I just had to ride a cable car in San Francisco. Nevermind that my aunts, cousins and I had already spent half a day in the city by the bay (if Journey just popped in your head… good that was my goal). I hadn’t ever done it and how can one visit San Francisco and NOT ride a cable car? Blasphemous!
I was headed down to Santa Cruz to see my grandpa, but since San Francisco is on the way, why not stop for a cable car ride? That was my thinking anyway, so that’s what I did. It turned into a very time consuming event, however, and that was not planned for and made for a bit of a tiresome afternoon.
The line wasn’t so bad, but that little strawberry blonde boy waiting in line ahead of me is another story. I love kids, I do. I think they’re great, but this little turd was cute at first but after a while became obnoxious. His sister was being whiny over nothing and that was frustrating enough, but then he started teasing her and then the running around and running into people without regard for others ensued. He stepped on my toe, which was exposed as I was silly enough to wear sandals in San Francisco for a cable car ride… if you don’t know… San Francisco isn’t exactly a hot place even during the summer. That infamous fog can roll in at any time and the bay and wind usually keep it cool. For a girl who currently resides in a place that reaches 126 degrees… I was perfectly content with 65 degrees or cooler with a breeze. That said, I still am pretty convinced my next cable car ride will include socks and tennis shoes. It’s a bit safer that way and well, warmer.
As I was saying, that little punk stepped on my toe, but lucky for his young life that he didn’t stomp on it and it wasn’t horribly painful, just mildly. Kids are one thing but when the dad isn’t going to mind them or stop them from being pests, that’s what gets me. The kids were acting up but it was the date I almost smacked for being complacent.
As luck would have it, I ended up standing in the front of the cable car for the first part of the ride. Exciting, yes… but tiresome and a bit chilly… also yes. It was tiresome because holding on with my left arm while also holding my purse, camera and replacement travel journal got to be a lot but still worthwhile. It was chilly because, well as I said, it’s San Francisco but also those cable cars really get moving along those hilly streets!
There were a few things I hadn’t realized when I decided on this adventure and I’ve named a couple already. The other that stands out is just how true it is to keep all your limbs and various bags facing the cable car! The cable cars do still operate on streets filled with motorized vehicles. The lanes are a bit narrow and well drivers are generally crazy (motorized vehicle drives that is). I hadn’t considered the fact that standing on the side of the cable car actually leaves you very exposed to vehicles and the occasional transient seeking change for the next meal or drink as the case may have it. The cable cars get really darn close to those vehicles… you literally could reach out and touch someone! If I weren’t naturally introverted, get in trouble or possibly fall off the cable car (none of which are options I like), I may have reached in and honked a horn just because I could have. It was wild! I loved it though. It’s a great way to see parts of the city. Things to remember:
- If you purchase a one-way or round trip ticket, you can’t get off any of the other stops and then expect back on for that ticket. It doesn’t work like that. Buy a day pass. (I only wanted to take the one trip so round trip for me it was and it was a blast!)
- Keep all your limbs, bags, etc., facing the car! Don’t want to get snagged on something, fall out or lose your belongings. That would suck and put a serious damper on the day.
- Definitely take photos! If you are standing and holding on, just be sure to make it so you hold on tight but snap a few shots because it’s a ton of fun just trying but also to see the San Francisco world via cable car.
- When doing a round trip – remember that at the end of the line you have to get into another line to grab a different cable car back, or mostly back to where you started.
- The start line isn’t necessarily the finish line. You may have to walk a little ways to get to where you parked… depending on how you do it.
- Give yourself time! There’s usually a fairly hefty line for the cable cars so give yourself time to wait in line and then ride. It’s worth it, but just know that waiting is part of the deal so plan for it.
- Don’t be claustrophobic! Things get tight on there because the cable cars take on several passengers. Do what I did… take the opportunity to talk to a stranger. She was nice… but too bad she wasn’t a single, hot guy… that would have been better.
Cable cars… it was an adventure all itself! I was glad I did it, but I felt bad it cut into some of my time with my grandpa. My own photos are to come… but once I have access to a card reader again… grrrrr! *mumbles – freakin’ forgetting stupid card read*
Okay – so if Journey didn’t pop into your head… here’s the song that should have… just saying.