So here's the latest from San Francisco: The buildings are gorgeous, the hills are steep, and the drivers are vicious.
We spent our first night here in a luxurious bed where Paige experienced the long since forgotten joy of waking up, getting out of bed and not freezing. Which in turn meant that I got to experience the long forgotten joy of waking up, getting out of bed, and not having to console a crying wife with frozen appendages. It was glorious.
Naturally, being in the bay area, we decided we needed to go into San Francisco and see the city. The only thing we had planned was a meet up with Daniel Templeton, a friend from high school who lives in the city. In an effort to be more mobile and to possibly walk around with Emma, we decided to drive into the city, park the car and explore from there. Being a human compass, this sounded like a stupendous idea. I looked up a nice parking garage online, noted the slightly less than outrageous price, and motored directly to it. Upon pulling into the garage and tapping the "low clearance" sign with the ever-so-troublesome Thule box, I backed out onto the street and searched for another garage. After this Austin Powers-esque moment played itself out several more times, I decided it was time to drive back to Ashley's house and take mass transit into the city. So, 15 minutes after driving across the bay bridge for the first time, I got to turn around and drive back over it again.
San Francisco: take two.
Mass transit is a beautiful thing. I don't know why I didn't have faith in it from the get go. We had no trouble parking the car at a park-and-ride and getting into the city lickity-split. We'd heard from several people that we should check out the Mission district, so we got off at 16th and Mission. Between the raving crazies and all the homeless people, the neighborhood was a little grittier than we expected so we decided to skedaddle We headed north towards downtown and proceeded to walk all over the city. We checked out SOMA, Market Street, the Embarcadero, the Ferry Building, nob hill and several other neighborhoods. We finished the afternoon up at City Lights bookstore and then headed to happy hour at a nearby bar. Daniel met us there with his lovely girlfriend Stacey. We had a few drinks, went to dinner and called it a night.
We went back into the city today and hit all the touristy stops. We walked the entire Embarcadero, saw the sea lions on Pier 39, and basked in the neon glow of Fisherman's Wharf. A former colleague of mine (from back when I actually did work) picked us up and gave us a tour of the west side of the city and dropped us off just under the Golden Gate bridge. We took the obligatory pictures and wandered back downtown to meet another friend from college for wine. Oh and by the way, in case you are curious, there are absolutely no rules about how many people are allowed to squeeze onto a single city bus in San Francisco. Or if there are, they are blatantly disregarded. On our normal sized city bus, there were well over 120 people. A small asian lady leaned on me for a dozen blocks or so. It was sort of nice and sort of not nice. In the end it was too much. We finally had to swim our way out and walk the last few blocks.
And now I must bid you adieu. We are headed into Berkeley to meet up with my friend from college for some BBQ at a place called T-Rex. I'm not so sure how good BBQ could be in Berkeley, but I hear this restaurant is the only place to get dinosaur this time of year. What are you going to do?
FYI: Some pictures are available on facebook, but I'll try to post some more on this website later tonight.