Sunday, July 11, 2010

I left my heart, in San Francisco

As mentioned in a previous post, we had plans to visit Hawaii for our 25th anniversary. And as plans sometimes do, ours changed when Jaime got hepatitis.Once he was back to work full-time, providence came knocking in the form of a business trip to San Fran. So we seized the opportunity to create a mini-vacation………..consolation.

Jaime flew down on Monday, and had training from Tuesday through Thursday. I joined him Thursday evening. What followed was three fantastic days, not for the faint of feet. We purchased a 3 day pass on the Muni (which includes various modes of transportation) and we were off and running. We stayed in Oakland, so each day began with a commute across the bay on BART. Friday, we were in complete tourist mode as we braved the waters of Fisherman’s Wharf (Pier 39) where we picked up several unique Christmas gifts. Then we were called to Ghirardelli Square… And you guessed it….an ice cream sundae for lunch!!! This concluded our first day, so we headed to the hotel to rest up for the next leg.

Day two dawns…. Again, armed with our Muni pass, we felt it our duty to get our money’s worth, and try every mode of transportation the pass had to offer. Our first stop was back to Fisherman’s Wharf to purchase new jackets (to combat the gale force winds). Now, armed & dangerous, our first stop was Coit Tower. We were immediately rewarded with some fantastic views of the city, the bridges, and Alcatraz Island. We then paid the $5 elevator toll, and were further rewarded. Along with more shots of the city, the bridges, and Alcatraz Island, Jaime took several shots of the neighborhoods below. They really seemed to appeal to him and I think it might have been due to the lack of yards (no maintenance required). I also realized, as we took shot after shot of the various views, for us it’s become all about the view….no matter where we are. I can only determine that our appreciation comes from living in such a flat area for so long.
Well, the adventure had only begun. You can't go to San Fran without seeing Lombard street. The funny part, it's only about a block long!! As we walked down hill, trying to get a good pic, we had a great view of those driving the distance. And each of them sported a huge smile and they slowly drove the short block!
We then headed off to see the famous “painted ladies” (think Mrs. Doubtfire, and that Bob Saget show…). We spent several hours making our way across town, up hills (at which point I promised to reflect on our time here before complaining about any of the hills in Portland), on and off buses, to finally reach them.As I pointed out to Jaime the fact that we had spent several hours in our pursuit, he corrected me by saying, “we spent several hours exploring this city”. And then he reminded me that with him, “it’s as much about the journey as the destination.”

Our next stop….The Stinking Rose for dinner. But not before we passed through Chinatown and Little Italy. Of which I can only remark about the smell and the truly odd things that they put in bags and sell. With full bellies, we headed back across the bay to rest up for the last leg. Thinking our day was through, until we realized Jaime had left his backpack in the restaurant…… off we went to retrieve it. I can only say that at this point, we felt we were becoming seasoned travelers through the city. But boy did my feet hate me when we finally got back to the hotel. Thankfully, I had chocolate waiting….

All good things must end….. we ended our trip with a beautiful drive. Our first stop was the Oakland temple. What a great way to start our last day, and a Sunday to boot !! Then it was off to Berkeley, where we got a glimpse at the houses that Jaime’s dad grew up in. And if you go to San Fran, you have to go across the bridges. So from Berkeley we headed through Sausalito, across the Golden Gate Bridge. Then through downtown and across the Bay Bridge. We decided to take a detour to Treasure Island, which is very interesting…. Then we were back where we started – Oakland. Our last stop was Jack London Square for lunch and a little Ben & Jerry’s!!!

So, it was a great week / weekend, with fabulous weather. And we’re already trying to plan our next visit…..

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