We spent an afternoon in Golden Gate Park. It's a cracking place, but not what we expected...
OK, folk were playing games, strolling around, but things were so much more organised.
It wasn't a few kids kicking a ball, it was a load of kickball teams, cheerleaders and everything. The few kids throwing a frisbee were actually teams of Ultimate players.
There are groups of friends who gathered in a corner of the park with folding chairs to sit and chat. There was a wedding party of over fifty guests, cycling around behind a bike laden with a sound system and bubble-blowers. Ten minute's walk away, a Shinto wedding ceremony was packing up.
Extended families with tables, table-cloths and barbeques, at least three kids birthday parties, complete with bouncy castles.
It's like a whole chunk of San Francisco moved their lives into the park for the day.
It was odd, but in a really good way.
We didn't penetrate far into the park, just as far as the Bison Paddock (about half way, I think), but it's such a nice place to be. There's a hothouse, a design museum, a science centre, an open-air concert hall, areas set aside to practice your cycling, a shuttle-bus for the tired, and, as I mentioned, the bison.
And that's only half way through the park!
Later in the month, we spent time in several parks - Duboce, Force Mason Green - and they're all the same.
I suppose it's obvious, since so many homes here have neither yard nor garden, but I never expected this.