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Scoutin’ and Scootin’ San Francisco

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California’s city by the bay claims another heart

By Jane & Brent Cassie

Contributing Writers for Travelink Publishing

For the past five years we’ve commemorated our anniversary by re-visiting the fun-filled city of San Francisco, and in our minds there’s no better place to help re-kindle our love!

There are countless cozy cappuccino cafes, exquisite boutique-style hotels made with lovers in mind, and incredibly scenic views from every hilltop that your feet will take you, or in this year’s case our scooter! With our ageing disposition, somehow those hills no longer seemed quite as alluring or enticing – at least not on foot. American rentals offered us a number of alternate two-wheeled modes of transport in which to view the scenic sites.

Motorcycles for those with an appropriate licence (which we did not have); bicycles demanding self-propelled pedal-pushing power (and that seemed like more work than hoofing it); Zap electric powered boards (which we could imagine our 16-year-old loving); and the almighty scooter. Actually with both of us snuggled onto our Elite 150, almighty was hardly the appropriate descriptor, but it sure was a blast!

Never being a Hell’s Angel wanna-be, a Harley-Davidson hero, or for that matter, even much of a leather kind of gal, I felt somewhat naive to the ins and outs of riding piggy-back on anything motorized.

"You’ve got to lean into the turn just follow me," Brent reassured. And after a couple of heart-thumping, saddle-swerving kilometres, this law of gravity became somewhat instinctive and we were off to the races, or should I say the beaches.

En route, we passed through the Presidio Army Museum, revealing its 200 year history from 1776, when the first Mexican-Spanish rulers set up post, to the departure of the U.S. army in 1994. A gateway of towering evergreens bordered the scenic ‘route forty-nine’ and an onslaught of breezy gusts were our first clue that the California coastline was soon to come.

We, and at least a dozen other camera-clad first-comers, couldn’t resist a Kodak moment, when those spectacular gabled towers of the world-renowned Golden Gate came into view. A five-kilometre promenade promised exhilarating views of the spectacular span while we meandered past wind-shaped cypress trees, eroding rocky bluffs, and never-ending vistas of the pounding Pacific.

Motoring on, along the water’s edge, we pondered the historical Cliff House where, although its current drab-like exterior was not even a mere resemblance of the original 1896 French Chateau, it’s splendid site remained as dramatic as ever. We felt mesmerized by the tumultuous surf as it crashed beneath the craggy rock foundation and watched it set the stage for a few experienced surfers. Offshore, rendezvous rocks also set the stage not for surfers but for stellar sea lions and hordes of gulls.

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