And besides, it was absolutely GORGEOUS weather in SF today! Sunny and warm, with just a bit of a breeze! As far as big cities go, I’m not sure there’s much of anything finer than San Francisco on a clear cloudless temperate summer day!
So the following is a short summary of where we explored today:
we started with a jaunt up the hill to take in Coit Tower in all of its morning magnificence; then headed over to Lombard Street to drive the "crookedest street in the world" (which we did, but then also decided to walk it too……just for the heck of it);
stopped for breakfast at a great little iconic hole-in-the-wall donut shop on Van Ness Avenue; checked out the “Painted Ladies” (no, not those
kind, these are the………….oh c’mon you guys, you know what they are………..); stopped at Grace Cathedral to “center our spirit” by taking a meditative stroll through the labyrinth; prowled through Pier 39 of Fisherman’s Wharf, on one side enjoying the barking of the slumbering sea lions as they sun themselves on their wooden deck lily pads, and on the other side forging through the hustle-bustle people zoo, trying (and quite successfully, I might add) to avoid the ever-present aura of “hey, if you can afford to come here, you can afford to spend a lot of money”; had our lunch at Boudin Sourdough Bread Company (we just can’t go by this place without getting our standard chili in a sourdough bread bowl and eating it on the edge of the wharf………………….a personal tradition); then capping off our stay in The City with the perfect iconic ending: our requisite indulgence in ice cream concoctions at Ghirardelli Square! And here’s my suggestion just in case you happen to be in this neighborhood: it was so new they didn’t even have it on the menu yet, but Ghirardelli has come up with a new creamy treat called “Presidio Passion”, which (starting from the bottom of a tall parfait glass) consists of: a big scoop of vanilla ice cream covered with strawberries topped with another big scoop of vanilla ice cream then smothered with a layer of hot fudge then sprinkled with some crushed almonds then all topped off with a big ol’ chocolate-dipped strawberry nestled in a cloud of whipped cream! I’m talkin’ SERIOUS YUMMY!!
We then bid adieu to San Francisco and headed east to Dublin (California, not the other one………) to meet up with our friend Jennifer and her family. We first met Jennifer on a trip to Beijing China way back in 1995 when she was working as a tour guide, and through her years of life transitions moving to the US and getting married and having two kids, we’ve maintained a close bond with her. We don’t get to see her that often so it was great catching up with her.
Since Carrie and I have explored San Francisco numerous times in the past (most of them pre-kids), and since we only have a limited stay of about one day here, we decided to do pretty much the touristy thing for the kids' benefit (not that there’s anything wrong with touristy stuff, and not that it’s entirely for the kids’ benefit………we still like The City and all of its eclectic offerings, but sometimes just a hit of the highlights is good for the traveler’s soul).