Monday, January 12, 2009

Same Old Lang Syne - San Francisco, Day 1

Family of Ken went to San Francisco for the week between Christmas and the New Year. We had two apartments--a one bedroom with a kitchen and living room for Mother and Father of Ken and a two bedroom, two bath place with a kitchen and living room for Ken and Brother of Ken. This was great because we each had a separate retreat at the end of the day as well as a DVD player that we used to play Father of Ken's new Seinfeld Scene It game and we were able to make breakfast for ourselves each morning.

On our first day in San Francisco, we drove down Lombard Street. While this might not seem too exciting to you gentle readers, Lombard Street is a series of twists and turns at pretty much a 90 degree angle going down a steep hill with no more than ten feet of straightaway at a time. It is one wild ride. Care must be taken not to crash into the pedestrians at the bottom of Lombard Street who insist on taking photographs of cars careening down a hill at a 45 degree angle.

A view from the bottom of the hill on Lombard Street:

One of many signs for an "ATM Machine" that we saw in the city:

While we were visiting Pier 39, we walked past a guy playing a keytar:

As in many large cities, parking is at a premium. We were forced to park in a parking garage near Pier 39 that took a good 30 minutes to ascend five levels. We were followed by people in a Ford Focus who were kind enough to share their Mexican party music for our entertainment. Fortunately, the sound system of the Focus does not include a very substantial bass speaker. When traffic thinned, Father of Ken drove to the vacant fifth level only to be followed by the Focus. Imagine our delight when they pulled in right next to us, the music still blaring. Ay Chihuahua! All of that for a mere $28 for two hours, half of which we spent getting to a parking space. That wasn't as bad as the $11 we had to pay to park at the cathedral on Sunday morning.

If you're going to venture down to Pier 39, make sure that you don't drink anything for at least three days before because, according to Father of Ken, "The bathrooms are worse than disgusting. When they gross me out, you know they're bad. I couldn't believe there were lines waiting to get into those places!" Ken thought that Pier 39 was like an amusement park without the rides. A lot of crappy souvenirs and people, people, people... In addition, we encountered one of our favorite forms of entertainment: the street performer. There were singers, magicians, living statues, graffiti artists, and a rapper, among others.

The many platforms built specifically for the sea lions were the highlight of the Pier 39 experience. The sea lions were cute and provided a much needed reprieve from the meandering hoards of tourists:

A view of the Golden Gate bridge from Pier 39:

Alcatraz Island from the bay:

We spent the rest of the day exploring the city. We walked to Ghirardelli Square and got free samples and then drove through Haight Ashbury and Chinatown before eating a fabulous dinner at Mistral in Belmont.

1 comment:

Leah said...

Were the cars at a 45 degree angle, or a 45 non-degree angle? (Tee hee hee)