Recently I was in the San Francisco area on vacation with my family (except for my newly married daughter Jennifer and her husband Adam) and I have the pictures to prove it. If you come over I could show you photographs of me riding a cable car, eating on Fisherman’s Wharf and walking on Pier 39. There are also photos of me at Yosemite National Park, China Town, Alcatraz and more than one with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.
From first glance it might seem that I saw all of the sites in just one day. I did not. This is because in the pictures it appears that I was wearing the same clothes in every picture. I was not. Please notice the different colors of the T-shirt underneath the long-sleeved denim shirt, which at times is beneath a zipped up hooded sweatshirt.
When we decided to go to California I thought sun and warmth would be included. It was not. The week we were in San Francisco the temperature never rose beyond the 60s during the day, and at night it dropped to or near the 40s. You throw in a stiff breeze off the ocean, some drizzle and fog and it feels rather chilly. I typically don’t mind that kind of weather – but I had packed shorts and T-shirts. But, because I am from Minnesota and am used to dramatic changes in the weather I also brought along the denim shirt, sweatshirt, and a pair of jeans.
So there I was in California with a suitcase full of clothes suitable for the endless summer only to discover that it had not yet begun. But back in Minnesota that same week temperatures were in the 80s, 90s and even 100. Oh well – I typically find that kind of weather too hot anyway.
San Francisco does have the coldest daily temperatures for June, July and August for any major U.S. city (Liz Osborn, currentresults.com). There is a quote attributed incorrectly to Mark Twain (he never said it, but it has been repeated so often that he may as well have): “The coldest winter I ever spent was the summer I spent in San Francisco.” Midwest versions of this saying will substitute Duluth as the cold spot. I say it takes a San Francisco summer to make one long for a Minnesota winter; at least winters here make sense.
Strangely, few people in San Francisco were caught with their pants down. Once when we did wear shorts a shop keeper suggested we were being too optimistic about the weather improving, but upon learning we were from Minnesota she understood.
After a week of basking in the Frisco fog we returned to Minnesota where Jennifer and Adam picked us up at the airport. During the ride home it was revealed that the wedding pictures were done and ready to be looked at. With several hundred pictures to go through, our evening was booked.
I am not the most patient person, and I get distracted easily. I suspect that I and most of my boyhood friends would be hooked up to a Ritalin dispensing machine if we were in school today. So to sit and look at hundreds of pictures can be a challenge (even if the pictures are of your daughter’s wedding).
This activity is similar to watching other people open gifts and to know that none of them are for you (I did that the week before). I have noticed that women are generally better-suited for these activities than men. Men look at pictures quickly, women take their time. But it didn’t take me long to notice that the people in the pictures were wearing the same clothes in all the pictures. I understand how that can happen.