Some chose Dolores Park, others hurried to the ocean, "Probably going to touch the sand and the water at the beach. I haven't done that in a year."
LUZ PENA: The Embarcadero, Ocean Beach, Dolores Park, and the Richmond District. Crowds of people had the same idea-- it's time to leave the house. For 15-year-old Karen, it felt like a special occasion.
KAREN MARTINEZ: It's like a holiday, pretty much, because we haven't really gotten to got out of the car. It was mostly like driving around the city and stuff.
LUZ PENA: For the past year, the Martinez family has been driving around the city to catch a glimpse of normalcy. Today, they got out of the car at their favorite place-- the beach. What they miss the most is simple.
KAREN MARTINEZ: I'm probably gonna touch the sand and the water and the beach. Yeah, it's nice. Yeah, I haven't done that in a year.
LUZ PENA: Also another first-- this weekend, friends gathering in person.
- Actually, she and I haven't seen each other for the last year and a half.
LUZ PENA: [? Elliot ?] saw the weather in the 70s and COVID cases going down, so he took out his roller blades, after two years of not skating. This weekend, he felt safe.
- I'm already vaccinated, so I'm good.
LUZ PENA: And the data shows that yes, COVID cases are going down, and the number of people getting vaccinated is going up. So far, 43% of San Franciscans have been vaccinated with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Everyone I know who is over 65 has had both shots.
LUZ PENA: And all these factors are good for business. The Balboa Theater was popping.
- In the last 10 days, it's really begun to ramp up-- and this weekend, especially.
LUZ PENA: Now going back to the Martinez family, here's the moment a year in the making-- touching the sand, and never taking simple moments like this one for granted. In San Francisco, Luz Pena, ABC 7 News.