This summer's excursion was to San Francisco. Although the travel books and several people said that San Francisco was cold and foggy, and we did have fog, as you can tell in the photos, the weather was actually very nice. We stayed near Union Square, which is, I guess, above the early morning fog of Fisherman's Wharf, so most days were comfortably warm. (I should have brought sun screen!)
On the first day, we took a walk down to the Ferry Building, where I was greeted by a friendly seagull posing for a picture:
We headed back to the hotel for a quick nap, and took the cable car up, and down, and up, and down, and up, and down, to Fisherman's Wharf. It was getting cool and foggy, and the wind picked up. After a meander, we got in the long line for the cable car:
The car right before ours broke down, so we had to wait until the special cable car tow truck (a) came and (b) towed the car to the top of the hill, so it wouldn't roll back down and crash on the next car. What was most entertaining was watching all the people in line who either forgot or didn't know that San Francisco got cold and windy in the evenings.
The next day, we toured the city with Tower Tours. Because the fog was higher than the water, we could only see the bottom of the Golden Gate Bridge:
Also, because the fog was high, we couldn't go to Twin Peaks to take pictures of the city (all we would have gotten was fog), so the driver took us to the coast instead - to Cliff House, overlooking Ocean Beach, the old Sutro bathhouse ruins, and Seal Rocks.
After that, we took a tour through the fancy areas of San Francisco, and stopped to take some pictures of the Painted Ladies on Steiner Street, right across from Alamo Square:
We rolled by Lombard Street, and a cable car kindly positioned itself at the top of the street for a photo op:
After a bit more touring, (pictures weren't great because of the windows on the bus), we ended up at Fisherman's Wharf, ate our first lunch at an offshoot of the Boudin sourdough bakery (clam chowder and a grilled cheese sandwich on sourdough for me), and then took a trip to Alcatraz. The boat trip was fun, but I'll have to admit I wasn't too impressed with the history of the place. This was a neat shot of some of the old ruins, though:
Also, this man, J.B. Albright, was there signing his book about being the last guard off the island when it closed:
(I thought he looked too kind to be a guard.)
We then headed back to the hotel, this time using the F line - the trolleys, rather than the cable car.
The next day, we took the cable car once again to Fisherman's Wharf (this time, in a cable car reported to have been used by Humphrey Bogart when he was in the city - this information was carved in the rafters at the front of the car). We took a spur-of-the-moment tour on a cable-car wannabe (a bus decked out like a cable car), which was better than the other tour, as the windows were open for better pictures, and he took us to different locations, including over the Golden Gate Bridge. We stopped first to look up at the bridge from the south side:
and also took some pictures of the city from this vantage point as well:
Then we went over the bridge and looked at things from the other side, including a nice shot of the Bay Bridge:
This is a shot of the Golden Gate Bridge, looking directly at it from the north side viewing area:
We toured through the Presidio (nice forests) and wandered through some more streets and looked at some impressive mansions along the way. Afterwards, we ate lunch at the original Boudin bakery (this time, clam chowder and a turkey-havarti sandwich on a sourdough roll; MUCH better than Cobbs!).
We headed back to the hotel, and I took a meander to Macy's, although I wasn't impressed with their selection, which was probably good as we only had carry-on baggage.
On Thursday, we took the cable car up to the top of the hill and then walked over to Chinatown:
After poking through some of the tourist stalls along the street, I did some more shopping (again, not too much in terms of selection), and ended up at the bookstore. I bought Wicked, which a friend had said was better than the musical. (So far, I'm half way through it, and not only is it better than the musical, it is entirely different. Entirely. (But I digress.)) We then went back to Fisherman's Wharf for dinner.
Friday morning involved wandering around the Union Square area and relaxing until our 12:00 checkout time, followed by a walk to BART and a journey through Oakland back to the airport. After an hour's wait because a mechanic had to come and check the plane following its bird strike (the plane won), we headed back to Bellingham, and back home.