Friday, December 14, 2007

Visitors, December 2007

December has been another month with visitors, something that helps us keep connected to family and friends and something that we always enjoy. Amber and Jason arrived on Friday, November 30. Jason had to return to Ohio on Monday for training for his new job, but Amber stayed for 9 days and got a really broad exposure to this city. Our first evening we took them to the Cliff House Restaurant, one of San Francisco's famous places overlooking "seal rock" and the Pacific ocean while the sun sat in the west.

The weekend was Max's first weekend to have to work, so it was my duty to expose them to as much as I could in the short time Jason was here. Since Max had the car, we saw the city by bus and by foot, but it was mostly by foot. We started out taking the bus to the financial district where I work and a short walk to the Farmer's Market at the Ferry Building. That's the building where I work with the arrow pointing to it.

They sampled some of local "organic" fruits and then we set off for Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower. We wallked there climbed the steps to the top of the hill (no bus for us). It was a beautiful day and the whole city lay below us.

From Coit Tower we walked over to the Wharf to get some lunch. Pier 39 is the local tourist place with all the restaurants and shops you can imagine. We ate at one with a great view of the bay.

After lunch we did the obligatory watching of the sea lions that now sun themselves on the floats next to the pier and then started our next walk down to the old Warf and toward our bus stop where we hoped to get a ride to the Golden Gate. On the way we passed an old Submarine that is docked at the Warf. Fortunately, Max called just as our legs and feet were starting give out. She had finished her last patient and still had some paperwork to do, but was on her way home. We quickly negotiated a place to meet so we could take Max to the apartment, get coats and take the car instead of walking even more. That got us to the bridge with plenty of time to walk and explore the Golden Gate.

That ended our first day after about 11 miles of walking the feet and legs were pretty tired, but there was still dinner to be had and walking is the only way to get there because there is no place to park. So we hiked down to our favorite Italian restaurant to finish off day one. An of course dinner has to be finished off with dessert, which in this case was a poached pear with raspberry sauce and cream fresh.

After packing Saturday so full of SF, we backed off a little on Sunday. We started by taking the bus to Church at Grace Cathedral and then walked down the hill to China Town. China Town is fun to see once, but it's not really a place to spend much time unless you are really shopping for something that is Chinese specific.

That wasn't on our agenda, so we headed off on foot to North Beach, also known a Little Italy. On the way we dropped into City Lights Book Store. I hadn't heard of this place until we were taken there by a friend of ours a few weeks also. City Lights is a pocket of absolute liberalism in a liberal city. It's reputation started in the 50's when it became the western center for the "Beat Generation" better known as the Beatniks. The City Lights was where Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac hung out and where Ginsberg first read his poem "Howl" which was the subject of an obscenity trial in 1957. City Lights is still a book store and is still on the far left of the left side of politics. You can't read the signed in the upstairs windows in this picture, but they are calling for impeachment of Bush and Chaney.

A block up the street from City Lights is the start of North Beach with its sidewalk cafes. We stopped at one with some wonderful tables and enjoyed an outdoor Italian lunch while we watched the folks walk by. One homeless guy even asked if he could have some of our pizza, which we declined. I think everybody else sitting down from us did the same.

Then from North Beach we caught the cable car and rode over to Union Square to so a little shopping, but not buying, crossed the square and took a look inside the Westin St. Francis and finally caught the bus back to the apartment. It was quite a day and pretty much finished up our tour of the city.

It was the end of Sunday and Jason was leaving the next morning, so we headed home on the bus to rest our feet before heading out to dinner again.

It was difficult to miss all the fun- But I knew Don kept up the pace so nothing was missed. I'm not sure it would be possible to see more of the city in such a short time. We really enjoyed Jason- and wish he could have stayed longer- but we think we'll get them back in the spring- maybe for a slower paced time in San Fran!


Lucas said...

Uncle Don,
I would love to know what the pedometer read on Saturday when you finally stopped walking! Glad you guys had a nice visit and Amber looks adorable, I love her cute haircut. Can't wait until it is Shawn and I in all those photos! February maybe?

Anonymous said...

Wow, Jason and Am certainly didn't get short changed on their SF experience! Looks like they had a great time. - love, Brandy