bridge. Blue skies, warm sunshine on our skin, kids enjoyin’ refreshing ice creams, beach bars packed with both tourists & locals, animated beaches, … this was the place to escape to for a touch of summer!

Kelly's secret 'Swede's beach'   Well, not secret anymore... Sorry, Kelly :p

Kelly’s secret ‘Swede’s beach’
Well, not secret anymore… Sorry, Kelly :p

Kelly knew a small, secret beach called Swede’s beach, where we escaped the crowds and had fantastic views on the city. You could see clearly how San Francisco was covered by a thick layer of fog, hanging above the city as a carpet. After relaxing a few moments, we drove to the next beachtown… Tiburon. Wonderful waterhouses here built on poles in the ocean, sometimes with their own private harbour. There was even a piece of ocean for sale including some rocks next to the road to build your own dreamhouse in the Pacific!

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