Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Day 4, San Francisco and home

We made it home safely late night. We are both so tired from our trip; unfortunately for Doug, his bosses are in town this week for the big monthly meeting. At least the meeting is in Austin this month -- I'm not sure how he would make it if he had to fly to Rhode Island.

Yesterday morning we were able to spend a few hours exploring San Francisco -- which is not nearly enough time. We checked out of the hotel (which was at Van Ness & Lombard) about 8:30 and walked the five blocks down to the day. We could see Alcatraz, and saw several people swimming in the bay -- I'm sure it had to be cold. Next we walked to Ghirardelli Square. It was still too early for the shops to be open, but we were able to read about the history of Ghirardelli and San Francisco.

We continued walking along the bay to Fisherman's Wharf. Walking along the open stalls of Fishermen's Grotto, the smell of fish was overwhelming that I had to go across the street to the Boudin Sourdough Bakery just to clear the air . They had a big window where you could watch the bakers make all sorts of sourdough creations. We walked all the way to Pier 39, where a colony of sea lions live. It was neat watching them.

We had planned on catching a bus to Chinatown and having lunch down there, but in talking to someone, we decided not to do that. We would have only had time for lunch and wouldn't have gotten to walk around. Instead, we walked back down Fisherman's Wharf to Pier 47 and had lunch at Scoma's, which has been around since 1965. After that, we walked back to the hotel and headed to San Jose to catch our flight (the San Jose is only 35 minutes from the San Francisco airport; we could catch a direct flight to San Jose, but not to San Francisco, redeeming our American Airlines miles). Overall, we liked the vibe of San Francisco. There were open-air stalls and artists selling their works. As long as we were walking, we got around okay, but driving into and out of the city was nerve-wrecking. We would have liked to see more of the city, but there just was not enough time. Maybe next time.

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