A to Z 2021 – P is for The Presidio and Pier 39

The Presidio is now a national park but it was once a military fort under the flags of Spain, Mexico and the United States. In fact, my husband’s father was stationed there for a while so he remembers staying in the houses they had for the enlisted men. It is 1,500 acres and instead of military, it is currently home to a golf course, hiking trails, restaurants, businesses and museums.

Across the street is Crissy Field, which my husband told me was an airstrip up until 1974. I thought it had always been a park.

You can see part of my gel pen collection at the top of this page. There are 4 sections like that, 120 pens! It was a Christmas gift from my daughter. They work really well and don’t smear.

It would make sense to have an airstrip so close to the military base and I guess there were a few important landings on it according to Wikipedia. Another great view of the Golden Gate Bridge too, although I suppose that landing on that strip might be scary with the bridge so close. Living by SFO sometimes it seems like we could touch them as they fly over.

The buildings around the main area all looked mostly the same, beautiful red brick.

The Lodge is open at present and you can stay there if you want to be away from the hustle and bustle of the city. They have free shuttles to downtown.

The Officers Club. Check out that gun! The Officers Club has been turned into a museum but it is currently closed due to the virus.

The National Cemetery. 30,000 soldiers, family members and notable figures are buried there. You can take a tour in person or online to see the graves if you like that kind of thing. I thought the gates were so impressive!

Letterman General Hospital. During World War II Letterman Hospital was the main hospital of the Pacific action, in 1945 alone there were more than 73,000 patients! In 1995 it was deactivated when the rest of the Presidio was taken over by the Park and Recreation system. Now it is home to Lucasfilm Industrial Light and Magic and LucasArt.

I think we’ll go back there again too and stop at the Visitor’s Center so that we can get a map of the area. Maybe then we can find the spot where my husband lived. It also might be fun to go into some of the museums and historical buildings.

Another great spot down by Fisherman’s Wharf is Pier 39.

The first time I went was on a drive by with my daughter. It was a Saturday and there were a lot of people out enjoying the weather and shops. We didn’t stop. We hadn’t had our vaccines yet and even though it was outside, it wasn’t something we wanted to do.

The next time I went by myself and was able to park and take some more pictures. There is the Aquarium of the Bay, Hard Rock Cafe and down the center are all kinds of shops and restaurants. At the very end of the pier is a place you can see all the seals. There is a carousel ride and a musical staircase. It was early in the morning and none of the shops were open yet so I didn’t walk all the way down.

I haven’t actually been to Pier 39 in a long time so I don’t know if it is still open but there used to be an auditorium and my girlfriends and I saw “Menopause the Musical” there. Hysterical play! I think once the A to Z is over and I have some free time I’m going to make my husband take me on a trip to Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf for a day date.

And so we begin our third week of the A to Z Challenge. Have you been able to visit many other folks? I took a copy of the main sign up sheet and am trying to go through and visit some new to me folks. Amazing that 307 of us are taking this month to prattle on about this and that!

Disclaimer notice. The coloring book pages are from the inserts the San Francisco Chronicle put out and I mentioned them in my theme reveal so you can go to that to get the info about the artists if you are interested. I did the coloring and took the pictures. Special thanks to my husband again for this one as he took me around the Presidio so I could get pictures.

About scr4pl80

I'm a 60-ish, married, mom to 3, creative soul looking to make the world a better place one smile at a time.
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37 Responses to A to Z 2021 – P is for The Presidio and Pier 39

  1. Pingback: A is for Aquarium, Arcade, Amusement Park | Janet's Smiles

  2. cassmob says:

    We were so freezing cold from the wind on the open deck of the tour bus that we headed into Pier 39 and had a delicious red wine then bought some earrings and looked at the sea lions.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: A to Z 2021 – Reflection | Janet's Smiles

  4. I’ve always wanted to see pier 39… do make a post when you go.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: A to Z 2021 – Y is for Yerba Buena Gardens, the Year of the Ox and Yoda | Janet's Smiles

