Wednesday, May 04, 2005

San Francisco

San Francisco...the place where people pee at random on the side of buildings.

I actually saw that yesterday. We were walking through the financial district and looked over and there was some guy taking care of business on the side of the Bank of America. Now, As much as I think that, as far as BofA is concerned, well done!, it was a little gross.

So, twelve of us spent our day off in San Francisco yesterday. We rode the Bart from Pleasanton and then all split off in Union Square. Lots of window shopping to do there, but FAO Schwartz left. That was disappointing. We followed my AAA guide (courtesy of my homestay)on a 4-6 hour walking tour of downtown. We veered off through the financial disctrict, saw the original Wells Fargo bank and museum. Nice stagecoach. Then we went through Chinatown and lost our two Chinese members of the team to dim sum. The rest of us skipped Coit tower and headed through Little Italy. There were some good smells wafting from every direction, and it was about lunchtime. But we opted to head to the waterfront. That's where it got messy and frustrating. Seven people take bloody forever to decide where to eat, and of course, we ended up back at the first place. Aargh. But one our blood sugar rose we weren't quite as grumpy.

Pier 39 was next in order. We shopped around and watched a street performer. He wasn't the best magician ever, but he was a great performer. He interacted with the audience, brought volunteers up from the crowd. And he knew how to pick them. One of his assistants was a 6 year old girl with long pigtails. What a cutie. Then we went to see the sea lions, took some pictures, and met up with our Chinatown party.

Ghiardelli Square was next in line. I bought some chocolate. Then we all went into Sharper Image for a free chair massage. That gave us the strength for the next phase. Next on the to do list was Lomard Street, but we skipped over it because Aaron had wanted for ages to find the park that was the opening scene for the Full House credits. He found the name of the park on a postcard in Chinatown, so Alamo Square was next. 29 blocks south and 8 blocks east of Ghiardelli. And we went. It was a perfect day. Sunny with some clouds and a little breeze, so instead of taking a smelly bus, we walked. And found the park after a long time, and all picked characters from the montage to take a picture in front of the Victorian row houses.

From there it was only another 12 blocks total to the Height and Ashbury district -- the hippie part of town. And Austen wanted to see that. So we walked past shops full of henna and hemp clothing and pipes. The guys were able to tell us that SOMEBODY in there was smoking weed. We ate dinner in an Arabic restaurant, sitting cross legged on cusioned benches around low tables. I ate mostly with my fingers because "it's really so much better if you eat with your hands."

We ended our day by taking a bus back to Union Square. Then we missed our train by 1 minute, but caught the next one. During the wait we counted blocks and realised we'd walked about 8 1/2 miles that day.

I sure was ready for bed!