Thursday, October 11, 2007

Day Three: Tour of the City

On Monday evening, we’d had an interesting conversation with Eduardo, the bellhop at the hotel. He suggested taking a tour of the city via double-decker red bus. John and I are “city travelers” and like to normally try to be a local and explore the city on our own. But there was SO MUCH we wanted to see in San Francisco, and the bus system was a little difficult to figure out. So, we booked the tour….and it was worth every last penny and then some.

We saw City Hall, the Mission District, the Castro district (lots of rainbow flags there…we didn’t stop, but John was uncomfortable even driving through!), then headed up to Twin Peaks. This is the highest point in the city and offers 360-degree views of the Bay and beyond. It was gorgeous (albeit a little windy and freezing) and we got lots of great pictures.

Then we headed on to Golden Gate Park and spent some time in the Japanese Tea Garden. Then it was past the beach and the seal rocks and over the Golden Gate Bridge, where we stopped at Vista Points for major photo opportunity.

We passed the Palace of Fine Arts, and ended up in Fisherman’s Wharf where John and I spent the rest of the afternoon. We definitely wouldn’t have been able to do and see all we did on our own—so thanks, Eduardo!

Fisherman’s Wharf was very peaceful, despite all the tourists. We saw the sea lions lounging (and barking) on the Pier, shopped and ate chocolate, smelled all the street vendors with their fresh crab legs, shrimp and crabcakes. And then ate dinner at a fancy restaurant called Scoma’s right on the water. I learned something new: “cioppino” is a fisherman’s stew. It’s not a plate full of seafood variety fried up and served like Joe’ Crab Shack. It’s all together in a tomato-based stew. Important to know, especially when you pay $35 for it!

Anyway, it was tasty. Some Ben and Jerry’s for dessert and a cable car home….in bed asleep (once again) before 9:00.

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