  6. Pingback: A to Z 2021 – W is for Windmill and the Walt Disney Museum | Janet's Smiles

  7. janieleeds says:

    I love the history of the place and the photos! Great coloring by the way! I have heard that coloring helps with mindfulness but I haven’t tried it. Your posts allow me to travel without learning home! Thank you for making my day special!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. mollyscanopy says:

    Pier 39 looks very inviting. New York City is also a port town and we make the most of our piers, too. It’s so nice to be out “on” the water for an event. Although there are fewer of these during Covid, it’s still possible to walk or jog on many of the piers, which hopefully one day soon will be fully open. https://mollyscanopy.com/2021/04/p-is-for-peg-my-mulitasking-mom-atozchallenge/#comments

    Liked by 1 person

    • scr4pl80 says:

      I think it is getting closer and closer to time when things will open again. Fortunately I can go during the week when people are still working and avoid the inevitable crowds.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. So many interesting places, personal memories, historic sites – and so many gel pens! Your theme is taking us to so many different places, I love the mix! You’d be a great tourist guide!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. A local RAF barracks from WW2 has recently been destroyed and replaced with housing estates

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I remember exploring Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf on my visit. I think I have a picture of my girlfriend and I at a restaurant there. Weekends In Maine

    Liked by 1 person

  12. If I had to choose, it would be Pier 39 for me. I love the idea of you having a day date there when conditions warrant. And I must say, you have a very impressive gel pen collection – what a fun gift from your daughter.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Iain Kelly says:

    I only knew The Presido from the Sean Connery film in the 1980s! Looks like a great place to visit now.


    Liked by 1 person

  14. Good choices. Presidio has a long storied history especially for us folks with military roots. As you say, it’s changed but it used to be something else.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi Smiley… the Presido would have been cool to see when it was still a military fort. Golf…blah, boooring. I like the gel pens… I have a pen fetish myself… not nearly as many gel pens… I’m working on it. I like the Fisherman’s Wharf…sounds like a seafood platter to me. I love fried clams and scallops…. yum. Pier 39 I’ve heard about it but never been. Of course I’ve never been to Spain either, but the good thing is, we can travel anywhere with all these great bloggers we are hooking up with. I’m seeing 307 on the master list too. You would think the list would grow. I mean the 10th year anniversary had 685 participants (you were #19) Anyways, have a great day. I’m off to think about tomorrow’s quiet time.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. eschudel says:

    I’m loving your tour…someday, maybe I’ll be able to visit!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Tamara says:

    Interesting to learn about the Presidio. Let’s be honest though: I came for the Pier 39 ;-)))
    Being your average tourist, I so enjoy the seals, the HRC, the buzzing of all the shops and people!

    Where do you get 307 people? I can only see 186 bloggers having signed up in the master list. Either number is pretty low considering a few years ago it was several thousands.


    Liked by 1 person

    • scr4pl80 says:

      I just checked it again this morning and when I scroll down it says 307. I do remember hearing about the several thousands but I don’t think I was participating then. Even this many is hard to make it around to visit. Pier 39 is great fun. I don’t even remember the musical staircase so I really have to go see that.


      • Tamara says:

        Janet, thanks for clarifying. The 186 were on the “theme reveal list”. The 307 are on the master list, where I am not even on, so make that 308 😉

        Back when thousands signed up, many ended up not posting at all or only once or twice. It was a lot of work for the volunteers to go through that list and remove the lame ducks.

        Liked by 1 person

      • scr4pl80 says:

        I understand that. It is frustrating to go visit someone who is not playing. Also understand how some can’t keep up. It’s hard for me without planning in advance.


  18. Ally Bean says:

    I’d like to stay at the Lodge, just to say I’d done so. I’d also like to walk around the Pier. Your posts are reminding me of why I like to go on vacations to big cities.

    Liked by 1 person

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