Sunday, July 06, 2008

san francisco, california

after a wonderful time in napa, paul and i made our way back to the city.  we stayed at the intercontinental san francisco which is an amazing place.  paul makes most hotel reservations using hotwire which is the site to use if looking for a deal.  we unloaded our bags and then returned the rental car.  for lunch, we ate at the great steak escape.  it was ok.  poor place had some tough acts to follow.  still suffering from jet lag we went back to the hotel for some rest and relaxing.  paul made us appointments to have massages at the spa in the hotel that afternoon.  man, that was wonderful!  i really loved being pampered.  afterwards, we again went back to the room to be bums and ended up falling asleep.  we did not wake until almost dinner or anything.  oh well...

the next day we had breakfast at mel's drive in around the corner from the hotel before 8am.  yes, we can get up that early.  it was good.  i had homemade biscuits and gravy with a scrambled egg.  good but no where as good as mom's.  i cannot remember what paul had, but i think it was some southwesterny type of deal with eggs.  ???  peet's coffee and tea was next on the hit list for the day.  we had to walk a few blocks and sat for a while enjoying the people and scenery.  it was early so many people where going to work.  

after peet's we walked around town for a while.  we did stop a few places but for the most part just walked and meandered.  just before lunch time we took the bus to the wharf for some clam chowder and then walked down the pier to where the tour to alcatraz left.  paul had purchased tickets online for us to take the tour of alcatraz.  neither one of us had gone over before so it was something we had been wanting to do.  the ferry ride only take about 15 minutes over to the rock.  

once on alcatraz there is not a set agenda or tour.  we did have to walk up quite a ways to pick up the audio tour.  the audio tour takes a while, but is well worth it.  it basically takes you through the cell house explaining different parts and also telling stories as you go.  it was a really interesting tour.  i learned alot and had a great time.  really fabulous place.  the tour ends at the book shop where you can buy all sorts of goodies.  on the day we were there we also got to meet darwin coon who is a former inmate of the rock.  he has recently written a memoir about his life including his time on the rock.  he was there the last four years the prison was open and was among the last group of inmates to leave the island before it closed in 1963.  we bought the book and had him sign it.  i have already read the entire thing.  it is a great story and inspiring too.  i thought it was pretty cool that he signed the book and we got to meet him.  we did walk around for a bit seeing different parts of the prison that are not on the tour.  many of the places are closed for renovation and preservation.  it is still a really interesting place to visit.  

we took the ferry back and then made our way to the bus stop.  we decided to have good italian food in the north beach area which is not far from the wharf.  it is considered "little italy".  many of the street light poles are striped with the same colors as the italian flag.  dinner was just ok.  i was not really feeling the food there, but paul was.  we each had carpaccio which was good.  then i had a ceasar salad i could not finish due to the small fish garnish they put on top.  paul had pesto ravioli.  we each had wine with dinner.  mine was just ok again, but paul really enjoyed his.  

after dinner we went back to the hotel again and called it an early night.  the next morning we went to breakfast at denny's and then had a peet's.  we had some time to waste as we had to wait for jason to wake up and then check out of the hotel.  we ended up hanging out in our room until we had to leave for the train.  rebecca and jason live in mountain view which is south of san francisco on the peninsula.  to get there we have to ride the train from the city to moutnain view which takes about an hour.  jason met us at the station and we came back to their house.  it was great to see them both and get to visit.  we ate lunch at a little mexican place in downtown MV and then walked around and poked into some shops.  rebecca's mom is also visiting from nashville, so it has made for a full house of company.  her and her mom went to watch some fireworks last night while paul, jason, and i ordered pizza, hung out, and visited.  it was nice.  i really enjoy their puppies too.  they have two weenie dogs, shelby and lexi.  lexi is a cuddler so i have been spending lots of time cuddling.  shelby likes to place and be more active.  both have been fun to play with and cuddle with.  

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