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Mar 12, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO VACATION - PART THREE

Part 3 of our San Francisco trip:

You can read part 1 here and part 2 here.

.....That evening we went back down to the pier for dinner.We wandered around for a while people watching and into a few shops. There are street entertainers and music. The usual street painters that rapidly create pictures of local scenes using spray paints and scrapers. At least these guys were wearing respirators. The ones we saw in Mexico were just breathing in the fumes all night. Musicians were plentiful too. I felt badly for the ones with few people stopping to listen. Others gathered large crowds.

My BB Guy loves his shellfish. I figured I would be able to come up with something I like on the menus because I do like fish, I just don't eat shellfish.
We went to the Crab House at Pier 39 and of course the nautical theme was required. They had whole crab shells lining every wall and they were all painted differently. Very fun and creative.

As soon as we were seated I went to the washroom by the front doorway. As I opened the door it was apparent that there was only one stall and there was a woman already in the tiny room so I waited outside the doorway instead of trying to squish out of her way so she could get into the bathroom stall.
A group of ladies came in the restaurant and one of them went to go around me into the bathroom. I mentioned that someone was already in there. She started to go past me to go in and I nicely said just so you know I am in line. She got rather aggressive in my face and said "is it okay if I go and wash my hands". Whoah. I wasn't trying to stop her from washing up but I also wanted her to know that I wasn't waiting for my table with the rest of the people lined up. So in she goes just as the other lady is coming out of the stall and they can barely move in there together. I waited until they both came out so I could finally go in and use the toilet. Jeesh. Imagine how happy I was when she and her 2 friends ended up seated next to us. 

Tilapia

I must say that I wasn't impressed in the least with this place. The floors were sticky, the service was poor. My guy had mussels... to eat I mean...and he said they were just so-so. Being from B.C. where we have the best salmon in the world at our doorstep I wasn't going to order it here. I asked what kind of fish they used in their fish and chips. Tilapia. Uhm no thanks. Tilapia is a type of carp and is usually farm raised mostly in China. They are high in fat and the farmed ones are even higher in fat and thought to be more harmful to your heart than eating bacon or a burger. I had a salad and fries. This place was not cheap and we would not go back or recommend it.

Off to walk some more up and down the street. More people watching, more street entertainment. We thought some ice cream was needed. (I am sensing a theme here) We had passed a Ben & Jerry's earlier that day so back we went to the kiosk. Nope. Closed. Try their other location up the street their sign says. Okay off we go in that direction. Nothing. Past many shops, lots of tourists until finally I put the brakes on and pointed out that the whole street vibe had changed and we were heading into a less desireable part of town. My big guy wasn't concerned but I always trust my instincts. We turned around and found a little shop that had ice cream. I think we are crazy at this point because it is windy and really quite cold and we are going to eat ice cream outdoors. Chocolate mint is worth it!!

We eventually found our way back to our hotel and packed it in for the night. Lots of fresh air even when it is fishy fresh air is a great sleep tonic. G'night.

The plan for the next day is a local bus tour. A condensed version of San Francisco brought to us by Harold at Tower Tours. He was a lot of fun and we really did enjoy his tour.
We went everywhere.

  We went past the pet cemetery which is under an overpass by the Presidio.
Over the Golden Gate Bridge of course.


Everywhere we look the fabulous old homes with that distinct look jump out at us.
We were inside the bus so I don't have many good pictures but I have borrowed some free use ones to give you the idea.

 
The highlight of the day was going to the site of the old Sutro hot springs baths. We were told that they opened in 1896 as a public bath houses owned by Adolph Sutro, a tunnel builder. He had a mansion built on the cliff but it was destroyed by fire a year after surviving the big earthquake.
We had a bit of a bathroom break here and we zipped into the gorgeous restaurant Sutro's at the Cliff House for a beverage. Built overlooking the ocean, all glass in front, it was just our kind of place. The views of course stood out but the food going by made our mouths water and we didnt' have time to eat. This is one place we decided we will come back to if we visit again.

Click here to see a quick video of 8 frames showing the previous incarnations of Cliff House before it burned down. It was really something to see.
After gulping down a quick drink we were once again on the bus. I forgot to mention the lady on the bus that all of us wanted to strangle. No matter what the tour guide, Harold, said she had some comeback, some stupid quip to show us all how funny she was. OMG this went on for hours. I...mean...everything...he...said...she had to chime in. She had about a 15 minute quiet time right after lunch but other than that she never shut up. Aaaarrrgggghh.

We went through Golden Gate Park and had a good laugh about how the designer who hated statues was forced by the city to put some in the gardens. He has them hidden away where you can hardly see them because they didn't stipulate where they had to be placed, just that they had to be there. I like that guy. 

No trip to San Francisco would be complete without a visit to the Haight Ashbury district. I am such a freak for music from the 1960's and I know a great deal of that culture came from this area. I remember as a teen going to the Easter Be-ins up here in Vancouver which were being held in conjunction with the original one held down here.
Note the legs hanging out the window. Yup, giant inflated legs.Wearing fishnet stockings of course.

Once again the architecture is catching our eyes. We are all familiar with the styles here and these Victorian ladies are amazing. I would have loved to see the insides. We were advised that a proper paint job with the historical colors can increase the value of these homes by many, many, many thousands of dollars.

Oh look...the back of the head shot of the big mouth lady. Ignore her please.

And the most famous of all.


These final houses are used in so many movies and t.v. shows you must recognize them. I even have a jigsaw puzzle of these houses. 
The bus was not allowed to stop or idle here so he dropped us off up the street and he drove around the block to come back to get us in a few minutes. As we quickly went out to take the pictures we started to notice all the broken glass beside the parked cars. There were 3 that had their windows smashed and broken into. They target the tourists cars. Can't imagine coming back to my car and seeing that.

Well enough for now. The fourth and final post will be up soon. Thanks for following along on my vacation.

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4 comments:

MiMi said...

It really is a different world down there, isn't it? Sorta like a small country in and of itself.
I would LOVE to own a house like those old historical ones. We have some in our town, but they just don't have the same flare being in OR.

Maureen said...

Since nothing is perfect it's best to concentrate on the good stuff. And it does seem like there was a lot of good stuff. Like the Victorian houses. I looooooove them!

Star Child said...

I think those houses were in a few scenes in Tales Of The City, with Olympia Dukakas' character and a love interest.

Maybe one day I'll get to see San Fran for myself. Gorgeous!

jojo said...

I remember how beautiful SF is when the sun is out and the skies are clear...it sounds like the tour was pretty good, I'll have to keep it in mind. We are thinking of going back down there in the Fall. Glad you had a good time.

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