Saturday: Part One
Our Monterey Adventure having gone so well, Megan and I decided that our next weekend trip would be to somewhere more urban. So on Saturday morning we travelled by train from Berkeley to the fine city of San Francisco for a weekend of touristy fun. I had come across a deal at the Clift Hotel, which happens to be where my mom used to stay when her family came down to the city. Unfortunately, aside from the still-impressive Redwood Room (the bar paneled entirely with the wood from one redwood tree), I don't think it would be recognizable as the place where she and my uncle Bruce dropped hats down the stairwell. But it was a nice place to stay, in a modernist-hipster, lots of funny chairs sort of way, even if they did charge for internet (hence the blogging delay).
It was only around eleven in the morning when we got there, but we were able to get into our room (somewhat delayed by the pair of girls ahead of us in line at the front desk who clearly didn't think eleven in the morning was too early to start having fun of the chemical sort). But we made it through eventually, dropped our bags off in the room and headed out take a look at the town.
Did you know that it's St. Patrick's Day on Monday? To be honest, it had kind of slipped my mind. Which is why I was surprised and confused by the closed-off streets and the sound of bagpipes, but the giant green novelty hats clued us in soon enough. We walked down along Market, against the direction of the parade so that we got a kind of speeded up version of it going by. It was indeed a parade, with marching bands and fire trucks and the mayor out of his car and walking, so as to prove he was a man of the people, especially those people who really believe that friendship means sharing, and a largely male adult cheerleading squad.
We stopped for lunch at Megan's favorite dim sum place downtown, the first of several intensely calorific meals of the weekend. We didn't really have any set plans for the rest of the afternoon, but since we were headed East we continued in that direction down to the Ferry Building, marveled at that onetime ordinary municipal structure turned-world's largest yuppie food court, then made a sharp left and walked along the Embarcadero to Pier 39. There we threaded our way through the tourist crowds, perused the shops with their goods of marvelous tackiness (since I gave Megan a hard enough time about her love of teh cute in our last adventure, I won't even mention about how we went into the Department 56 store, especially since she didn't buy anything) and stopped to greet the now world-famous sea lion colony, who I must say were shamelessly playing to the crowd.
Next: It's All Uphill From Here