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lindyjean's picture
on February 3, 2010 - 12:08am

i just spent three days in san francisco. the HOG and i went to celebrate our 32nd anniversary. i've been there a bunch of times, it's just a few hours up the freeway from me, but i love that city, and i'll go anytime the opportunity arises.

we stayed at a nice hotel not too far from the wharf. we started off our adventure going to see the King Tut exhibit at the DeYoung Museum. The first time Tut's treasures came around the US, i missed it, and didn't want to make that mistake again. It was amazing!!! if you get the chance, go and enjoy! another exhibit going on was one of Amish quilts....beautiful creations. it was a small show, but as someone who tries very simple quilts, it was both an inspiration and a revelation.

we went to eat that evening at a sandwich shop that was featured either on Anthony Bourdain's show, Man Vs Food, or Guy Fieri's show.....it's called Ike's, and it's in the Castro area, and it's a tiny shop you can't even enter. there is a podium out front, they take your order---you can just about anything on the menu mixed as you like it, and they have their own creations--and then you wait for your grub. very good....unexpected flavors.

the next day, we did the touristy stuff---the wharf, chinatown---i love the hustle and bustle of chinatown. people stride with purpose, whether they are buying produce from a small grocery, or simply moving thru the neighborhood. i love the sounds of their language (s), the smell of countless small eateries, and the sense that i am truly the foreigner there in those few blocks of the city.

in the afternoon, we boarded a boat to take us to alcatraz island. it would grow dark there during our tour, and i hoped to hear about the possible haunted areas, but no such luck....in fact, i eavesdropped on one couple talking to a park ranger, who said there were rumors, but he'd never seen or heard anything, nor had any of is fellow park workers, in all their years there. he said the tv shows aren't going to say their investigation led nowhere, so they spread the myths, but he conceded it's good for business. but, the stories they DID tell us, about real, live prisoners and their escape attempts, was far more interesting than any ghost story. we had great weather, saw a gorgeous sunset behind the Golden Gate Bridge, and watched the city lights come up as the sun went down. again, if you come to SF, take the tour. the park service has done a great job, and every ranger was so eager to help, answer questions and share their passion and knowledge about the island. we had a late dinner at Mel's Drive-In----we'd had a late lunch, so we ate late, and it was close by the hotel, and still open at 11 PM. it was delicious, too.

today, we went back to Golden Gate Park, had a phenomenal breakfast at a nearby cafe---french toast made with cinnamon-swirl bread, then topped with mascarpone cheese, and maple syrup...OMG!!! we got a child's plate, just to sample it.....incredible! my actual breakfast was chicken chilequiles--kind of like nachos, but the chips are softened when cooked---very tasty, indeed. after our great breakfast, it was back inside the park to the California Academy of Sciences---a combination museum/aquarium/planetarium. i'm a sucker for these places....we spent four hours there. the planetarium show is a must-see....if you've ever gone to the Star Tours ride at Disneyland, you know the sensation of movement when you "jump" to warp speed...well, this show gives you that same sensation, but numerous times, as you lay back and watch the ceiling screen. stars and planets move about, spinning and coming at you. awesome!

we had planned to go to the Cliff House for a late lunch, but just ran out of gas. we drove home, tired, but satisfied. now, it's back to work tomorrow.....back to reality.

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