We are enjoying the longest period of consistent sunshine we've had the pleasure of basking in for at least four months. Of course we're not doing it in Paris, where winter still reigns supreme. Instead we are perched on the top of one of San Francisco's vertiginous hills thanks to an extremely generous friend who offered us a wonderful place to stay while here, since our own house is rented to others.
This means that rather than feeling like homeless exiles in our own town we are feeling like vacationers in one of the top vacation destinations in the U.S., with views to kill for. The Maritime History Museum's restored vessels are below and Alcatraz beyond. The occasional tanker or cruise ship passes between them on weekdays and dozens of sailboats, spinnakers billowing, on the weekend.
We're also benefiting from incredibly lucky weather patterns. The forecast was for rain and we packed for rain, knowing that February in the SF Bay Area is usually the wettest month of the year. The first year I lived here it rained every single day in February. In the week we've been here it's rained about 3 hours.
The air is clear and crisp and the outdoors irresistible and this morning we pulled ourselves away from the view and went to the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero for lunch and a walk. That's not by any means to say we gave up on views. The top photo of the Bay Bridge and Oakland beyond it was taken from the Ferry landing. Extraordinary sights are almost ordinary here.
I had forgotten that the tramway running along the restored Embarcadero uses antique tramcars, gathered from all over the world, restored and put back into service here. This is the one that we crossed in front of today. Very cool.
Beyond the track and on top of Telegraph Hill is Coit Tower, famously dedicated to the firemen of San Francisco by heiress Lillian Coit, the original firefighter's groupie, sitting above a collection of pre- and post-1906 earthquake bungalows on the slopes of the hill. It's great, and rare, to be able to appreciate these things as an outsider, a visitor, and that's what we are at the moment. Lots better than being homeless.