Sunday, May 31, 2009

San Francisco to Carmel-by-the-Sea May 15

Hiking San Francisco May 15

On our first day we followed the walking tour outlined in the AAAA book starting at Union Square. There are heart-shaped sculptures at the 4 corners of the square, symbolizing the heart of downtown.

The statue in the center of the square symbolizes the Goddess of Victory. There was an art show in the square for the week.

The Westin St Frances has a big clock in the lobby suspended from the ceiling where everyone used to meet. When women wore white gloves & dressed up for lunch the hotel had a man who cleaned coins for customers so their gloves would not get dirty. The coins were intended for staff tips & never left the building.

Neiman Marcus has a beautiful stained glass domed ceiling from the City of Paris department store.

Around the corner on Maiden Lane there was a brick wall designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Next to this wall was a 2 story galleria shopping mall with glass ceiling.

Wells Fargo Bank Building was on the corner, #44 Montgomery Street. There was a stagecoach robbery museum in the lobby. Kids played on the simulated stagecoach ride upstairs. If you could guess which person was the culprit based on a list of clues/evidence you got a plastic sheriff's badge.

We watched a silent movie about a stage coach robbery then took a quiz. Questions were about the robber's descritpion, how many robbers there were, what kind of guns they used, which direction they rode in, description of their horses. There was a plaster cast of 3 suspect robber boot prints & 3 horseshoe prints. You were supposed to guess which one to follow on a pursuit.

Hotel Nikko was designed with the Chineese business executive in mind

222 Mason St

We walked up Telegraph Hill to the top of Coit Tower, chatting with a New York fireman & his girlfried who is an accountant. I think we climbed every hill in town. I can't see how we missed it if they had one more staircase.

The base of Coit tower has murals from floor to ceiling of the lobby

We ditched the walking tour. It seemed that it was designed by a deparved manic depressive patient. You would be on one street, told to turn the corner, go down this lane, take a left at the next corner, then a right, but wait! go back to the first street half a block from where you started. It wasn't just that, it was also up & down hill at the same time. We were no longer speaking to each other. This had never happened to us before. We both love to walk. When we lived in Old Metairie we used to walk for hours in the evenings. We were fed up, were just going to take their word about anything historic/ folkloric. It was time for lunch at Pier 39, the Wipe Out Restaurant.

After lunch we took the thrilling jet boat tour of the Bay. It ruined us for any other tour or boat ride. Forever.

Bridge by AT&T Ballpark that was designed by same man who designed Golden Gate Bridge. He designed this when he was 12 years old.

cheap souvenirs, Pier 39

octopus sushi, Fisherman's Whart

Musee Mechanique is a penny arcade anchoring Fisherman's Wharf. Robert met the owner, Daniel Zelinsky, a man about his age whose grandfather had started the collection. Daniel has retooled the machines to take quarters instead of pennies. He keeps busy making sure they all work.

I put a coin in a fortune telling machine. It spit out a card that told me I talk too much & to stay home next time. No revelation there.

Rare steam powered motorcycle that still works

Other tours available were a double decker bus, rented bicycles, a fire engine across the Golden Gate Bridge, the duck, segway, & a two seater go cart/motorcycle with self guided tour. The segway cost $70 for 2 1/2 hours. Most of the tours are based on Beach Street. Duck tours are based on Taylor/Jefferson Street. Go carts are on O'Farrell.

On the way back we made reservations at Cobb's Comedy Club on Columbus Street in Little Italy. Our neighbors at the next table that evening were Melanie Moffett, a wine exporter & her husband Don who is an executive with Kaiser. Besides Jeaneane Garofolo comics Marc Maron, a Jewish philosopher & Paul Gilmartin, a Republican politician, entertained us.

Columbus Street/corner of Lombard

We returned to Boudin's for a tour. We learned there were several foods invented in San Francisco. Sourdough bread in 1849; Joe's Special in 1850 (scrambled eggs with hamburger & vegetables); the martini - 1860; Chop Suey - 1860; the Mai Tai by bartender Vic Bergeron at Trader Vic's - 1940; the fortune cookie - 1914; Irish coffee - 1952; Crab Louis - Hotel St Frances. This dish has lettuce, Dungeness crab, hardboiled egg & pink dressing.

View in microscope of live bacteria in sourgdough yeast.

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