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San Jose and San Francisco

We departed rural Petaluma and Marin County for San Jose; that relocation required us to contend with heavy San Francisco area traffic. This was a far cry from the rolling, tree-covered hills, cows and farmland we had enjoyed for a week, and presented some mental challenges with small cars cutting in front of us periodically. When that happens now, I try to remember My Lovely Bride’s motto, “Send love”, rather than my gut reaction…

Arriving at our destination, we set up camp in another Elks Lodge RV Park. The location was perfect, close to Willow Glen, a charming suburb of SJ, and only a half mile to the San Jose Center for Spiritual Living, where Suzanne presented the Sunday Message workshop at two services and her Making the Connection in the afternoon. The community at CSL SJ was one of the most enthusiastic, warm and loving that we have encountered. There were even several attendees who had been at both of Suzanne’s Corte Madera talks the previous week. We are looking forward to returning here next summer for at least a week.

We were delighted when John and Gulshan Finnemore invited us to their beautiful home in nearby Cupertino for a traditional Indian meal prepared by Gulshan. It was a special treat, and the first time we had enjoyed authentic, home-cooked Indian cuisine. John is a retired engineering professor, and head of  the international headquarters of the Universal Spiritual Brother/Sisterhood. He and Suzanne discussed spiritual topics, and I got to chat with Gulshan about life in Mombasa, Kenya, where she grew up. It was a most pleasant afternoon, one that we shall long remember. (The view from their deck, which John built, was to die for.)


We reluctantly departed San Jose and drove to the edge of the Pacific Ocean to the town of (what else?) Pacifica, where our $96/night campground set a record for outrageous prices. Thankfully we were only spending one night here.  Although the view was pretty good, it was foggy and raw when the wind was blowing.  

I did meet a charming young lady walking along the bluff, and convinced her to have dinner with me.

After lunch, we took a walk along the shore to a nearby park with a couple of miles of trails; oh, and did I mention it was often windy here? This tree was one of dozens bent to leeward by the strong onshore gales that arrive regularly near the entrance to San Francisco Bay. The Golden Gate Bridge is about 15 miles north of us, and we could see several ships offshore headed into the Bay. 

It was low tide, and several surf fishermen were out trying their luck. No one was catching, and I thought about going down to the beach to give them some pointers, but my date suggested it was getting late in the day and we should head back home and prepare for her event that evening.

We headed into San Francisco to meet our host, Alan Hugenot, head of the San Francisco Chapter of the International Association of Near Death Studies (IANDS). Suzanne would be speaking at the Golden Gate Spiritualist Church of San Francisco, sited in a former mansion on Franklin Street. 

We arrived early, so I took a walk around the neighborhood, which had several well-preserved Victorian houses to admire.


I’m not sure whether the owner of this house has a plumbing problem, but the outside “loo” leaves somethings to be desired in the charm and elegance categories… but then who am I to judge? Two of our best friends have similar facilities on their front lawn back in The Villages. (Yes, Sharon and Joyce, you do have a lot in common with SF high society.)

Suzanne’s San Francisco IANDS event was a resounding success, and she is convinced that the venue (a historic Spiritualist church) helped the ambiance as well. (Thanks, Alan, for the invitation for Suzanne to speak and the delightful dinner we enjoyed with you and Gale.)


  • Anonymous
    Posted May 29, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    I can relate to the cold, windy and damp conditions you experienced near San Francisco. I lived at Gold Beach on the southern Oregon coast where the weather was similar. During the summer when temps were hot inland it would be cool and foggy at the beach. If you drove a few miles inland it would be 20 degrees warmer! If you get a chance be sure and travel up Highway 101 on the Oregon coast. It's curvy and slow in places but worth a look. Brad

  • Ty and Suzanne Giesemann
    Posted May 29, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    Brad, Unfortunately, our sked required us to head east, now in Yosemite (not all bad), so will have top save Oregon coast for another trip. Will have to drive the car there one day, with the coach safely moored off the coast road… Ty


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