ThursdayDoors: Loop-di-loos

Reflection in the galley window – SF Bay on a beautiful day.

For the last few years my only reason to leave the house seems to be to take pictures of doors and blog about them. Norm Frampton has saved me, and probably a bevy of other bloggers, from  permanent butt-spread with his #ThursdayDoors challenges. 

In the San Francisco Bay Area, early October means Fleet Week, five days during which the Navy comes to town. Among the many events are the Blue Angels air shows which can be seen (and heard) throughout the bay as they rehearse and then perform.

Several locations are ideal for viewing the air shows, and we’ve been to most of them, however this year we decided to view one of their “practices” from the middle of the bay aboard the San Francisco Belle.

Our friends and their grandkids in front of the San Francisco Belle

The Belle is a three story, mock paddlewheel steamer used primarily for parties, weddings and anniversaries. After boarding they feed you and ply you with champagne as they “paddle” to the middle of the bay and stop.

Beyond these modest doors is the grand staircase leading to the ballrooms.

After the show began, we walked up to the observation deck and watched as the jets pivoted through the skies at frightening speeds.  I’m not usually all in for military shows but my father used to teach Navy pilots aeronautical engineering in China Lake (Southern California) and he loved to do what I called loop-di-loos high above the desert floor to scare the crap out of me. He died on this day ten years ago so I’m feeling a bit sentimental for those loop-di-loos.

35 thoughts on “ThursdayDoors: Loop-di-loos

  1. One time I remember leaving Sonoma County by way of Highway 37 when we encountered of all things (he said sarcastically)… bumper to bumper traffic. Fortunately for us, the RACEway was having one. Suddenly, swooping over us (and at very low altitude) passed the Blue Angels. At first, we thought that would be it, but as we sat in traffic they continued to fly back and forth above us entertaining, the crowd at Infineon Raceway—NOT TO MENTION US. We finally made it to a turnout where I was able to pull off the highway. We all got out of the car and watched them perform. The Jets literally shook the ground with every pass, sometimes rolling in unison, sometimes climbing virtually straight up into the air. Breathtaking stuff! We’ve been to Fleet Week, but have never been so fortunate as to see it from the bay—which I’m sure was a real thrill. Sorry for your dad’s passing, Jan.

    1. Traffic near the racetrack? Never! Another great place to watch the show is from Sausalito. They roar across the bay right at you… But it’s very crowded there and hard to get a spot.

  2. Okay, I’ve seen the Blue Angels a bunch and I’m not a boat person, but now I want to see them from a boat. I bet that’s a lovely way to spend a morning! Nice doors post 🙂

  3. I don’t imagine Norm thought of saving the world of bloggers from butt-spread when he started the challenge. That really makes me laugh. I love that first shot, JT, and wish you a happy weekend with lots of opportunities to get up and walk. 🙂


    1. I think it was genius of Norm. Instead of the usual tourist shots, we’re all out there looking for doors. Forget the Eiffel Tour – look at the graffiti on those garage doors. Now, there’s a shot!

      1. Haha that really made me laugh too! Thursday Doors is definitely a good motivator to get out of the house on a regular basis!
        And this “feed you and ply you with champagne” deal sounds pretty good to me! Great photos!

  4. Maybe my new blog tagline should be: making you slimmer, one door at a time?
    This was a fun post Jan. I do love a good airshow. Looks like it was an awesome day.

  5. The sky is beautiful and the ambiance looks lovely. I love the staircase. I am sorry about your dad. I hope that this day brought you a little more healing, turning your sadness to fond memory.

  6. I’ve shot the Belle from Pier 14 many times but have never boarded it yet. This year, I shot the Blue Angels’ practice session at GG Bridge and on the Scott Kelby Photowalk we stopped at the Marina Green to shoot the Angel’s performance; got some great shots this year!

    1. I started snapping the pictures before the jets came into view. They fly fairly close to the Belle which is so big and ornate that it would be hard to miss even from a jet going the speed of light!

  7. I went to an air show which was beautiful like this but didn’t capture loop-di-loops! The planes I saw were the Thunderbirds, Jan.
    The reflections were beautiful! The family friends are special. 🙂

  8. Thank you for sharing your unique adventure. I’ve seen this air show once when I was wandering around San Francisco during Fleet Week many years ago. I had no idea they were to perform. My first thought upon seeing them fly low through the city was that the long awaited alien invasion had arrived. 🙂 I still get the chills thinking about it.

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