San Francisco: Golden Gate Park

Last time I went to Golden Gate Park I basically stopped at Stow Lake and didn’t continue because I enjoyed the spot so much. I did stop in the same area this time around too but I explored as much of the park as I could over the course of the day.

Last time I took an Uber but this time took the car and parked near the park (on Sunday there’s plenty of free parking early in the morning, though I’m sure it fills up quickly).

I started at the National AIDS Memorial Grove. It was a very peaceful spot and allowed for reflection of how many lives are affected by this disease. While I’ve only known one distant family member to have it personally I’ve known plenty of patients in the hospital with it that I’ve worked with and know even when the symptoms of the disease aren’t getting you then the side affects of the drugs are, not to mention the social implications. It’s also amazing how far drugs have come for treatment though too! And I’d much rather reflect on the positive than the negative, especially when looking at how many stones were piled in commemoration (I assume).

Next was the Lilly Pond and a few other great little side spots to enjoy for a few minutes before passing on.

Lilly Pond (without any lillies?)

View from the Conservatory of Flowers (closed when we got there)
Near California Academy Sciences and de Young Museum

Because who wouldn’t want to jump in the fountain?!

While hanging out at the fountain I chatted with a nanny of two kids also there. She has to nanny, sell beauty products, and works in a college educated job, all to make ends meet in San Fran. As a Seatte-ite I get it! (and I’m not even roughing it by any means).

Awesome little trails through the huge park
Back at Stow Lake
Random waterfall along the bike / walking paved trail
Dedicated lake (I think Spreckels Lake)  to remote controlled sailboats, of course

We got to North Lake and started down one of the paths but there was a guy just hanging out pretty hidden under a tree in a grove, with his camera, that gave me the creeps (could have been birding, I suppose?) so I decided it was time to go. Instead of walking back I thought, why not save time and take the free park shuttle? (because yes, it really is that big of a park).

We waited FOREVER for the shuttle (about 30 minutes but with a Toddler on the side of a fairly busy road that’s a really longtime) and in hindsight I would have just walked…oh well. On the upside we were waiting by the Bison so I got to watch them for a while (well, brief glances while keeping track of Kaya). 

Chicago, where the Buffalo roam (behind a fence)

Picking dandilions by the shuttle stop

We got off and walked to the playground, close to the car. I really wished the shuttle had been timelier because we didn’t get much time to play on this HUGE playground. So cool.

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