I have crossed the Golden Gate Bridge countless times in car, but have never actually set foot on it until today. As a Bay Area native, this walk feels like a must. A right of passage. So I asked my Aunt Karen to join me in finally crossing this off my SF bucket list.
There was a story a couple weeks ago that said Japanese tourists voted the Golden Gate as one of the most overrated tourist attractions in the US. “’I thought it would be more impressive, but it was just an ordinary red bridge,’ said a 29-year-old woman who responded to the survey.” I can’t help but wonder what they are expecting. True, it’s just a red bridge, but it’s anything but ordinary or overrated. I may be biased, but I tend to agree more with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservatory website, which describes the bridge as “a work of art, an engineering marvel, and an American icon.”
Our 3.4 mile round trip walk on the bridge was fantastic. We started on the SF side, which had a new plaza and exhibits that were put up for the bridge’s 75th anniversary in 2012. This walk is said to be a chilly/windy one, so everyone warns you to take extra layers, but in today’s uncharacteristically warm weather we were wishing we had brought shorts and sandals.
I think the whole walk took us a couple hours. We took our time to savor all of the bay views along the way, I stopped a lot to take pictures, and we spent a few minutes at the lookout spots at each end. I even stopped to hug the guy with the “Free Hugs” sign.
After we finished the walk, we went to Sausalito for lunch and ice cream. It was one of those perfect San Francisco Saturdays. One of my favorite parts of the day though, was when I got to Karen’s house to pick her up this morning. She had a present for me: a necklace that had a picture of the golden gate bridge inside, and it said, “31 new things, #15.” How awesome is that?! I don’t tell her thank you enough for everything she has done for me over the years, and how I believe that a lot of my own generous nature and creativity comes from her influence. So thank you, Aunt Karen, for being there for me today and always.