Rebecca Duvall

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Exploring

Public Open Space SFHave I every told you my favorite season is summer? Well, if I haven’t, it is. I love, love, love the hot, hot, hot days. The hotter the day, the bigger my smile and happier I feel. The warm air of summer makes me want to get out and move around to explore the world.

A few days ago, with my dad as our tour guide, my girls and I went to San Francisco to explore. I don’t visit the city often. The hustle and bustle of the city usually stresses me out. This time, with my dad leading the way, I was determined to enjoy the wonderful sites the city had in store for us.

Our day started off with a ferry ride. I have to say, it’s so much nicer than driving. If you haven’t had the pleasure of enjoying a ferry ride, I strongly recommend you find time to. That is unless you get motion sickness. Then I think diving is the best bet for you.

Once we arrived at the Ferry Building we headed out for our first destination, the rooftop of the Crocker Galleria. Did you know there are privately owned buildings and spaces that have public access? I never knew. If you’re ever walking around San Francisco, keep a lookout for a small sticker in the front window that says Public Open Space. Or you can Google it online before you head out.   I found several different maps, lists and articles written about the differnt hidden public spots to check out while visiting the city.

Before heading up to the rooftop to take in the beautiful views, we stopped to get a bite at Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches. They’re known for their speedy service, and I have to say, they were pretty fast at getting us our order. The food was delicious too.

The views from the rooftop were breathtaking. It was before the usual lunch rush so the space was quiet. We enjoyed our lunch on a partially shaded bench surrounded by shrubbery. It was hard to believe we were sitting on a rooftop in the middle of the city. It felt like we were sitting in a park in the middle of no where. Well, except for the noise. The sounds of the city echoed up the sides of the buildings.San Francisco Rooftop

With full tummies we ventured on our way to the next stop, the rooftop of the Westfield San Francisco Centre Mall. Again, the views were beautiful and the weather was a perfect 79 degrees for the city. So jackets were not needed. However, we did bring them since it’s usually cold and foggy. This rooftop wasn’t as nice as the first, but the views made up for it.

After a quick stroll through the mall we were back outside soaking up the warmth of the city and looking toward our next adventure, the rooftop of an office building at One Kearney Place. But before we could head that way, we needed a sweet treat. There were so many places to choose from. How in the world were we to decide. With a peak at the map and seeing what we were so close to, the choice was obvious……Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop. We sat along the window seats so we could inhale our sweet treat, chat and people watch. It was a nice rest for our feet too! Ghirardelli Ice Cream Shop SF

Our stomachs are full and we’re loaded with sugar. We’re now ready to take on the rest of our day. The rooftop at One Kearney Place was small, but nice. It’s a building surrounded by many other tall buildings so it was cool to see the details of the building tops. Something you would never notice while walking around at ground level in the city.

We’re now done exploring rooftops and heading to China Town. This is my first visit there. I wish I wasn’t still full from the ice cream. I would love to have tried some of the food. It all smelled so delicious. We wandered into a few of the shops while walking through. I saw a few interesting items and lovely jewelry. Although I didn’t buy anything, because this was a trip for exploring, not shopping.

We now had one last area to explore before heading back to the ferry. Telegraph Hill. This is another place I had never been in San Francisco. The way my dad described it, I thought there were many more stairs to climb than there actually were. It was nothing compared to the walk Ashley and I go on back home, which I mention in an earlier post, ‘I Prayed For That?’. But I must confess, this was exhausting after walking all over the city. The homes on Telegraph Hill were small, but the scenery and views were amazing. I couldn’t imagine walking up and down those stairs everyday, sometimes several times a day. If I lived there, I would make it a point to only leave and return once everyday.rooftop view of San Francisco

Oh, I must tell you about the amazing family we had a brief encounter with. At the second highest point of Telegraph Hill we stopped to catch our breath. We were also deciding whether or not we would continue to the top or head down. During this time, my daughter Amy took out her iPod Touch to see if she had WIFI. Typical teenager. Always needs to be connected. As soon as I realized the staircase in front of us was the last one, I decided we had to finish the walk up to the top. Just as we were arriving to the top of the staircase a gentleman yelled out “Is this yours? Did you leave this behind?”. We turned back to look at the man and see what he was yelling about and saw that he was holding Amy’s iPod Touch. When we thanked him he said to thank his family, because they were the ones who noticed it sitting on the ledge where she had left it. I was filled with an amazing feeling. A feeling of love and happiness. I don’t know if that family were tourists or they lived there, but to know that whoever they were, they cared about the people around them and chose to do what was right. It brought a smile to my face and filled me with gratitude.

My prayer for us today ~ Father God, I thank you for the kindness and love you show us each and every day. I pray we share this love and kindness and demonstrate it with those around us.

San Francisco Public Open Spaces


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