Welcome to the Big City!
We’d both been to San Francisco in the past, but neither of us had done more than a few hotel nights, so having two short house sits was a welcome treat. The first home (for three days) was in the heart of the financial district in a highrise! We had traveled in from Sonoma a few weeks prior and met the homeowner and his sweet dog.
This was a young man who didn’t own a car and didn’t need to what with all the public transportation available. That was a bit of an issue for us, but we ended up using the parking garage in the building at a substantial discount. Note to self – always ask homeowners in San Francisco about the parking situation!
We loved the vantage point and spent a lot of time out on the balcony checking out the sights, especially in the morning with the sun coming up over the Bay. Our building was just across the street from the Twitter building: cricket on the roof anyone? They did. We visited the expansive food court/market on the first floor. You could go broke and get fat in that place. Grocery stores were absent in this area of town.
What a Surprise!
What a difference a haircut makes. Our little four-legged charge had visited the groomer since we last saw her and wow what a cute girl she was. She was a rescue from Mexico and still looked it when we met her, now she was all dolled up and gorgeous. She was just a joy, all enthusiasm, and gratitude. We loved walking her downtown, finding patches of grass at strategic points along the way. As you can see, she did enjoy cuddling!
The homeowner warned us to keep all of our re-entries calm with her or she would be so excited she would pee on the floor. We worked hard at it but ended up grabbing the paper towels quite often anyway. No big deal at all, just an expression of her exuberant personality.
This was the first time we had stayed with a dog who was normally alone for the day, and we didn’t want to stay home all the time and get her used to constant companionship (which might be a difficult transition when her owner returned), so we did sightsee quite a bit.
We loved visiting city hall which was just two blocks away. Such a classic, generous space inside.
How many weddings can go on at once? We counted over ten wedding parties at one stage or another of our short tour. Some just the two principles, others with family, while others must have bused people in for the celebration.
Raucous crowds were whopping it up. Judges were coming out every few minutes in their robes to perform the ceremonies. That was lots of fun to watch: we’d never seen anything like it and didn’t expect to again. Let’s just say these were not all like your parent’s weddings and leave it at that. SF is very proud of its diverse culture, and that was in full swing here. Great to see.
There was no reason to unpack for this stay since the three days came quickly to an end. We learned one thing about ourselves from this sit – we don’t much care for living in a huge high rise in the center of the hustle and bustle of a big city: great visit though.
We Moved Across Town
Our next three-day house sit was in the Outer Sunset District, very close to the water on the west side. This time we were in a beach house, tucked in between other houses, tightly, with two small dogs and one cat. The neighborhood had little restaurants and stores at every corner and in between many of the houses.
Our abode came with a tiny, quiet garden area in the back that we loved. It was great to feel so isolated in the middle of a big city. The hosts were both photographers and loved collecting related artifacts. We counted about 100 plus vintage cameras on display.
The two dogs in our care liked heading over to Golden Gate Park for a romp through the woods. It was only a few blocks north, and we found trails going all over throughout the park. We even saw a few buffalo in their paddock.
There was also a cat at this house. He was very aloof and spent most of his time in a private area away from the dogs. He had entry and exit points in that area and an open window to the bedroom upstairs, which he used often.
Here are the canines, the one was beautiful and a bit stand-offish at first. The other ranked a bit low on the beauty scale but a sweet and friendly guy. They got along well with each other, and we had a grand time with them.
What we learned during this stay was if you get a house sit in San Francisco and there are technically two stories, ask about the stairs. We didn’t get a photo, but we kid you not, it was treacherous. Picture an old wooden ladder leaning against your roof, maybe to clean the gutters. Steep! How steep? The dogs couldn’t get up those stairs. Now, turn off the lights and there you have it.
A Bit of Sightseeing –
The Japanese Garden
Inspiration Point was a highlight for both of us. We arrived at the lookout and then took a walk through the woods – gorgeous!
Of course, what is a visit to San Francisco without a stop at the water? We walked down to the waterfront at Fort Mason watching the giant ships come and go through under the Golden Gate Bridge.
The Palace of Fine Arts – We’d been to this wonder before but decided to return for a walk around. That’s a pleasant walk around a small lake. Cities don’t build things like this much anymore, so this is a throw-back to a more grandiose time.
Standing under these huge structures is a kick. The birds get more use from them than humans. Still, it’s somehow satisfying to see structures designed and built just in the name of an ideal, not a practical purpose in sight.
After our three days, we said goodbye to the critters and set off over the Golden Gate Bridge for our next assignment in Mill Valley – see you there!