A visit to Fishermen's Wharf followed by Cable Car pandemonium, frays a family's nerves.
| Ahh, the picturesque beauty, and flamboyant frills of the gorgeous city by the Bay always attract attention. Visitors flock there in droves throughout the year. Naturally, when relatives and friends came to Central California for a visit, towering their list of places to go and things to see, was a trip to San Francisco. Since we were always gracious hosts the wishes of our guests were paramount.
One fine Sunday afternoon with a Mother-in Law in tow, toting a disposable camera in hand and four young children toddling along, we descended upon Fishermen’s Wharf .
We visited the finest restaurant dining can offer on the famous pier lined street. Following that satisfying and tasty treat, we wandered about the pier ogling sea lions with the fear of being thrown into the city jail if we dare “harass ... the poor creatures, ‘per order of the City’”... and “Hizzhonor” the mayor.
Once the children had their fill of sea lion greetings, we headed toward the other major tourist trap...that’s right the famed “Rice- a- Roni” placarded cable car. We boarded the historic fossil of fame and toured the rigorous route. Somewhere on the line, we were told we must disembark the car and hop onto another one to get back to our original spot and more importantly, closer to where we parked our car. If you have never been there, you do a lot of walking and they have humongous hills!
Observably, there were seven people in our group. Six of the seven paid attention to the “jump off now” command. Yes, sorry to say as the rest of the family stepped off the irresistible red rider, one of our group just sat there.
We could see the panicked look on my oldest daughter’s face as she noticed her entire family standing at the nearby corner while the trolley traveled away into the distance. She was now in the company of Sony video recording devices and Nikons strung to the necks of jubilant Japanese tourists.
It still amuses me to think about the alarmed expression on her father's face. He started running after that trolley car in such a panic, all the while shrieking parental profanities at the unaware driver. Soon, he was but a remote spot on the lens of the eye as he disappeared into the distance.
The remainder of the family walked over to the cable car ticket booth and apprehensively requested that they call ahead to stop the car at the next corner, thereby allowing our absent daughter's retrieval. We mentioned it would not be complicated to locate her parent, as he would be the screaming man on the brink of an aneurysm running behind their car.
Needless to say, the recapture of the inattentive pre-teen was successful. In addition, the terrorized father’s blood pressure did return to normal. The Mother-in-Law in attendance stopped crying copious tears at the possible loss of a grandchild via “tourist trap.” Moreover, we all had time to rejuvenate and laugh off the recent twist of fate over some fabulous Ghirardelli’s ice cream.
Therefore, my friends be kind to your tourist guests and treat them to many memorable events. Nonetheless, make sure you have a plan of where to meet should some solitary member of your group go astray. This trip ended well, albeit in a hugely nerve-racking humorous way. Considering the size of the city and the horrible possibilities, luck was undeniably on our side.