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Fifty Years of My Life (1939 - 1990)
A Memoir by Jeff R. Noordermeer

Touring San Francisco

The next day was beautiful, sunny and very comfortable. It was a perfect day for sightseeing and taking pictures. Our friend Alfred drove us all around the coastline to the Golden Gate Bridge. What a beautiful sight it was, driving along the coast and seeing those houses built on the edge of the rocks. It's kind of scary to me to live that way when you always hear about those earthquakes around San Francisco. Houses on the edges of those cliffs could fall straight into the ocean. But it seems people who live in this area are used to a few tremors. The Golden Gate Bridge is just what I always read about and saw in pictures. It's a fantastic structure of bridge engineering. When you stand in front of it it's just a beautiful sight. We took many pictures in the Golden Gate Bridge area. In the background we could see the little island of Alcatraz, not far from that the city of San Francisco. First we visited Fisherman's Wharf which was very interesting. Lu Lu and I have eaten many crabs on North Beach in the Maryland and we always ordered the biggest size, but the size of crabs they were selling on the sidewalk in Fisherman Wharf were unbelievable. I never saw them so big.

Golden Gate Bridge

People always talk about the hilly streets in San Francisco, but most of the streets in San Francisco are built on the hills. You wonder how those cable cars filled with people are able to move up and down those hills without an accident. Looking at those skyscrapers of buildings in the heart of the city, I would be scared to work on one of those top floors. Just the thought that an earthquake could strike at any time sent shivers down my spine.

China Town in San Francisco is very interesting. I felt like I was somewhere in China. Lu Lu just loved the environment and the food prices were much lower than in our Washington D.C. area. Lu Lu bought so much food in China Town that we could have fed an army. I noticed with all the walking Lu Lu did, she didn't complain as much about her arthritis in her legs. I am sure the weather in San Francisco had a lot to do with it.

After a long day of sightseeing and all the walking we did it made all of us very tired and by nine o'clock we all went to sleep. It had been a worthwhile and an interesting day for us.

It's our fourth day in the San Francisco area and a sunny day again. I decided to take a little walk around Dale city and visit the shopping center. Dale City is a very clean and neat town. It's so noticeable when you walk around. The houses are all built in rows against the hills. Every family has palm trees in front of their house. It looks so different than what I am used to seeing every day in the Washington D.C. area. In the background I could see the bay and when I turned around all I could see were hills. I noticed that there were many Asians living in this area. Our friends told us that 70% of the Dale City inhabitants were Asians. It was about a 2 1/2 mile walk down the hill to the shopping center. After I did some of my shopping I was glad when I was back in the house again. Walking up and down those hills was no fun. At night Alfred and I went sightseeing in San Francisco on the strip area. After that we had one of those good Chinese dinners again.

Just one more day in the San Francisco area and we had to pack for our next flight to Hawaii. Our five day stay in San Francisco, with all the sightseeing we did, made us better understand the song, "I Left My Heart In San Francisco". Thanks to our friends who made our stay in their home so comfortable and took their time showing us what San Francisco was all about.

We left San Francisco at 11:45 PM for Hawaii. It took us about five hours flying time with Singapore Airlines. During the flight we ran into some very bad weather and the plane was very bumpy. The service on the plane is excellent and the hostesses work very hard to please everybody. Sitting in a chair is kind of dull. You try to read or sleep but nothing works. It's so nice to hear the captain's voice when he says, "in a short time we will be arriving in Honolulu, Hawaii". Finally you can feel the plane descending. I am glad for Lu Lu as those long flights are too much for her. She complains a lot about pains in her legs. Sitting too long in one position gives her bad blood circulation. It's a nice view when you come into the airport, even if it is 4 o'clock in the morning and it is still dark.

CONTINUED: Hawaii is as beautiful as they say
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© Copyright  - Antonio Zamora

- Foreword
- Old Rotterdam
- World War II
- After the War
- Coming to America
- Washington, D.C.
- Southeast Asia
- Philosophy of Life

- Book Index