Homer's Travels: San Fransisco 1997

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

San Fransisco 1997

This is a first in a series of posts about previous vacations that the wife and I have taken since we got married.

Our first trip together as a married couple, besides our Honeymoon, was a roadtrip to San Francisco. I'd been there twice before to visit old friends - one from High School and one from College. We drove up the evening before Thanksgiving, spending the night in San Simeon. On Thanksgiving day we finished to drive to San Francisco. Highway 1 between San Simeon and San Francisco was closed due to road work so we had to go up the less picturesque 101. On the way we drove highway 46 which connects 1 with the 101. This road runs through wineries and there are beautiful views of the Morro Bay area along the way. It is one of our favorite drives - too short though.

We reached the bay area and made our way to our hotel. On the way there, as we drove around trying to figure the shortest way, I made a turn down this incredibly steep road. Anyone who has ever been to San Francisco knows that is it a very hilly city. This road was so steep it looked like we were driving off a cliff. The wife, realizing where the car was heading started saying "OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD!" The string of OH MY GODs was briefly broken when the wife looked up and said "Look! There's Alcatraz! before continuing with the OH MY GODs. Funny.

We made it to our hotel, an unimpressive place called the Royal Pacific Motor Inn which happened to be in in the perfect location. The hotel was on the edge of Chinatown, a block or so from the cable car line, and a few blocks from the City Lights bookstore. We started out walking through Chinatown taking in the exotic sights, sounds, and smells. Many of the foods displayed in the windows and hanging outside the stores were totally alien to the both of us. The wife picked up some strange root-like thing and was going to smell it in an attempt to identify it when a Chinese lady came at her with a rolled up newspaper and chased her out of the store. There were other people touching the food in the store so we never could figure out what the wife did to receive the wrath of the proprietor. We laughed at it all and moved on with our exploration. San Francisco is an imminently walkable city. Everything that we were interested in was within walking distance or at least a cable car ride away. The only other city I've been to that is similar is New York (Manhattan).

On Friday we moved out of Chinatown and headed toward Fisherman's Wharf. On the way, once again conveniently close to our hotel, we visited Lombard Street the famous twisty-turny road. Arriving at the Wharf, we looked into going out to Alcatraz but were disappointed to find that you need a reservation and we would not be able to go out to the island prison. We returned back to the hotel and went to the City Lights bookstore . Most of you may know that the wife is interested in Beat Literature, especially Kerouac . City Lights played a part in Kerouac's life. It was a meeting place for many of the Beat Generation bigwigs and the alley between the bookstore and the nearby bar is named Jack Kerouac Alley. We purchased a poster for the wife's classroom and went out for dinner and a movie - I can't recall the name.

On Saturday we connected up with the wife's Aunt and we did some catching up and some sightseeing. We visited Coit Tower a looked at the murals and the view of the city from Telegraph Hill. We ended up back at Fisherman's Wharf and, inevitably, Ghirardelli Square. I am a major chocoholic and I am hooked on Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate. At least they say that Dark Chocolate may be good for the heart - it is definitely good for the taste buds.

At this point in the day we had been walking around for hours and I was getting hot and tired. This is not a good thing since I often get crabby when I am hot and tired. I was tired - I was hot - I was crabby - I came close to ruining a good day. We saw the wife's Aunt off at the ferry terminal where she caught a ride home and we took the cable car back to the hotel. The ride back was quiet since the wife was royally pissed at my crabby/crappy behavior (and rightly so). We've grown better at recognizing my approaching crabbiness and getting it under control.

We drove back home on Sunday. All in all an O.K. vacation.

You may have noticed that San Francisco is on the list of Future Destinations. We have become much more savvy travelers since out first trip and we want to return to see the things we missed - Alcatraz and Angel Island being two places we want to visit.

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