A Visit With Karl

US Wealth Napolitano |

By: Tom Fletcher, CFP®

Last week our family flew to the left coast to visit friends in San Francisco. It’d been a long time since my last visit. With such a beautiful city and so many interesting things to do there; the question begged why it took so long to return? While I can’t directly answer that, I can say we had a fabulous time together while we were there.  

Prior to the trip, my son had unfolded maps (and apps) scattered throughout his room while he plotted and schemed as to which rails and busses to take when we arrived. For whatever the reason, he’s become a huge public transportation proponent as of late. Being a veteran of Boston’s red subway line, you’ll have to forgive me for being a little skeptical, but the trip from the airport went surprisingly well. We took the light rail from SFO, switched to a BART train, then connected to the #33 Muni bus for a lengthy, winding ride throughout the city. I think it’s fair to say we got a real flavor for not only the various neighborhoods but some of the interesting residential inhabitants as well. For example, I guess as long as you are a paying customer, you’re not required to wear a shirt when riding the Muni. I may be modest, but at least on Boston’s Red Line, even the pigeons are required to wear feathers. Lastly of course, we had to jump on a cable car to complete the journey to our friend’s home. Cable cars are awfully cool and nostalgic, but I’m not sure I’d be inclined to take one to work each day. While they do pack folks in like sardines, they don’t seem overly efficient. Also it’s a lot of work for those train operators.

One thing I forgot is how darn chilly it gets there during the summer. Several quote Mark Twain as accurately claiming “the coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco”. I like the quote a lot, and I could imagine him saying something like that, but after doing some research on the trusty internet, he may have said it, but apparently never wrote it down. You can quote me though. They also have a notorious fog issue. It’s so famous the locals have named it Karl. Puzzling. None-the-less, I brought lots of shorts and tee shirts with me because it’s sunny California right? And as you may have guessed based on the previous few sentences, they remained in my suitcase the entire trip. It really did get cold while we were there.

Lastly for a bread baker like me, you can’t visit San Francisco without enjoying some of their famous Sourdough bread. We traveled down to the touristy Fisherman’s Wharf area (by street car of course) and stopped by Boudin’s Bakery. Granted it was a little goofy to be gnawing on a teddy bear shaped loaf of bread, but man was it excellent!