Thursday, May 31, 2012

Where we stood

We watched the fireworks from the second floor balcony of the restaurant at the Cavallo Point Inn, formerly Fort Baker, on the northern side of the bridge.  (We paid $25 per person for an underwhelming buffet, but most people were there for the view and not the food.)
This is the beach-front locale where the professionals set up their cameras*. We should have walked down to the beach, but I was so cold, I stayed indoors at the dining hall while waiting for the show to start. I only went outside to the balcony about 10 minutes before the show started.
The second story balcony had a slightly better view than the top photo, but some of the fireworks from the bridge itself and from Pier 39 were obscured by foliage.  We had a great view of the fireworks from Crissy Field, the main launch site.  We didn't know about the fireworks off the bridge.  We'll have to wait another 25 years to see that.

Mark says that we have a date for the 100th Anniversary of the Golden Gate bridge.  Next time, we will walk down to the waterfront for optimal views.  Remind me to wear long underwear and a hat.

We had a good chuckle while reminiscing about the 50th.  I went to the 50th celebration with the guy I was dating at the time.  (He has his own Wikipedia entry and an ego to match.)  Unfortunately, the event planners under-predicted the number of people who would be interested in walking across the bridge.  They didn't set up traffic lanes so people started from both the north (Sausalito) and south (San Francisco) sides, taking up all lanes.  When they met in the middle, there was gridlock.  No one could get on or off.  It was a fiasco.  So many people piled onto the bridge that the bridge flattened (lost it's parabolic shape).  Fortunately, the bridge did not collapse under the load and disaster was averted.

My date and I didn't get a super early start so we never got on the bridge.  We were stuck on the staircase leading up to the bridge from the SF side.  In retrospect, that was a lucky break.

I went to work the following Monday and told the lab mate who would become Bad Dad about the day.  He was impressed by how I spent my free time.  Funny, I thought the same about him.  We used to laugh as we our dating war stories.  Bad Dad credits the other guy for making him seem like such a good catch.

We don't have the camera or know-how to take great photos.  But I highly recommend the Mercury News slideshow.   Stargazer made a schematic showing the fireworks setup and prime viewing angles.  We were on the northern Sausalito side.

* Notice the new glasses and the sticker from the deYoung Museum, where we saw the Gaultier exhibit.  It was fantastic.  Go see it if you can!

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