Tuesday, November 20, 2012

San Francisco!! (Part 1)

I had the opportunity to travel to San Francisco for a work event in October. Visiting SF is on my list of 50 things to do before 50 so I jumped at the chance. Luckily, I only had work stuff for a few hours every day so we were able to cram a lot of sight seeing in to the few days we were there.
The first night there, I stayed up late (by my standards) to do some exploring with a friend/co-worker, Jen. We walked through Chinatown, had a late dinner, and decided we HAD to ride the cable car.

We ended up at Fisherman's Wharf and though most shops were closed, there were a lot of people hanging out and walking around. (I also found my gallery. Ha!)

The next morning, my mom and I waited for a bus to pick us up for a tour of the city. The cable car travels right past our hotel.

The bus tour was a double decker which is nice because being up higher gave us a better view of things. We opted for the first tour of the day but in hindsight, we should have chosen a later tour. The fog was always pretty heavy in the morning so vision is a bit limited. You'll see more of that in the upcoming photos. (And I had to work in the afternoon so the early option was really the best schedule wise.) Anyway, here's a shot of Alcatraz from the tour company's window front. I didn't realize Alcatraz was so close to the city.

I LOVED seeing all the row houses and the city's architecture so you'll see lots of photos of San Francisco homes. I couldn't resist.

We stopped by the Palace of Fine Arts. Gorgeous!

Our next stop was the Golden Gate Bridge. Our guide drove us over the bridge to Marin County because he promised better views. It was nice that he took us below the bridge because it was too foggy to see anything at the lookout stations just off the bridge entrance.

While driving on the bus, we passed the Russian Cathedral.

Our next stop was Lands End Lookout. There was a great visitor's center with visual displays on the history of Lands Ends.

We resumed our city tour and our guide drove us through Golden Gate Park. I didn't realize how big it is - larger than Central Park. There are lots of cool things to do and see in the park. I'd love to go back and spend a day there. (Unfortunately, I didn't get a good photo of the Bison or the Windmills or the Beach Chalet or the Tea Garden or the Arboretum. Next time!)

Our next neighborhood to visit was Haight Ashbury. We drove down Haight Street; I loved all the cool shops and row houses. Groovy!

We left Haight Ashbury and drove past Alamo Square Park and all of a sudden we were greeted by the Painted Ladies.

Love this shot with the city in the background.

Here are some close-ups of the Painted Ladies. The ornate details on each are pretty incredible. And a little over the top but hey, I would totally be over the top if I lived in one. 


As we headed toward the Financial District, we passed the San Francisco Opera House - where Edward Lewis took Vivian Ward to see the La Traviata (not be confused with the Pirates of Penzance).

So the one bummer about being in San Francisco during the last week of October is that the Giants won the World Series. Normally, this wouldn't bother me except that I'm a Tigers fan. The World Series win created a lot of celebration, some lawlessness, and it shut down the city for the parade for half a day. Here is the park where fans watched the final game on jumbo screens.

Blogger isn't letting me post any more photos so I'll create part 2 of the trip, including photos from Alcatraz.

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