Wednesday, December 5, 2012

San Francisco - Part Deux

***YIKES! I started this post two weeks ago but never finished it!***
Well Blogger is being much better today so I can continue a recap of my amazing trip to San Francisco. So I left off on our bus tour. We're still driving along the beautiful streets of the City by the Bay. Here's a home we passed of someone cool. I just can't remember who? Maybe it was the granddaughter of the dude who created the Remington Gun Company. Or that might have been another house we passed. I can't remember. Regardless, the house was cool looking so I took a photo.

I also can't remember what this building is. Oops. It was starting to be a long tour.

That pesky fog meant no cool photo of the Transamerica Pyramid building.

Here is where we're entering Chinatown. I had already walked through it but my mom was excited to see it.

Love the lanterns!

Gee.... another famous building and I don't know what it is.

So the next few photos are of Lombard Street - the crookedest street. I REALLY wanted to see Lombard Street but this is as close as we got. I was bummed we were so far away and if I'd have had time, I would have walked to check it out. It was about 1.5 miles from my hotel. It's definitely going on my list to-do list the next time I'm in San Francisco. (The other thing I want to do is drive/walk up and down Filbert Street - the one of the steepest streets in the US.)

After our bus tour, my mom and I stayed in the Fisherman's Wharf area to do a bit of shopping and grab lunch. There were several restaurants built over the water.

The restaurant we chose had windows surrounding us - it was a great view. There was a sea lion swimming in the harbor and I would get so excited every time I saw it. (I can't say that I'm 100% sure it was a sea lion but it wasn't a dolphin and it had whiskers so it's my educated guess.)

On the way back to the hotel, I passed by the Cantina bar on Sutter Street.

The reason I took a photo is because Cantina is where I finally got to meet my internet friend, EH. I've been following her blog for years (and likewise) and I was excited we could finally meet for reals. She picked Cantina because it was close to my hotel. I loved their drinks that were made with premium liquors and all fresh fruit and veggies. My favorite was the Pisco Punch. Yum! (Incidentally, I think the Cantina has a drink that is on the list of 100 things to try in SF that EH is always talking about so I was excited about the venue. Actually she isn't ALWAYS talking about that list but she has mentioned it a few times.) Anyways, here's a photo from inside the bar that I took while I was waiting for Miss EH to show up. Unfortunately, I did NOT get an actual picture of us together but I totally will when she comes to visit me in Indiana so that we can go visit the World's Largest Ball of Paint.

The next morning, my mom and I visited Alcatraz. Here is a view of the Golden Gate bridge, from the ferry to the island.

And the SF skyline.

And now SEVERAL photos from Alcatraz.

Alcatraz is so interesting - but crowded. They only allow so many people on the ferry to the island but once you're on the island, you can stay as long as you want. The ferry leaves every 90 minutes or so. They offer an audio tour for free and I enjoyed that. You start the tour and the narrator tells you when to move on. But because it's so busy, it's really hard to get through the tour because everyone is standing around in large clumps, trying to get photos of everything. I ended up taking off the headphones and walking around on my own. My advice to anyone wanting to visit Alcatraz is to get tickets for the first ferry of the day. I imagine its the least crowded time of the day.

After Alcatraz, we grabbed a quick bite to eat before I had to head over to the convention center for work.

After the exhibit hall and my alumni reception, I enjoyed drinks with friends atop the Marriott Marquis hotel. This is a google image photo of the cool bar that overlooks the city. It was a great ending to a great trip.

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