Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – Letters from America 1985-1987 – April 1985 – Beverly Hills Cop, Sleepless Nights in San Francisco!

Welcome to the next post in the series Letters from America 1985 -1987. This week a slightly longer letter to my parents, telling them about our first trip to San Francisco.  I took photographs at the time that I did not send home, but shared with my parents when they came to visit in November of that year.

April 1985 – Beverly Hills Cop, Sleepless Nights in San Francisco!

30th April 1985.

Dear M & D.. sorry about the slightly longer gap between letters this time, as we were in San Francisco for three nights and I thought I would wait until our return to tell you about it.

Whilst I remember… if you get the chance to see Beverly Hills Cop when it comes out in the UK or on video, do as it is very funny. We went to see it last night with Vicki and Kelly and actually the audience was just as entertaining. Much less inhibited than the English – applauding at the good bits and at the end of the film. Going to the movies does have its dangerous side too.. as you have to negotiate hundreds of pop-corn containers littering between the seats… it seems they rely on the cleaning crew to pick them up! There is a munching sound all through the film and it does not do much for the soundtrack. The cinemas here are non-smoking unlike at home but you do come out smelling like a hot dog!

David was away in Kansas the week before last, to finalise details of his first major contract, which meant that his boss from England came out last Thursday and they met up in San Francisco. He and David needed to go over the contract with a fine tooth comb before signing, but suggested that I fly in on the Friday for a celebration, and fly back Monday morning.

My flight was about four hours and I was sat next to a US naval commander going home to see his family. We of course talked about you Daddy, and how we moved around so much as children from base to base. He has young children that have moved about quite a bit and said he was glad that my experiences had not appeared to have done me any harm. He bought me a couple of drinks and we parted company at the luggage reclaim… then as I met David and Mike outside the terminal, he also arrived and told David that I had made that the best flight ever… there were questions asked!

It was 10pm by this time and our adventure was only just beginning. David’s travel agent has booked a motel based on their general reputation as a reputable national chain. Unfortunately this one was not one of their finest, and we were alerted to this by the fact the receptionist was behind bars with just a small slot for you to pass you credit card and booking number through! The area seemed to be busy with cars stopping, transactions taking place and then them driving away again… we wondered why the taxi driver had asked us twice if this was really our destination!

It was now midnight and it was too late to find somewhere else for the night, so we headed up to our rooms, which all faced inwards over an inner courtyard. We were a couple of floors up and Mike was across from us. The view from the window at the rear of our room revealed that rather than an ocean view, we overlooked a narrow alley and the back of the Salvation Army Hostel.

What followed was like something out of a Mickey Spillane novel. At midnight a gang of lads were running up and down the balconies throwing beer cans. At 1.00 a.m a rowdy drunk crowd arrived back and took 30 minutes to get into their rooms. Then after a couple of hours of disturbed sleep at 4am, a ‘lady’ got into a fight with a client outside our inner facing window (we had been listening to her heels clicking past several times and unfortunately she had the room above us). The language was very colourful to say the least, and she didn’t neglect a single part of his anatomy. She finally told him that he didn’t have a dollar, let alone twenty for her! However, 20 minutes later we heard her heels tottering passed and she had clearly found someone with twenty dollars.

Finally, feeling totally whacked, we checked out at 8 am and headed out via the scenic route to Fisherman’s Wharf, stopping to take pictures of the magnificent view and the seals that pile up on the rocks to bask in the sun. Our first sight of The Golden Gate Bridge was fabulous.

We found a Holiday Inn on the wharf and booked in and it was 100% better than the night before. The reception area had a very different atmosphere to our previous accommodation and the only bars in sight were serving beer and cocktails. We spent most of the day sightseeing, going over the bridge, traveling the many hills by cable car etc. I bought the most amazing red straw hat that will knock them dead in Houston…..After a siesta to catch up on lost sleep, we had a superb meal at a Chinese Restaurant which ended a wonderful day.

On Sunday morning David and Mike spent time going over the contract, but in the afternoon we went over to Alcatraz Island where the prison used to be. On the tour they ask for volunteers to be locked in the cells… it took David several hours to come back and have me released.. I should have been suspicious when he tried to buy me a one way ticket! The rest of the day was spent climbing up the hills around the city where some of the really fancy houses are. You would love them Mollie, facing out into the bay and every one of them different.

We actually thought about moving to San Francisco to rent a house and David could run his office out of it, but we got hold of a property guide and the houses in the this area sell for between 750,000 to 1 million dollars.. The company is unlikely to fork out the likely rental per month! However, we are definitely coming back for a longer visit as we want to explore the highway that goes from San Diego right up to Seattle.

We were up at for flights out at 7.00… David and Mike to Kansas to sign the contract and me to Houston. A wonderful weekend that I will always remember and my particular favourite bit was eating lunch on Fisherman’s Wharf and watching the elephant seals touring the fishing boats looking for scraps.

Well that’s up to date, I hope all continues to be well and will write again next week.. love from us both Sally and David.


Thank you very much for dropping in and I hope you continue to enjoy our adventure in Texas and trips we made around America during our time there.

36 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – Letters from America 1985-1987 – April 1985 – Beverly Hills Cop, Sleepless Nights in San Francisco!

  1. What a great weekend, Sally. I would love to see Alcatraz. Your sleepless night reminded me of our first night in our miniature apartment in New Zealand. It was near the University and it was a street party weekend. Every apartment was booked out to Uni students and their friends and the noise went on all night long. It was terrible as we were so jet lagged anyway. The next day we went to a local museum at the quay and I was so tired I could hardly read the explanations.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What an experience in your motel! I had a surreal visit to San Francisco about 25 years ago. The American friend I was visiting took me and David (age 5) to stay with her friends in Berkeley and they thought a lovely treat would be to go to a Beethoven concert (with a five-year-old???). I said I’d take David to an ice cream parlour instead. Next day my friend was so excited to take us on a cable car and David thought this sounded great. When she said, ‘Look the cable car is coming’ he turned to her and said, ‘No, that’s a tram.’ She was devastated he’d been on a tram before – he was devastated he wasn’t going to be up in the sky. And when we go on the thing, and she was paying the fare she said he was four, which meant he travelled free but he turned round and said, most indignantly, ‘But I’m five.’ I did enjoy my fish chowder in a sourdough bread bowl, though.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lol.. out of the mouths of babes, and when we lived there so many things got lost in translation I was continually putting my foot in it the first few months. And I found that asking for a pot of tea was unfruitful as you were given some hot water in a cup and a tea bag to dunk in it! David who is a tea drinker was appalled. Thankfully we had brought a big pot with us and a supply of teabags for home consumption.xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Now you’re reasonably close to my neck of the woods. San Francisco is considered northern Calfornia, but it is a five-hour drive north to get to our home, and another hour and a half to get to Oregon. That demonstrates how long a state California is. Getting a hotel in San Francisco is crazy expensive these days, but Fisherman’s Wharf is a great place to visit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We went back again in October 1989 and started in San Diego and worked are way up… but got side tracked by the earthquake, not before touring the vineyards in the Napa Valley – we did visit Seattle at the other end of the Pacific highway and drive down part of the way but I must say if I was to return it would be to drive the entire length.. fabulous places along the route.. xx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – 24th – 30th May 2020 – ABBA, Jelly Beans, San Francisco, Resilience and Laughter | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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