Saturday, March 27, 2010

One Last Day Down By the Bay

What do you do on your last day in a majestic city? Sleep in of course.

Sleeping in – it's great. It really is. Just make sure you hang the do not disturb sign the night before, or at nine in the morning housekeeping will come a knocking. Seriously – nine in the morning? What type of sick people normally stay here where they think that makes sense?

Aside from that though – this hotel has been perfect. I'd mention the name if I remembered it – it's just down Geary street two blocks from Union Square. The reviews online destroyed it – but it's great. The location is wonderful. And it was only 50 bucks a night. There are hostels where a private double room would cost more than that.

So all in all, good job hotel – good job.

When, blinking, we stepped into the sun our first stop was food. That would be the mission for the day – food. Eating everything we'd not yet eaten. And this began with the quintessential American experience – the Denny's Grand Slam breakfast. Pancakes, sausage, hashbrown, and eggs. It's filling, it's fantastic, it's fun. Because it's called the Grand Slam.

Having put away so much food we could not head straight out to – well anything – a wee walk was needed. But not one outside, there are bears outside. We went to the mall – this was qite the place, with a giant dome, and all sorts of pretty things to look at. I thought, the people who do the podcasts I listen to probably go watch movies here – ohh – I was star struck. Then I got over it. Except I didn't.

I found a book store though, and that occupied my mind for an hour. Did you know there's a sequel (prequel) to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies? I really need to get on reading the first one. There were many books – including a number of signed Christopher Moore books (him being from this city) – and other things I wanted. But after yesterday i now had a pack full of books, and no more room to add anything.

Sigh. I had to leave.

With breakfast in bellies, and malls walked, we headed for a Carl's Jr. Banana milk shake. This was not needed. But it sure was delicious. Having finished that we went off on the street car to the Wharf. It was, after all, almost time for lunch

Down by the bay (you know you're thinking the second half to this) we wandered gift shops where Katherine threw aside my fantastic suggestions for presents she should get for her family. Until I suggested things that made more sense. I guess that's important – having gifts make sense.

All that shopping got us ready for our next meal, only a few hours after our last. Boudin called to me. I craved their sour dough pizza, and needed it. I needed it! And I had it. And it was good. And Katherine had the Caesar salad, and by Katherine had, I mean I had as she was full. Trying t enjoy the local Anchor Steam beer also proved a challenge, but one I would delight in.

And then it was time for dinner. Yes, this happened as fast in real life, as here on the page. Time was running short, there wasn't a whole lot for us to do, so dinner called. But – before I could force Katherine into another meal of pain, she mentioend the cable car museum. I had wanted to go there, and said as much.

She claimed we could still see it. There was logic to her maddness, and so climbing on board a cable car, and standing on the side, trying not to get my bag caught on anything, we made our way over. The museum is also the power centre for the cables.

Inside you can see all the cables being pulled along, and a window under the street allows a view of all the workings there.

I was also abet o finally see something I'd been thinking about since I got to this city – a map of the system during its prime. I couldn't believe it. I knew there must have been a lot of lines here, but the cable cars covered almost as much as the modern buses do now. This was a very efficent system and they were not emssing around.

San Francisco perfected the cable gripping, car tugging (at 9.5 mph) mass transit system. And one can only guess at what it would be today if not for the quake and fires early last century.

Whoever thought of cable cars – which I'm sure the museum mentioned – they deserve a big ol' pat on the back – putting wheels underground to move wire that vehicles can clamp onto? It sounds like the form of mass transit a science fiction writer would think of, not something to be done in real life – and yet there it is, still in operation today (nearly ended in 1947 – but a civilian revolt put an end to that.)

Museum appreciated – dinner. Donuts for Dinner! Doooooonuts for Diiiiiinner! Instead of a big, planned, Rainforest Cafe, bookending meal, we opted for a bag of fresh little donuts, as they required less belly room. They were delicious, and wonderful to see made in front of or eyes. They were also only six fifty for two dozen, which seems fairly priced for these types of treats.

The perfect way to end our SF culinary experience.

With that meal in the bag, it was back to the hotel and time to start packing up choosing what stuff to send home with Kath, and what to keep, backing up files, and watching some mind numbing television. It kept minds off of the parting of ways that tomorrow would bring.

Donuts for Dinner!

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