Thursday, April 16, 2009

San Fran Day 4

Day 4, we purchased a three day pass to take the transit. Our hotel is so conveniently located that it's about a 2 block walk to the cable car turn around at Fisherman's wharf. We decided we would take the cable car downtown and we were going to attempt also to get to Nob Hill and find the Top of the Mark that the young fellow we met Day 2 told us about.

The Driver on the cable car was a trainee, and I think he was truly excited to get to drive this original cable car. He'd been driving regular buses in the residential area so this was new for him. He said there is so many more people. The car has two levers, one that engages the cable and the other that engages the brake...there is also a brake on the back I noticed on my last cable car trip that the conductor operates. It seems all very physical and mechanical. The driver was so friendly and answered all our questions. We jumped off the cable car right by Union Square. If someone was a real shopaholic, this place is their heaven. The selection of stores is amazing. Some I've only ever heard of in movies and media, being from the boonies.

Cable Car Driver

In the distance, we saw the gates to Chinatown and we suddenly had a destination. There was definitely lots to photograph here and we definitely enjoyed our walk.

We headed back down towards Union Square and the turnaround to take the cable car back and find the Top of the Mark. There were a couple of guys busking at the turnaround. They were dancing to a "Doors" song which seemed a bit bizarre. I never really thought of the doors as dance music. But they were working for their money. The one guy reminded me of Hayley's roommate Richard.

Cable cars are the greatest spot for meeting people, especially when you sit at the open end of the cable car, because someone always ends up standing on the edge beside you. And of course conversation starts. The conversation starter this time was the crankiness of the next driver. I said "wow our last driver was much nicer". The lady and her son holding on were laughing with us. We were going to exit at the cable car museum and go to the "Top of the Mark" but we got mixed up and we ended up staying on until we got to Lombard street, the crookedest street in the world. We're on vacation and I like that we can just play it all by ear. We'll try tomorrow for the "Top of the Mark"

This is a very cool spot and I wonder what the people who live here think of all the tourists walking past their houses constantly and the traffic. We were at the top so luckily we only had to walk down. From there we realized how close we were to the hotel so we headed back.

All I can say it's a good thing it doesn't snow here or get icy.

Today is our actual 30th anniversary, so we went back to Cellar 360 in Ghiradelli square and sat in the courtyard, and toasted 30 years with a glass of California wine. On our way to Ghiradelli Square on foot, we walked past the Turnaround, we watched as a cable car pulled in and the riders disembarked yelling thank you to the driver. Yes it was our friendly driver making more friends. It's people like this that make one's trip special, it isn't always just the place you go to see.
For dinner, we stopped at the Boudin Bistro which is in a big Sourdough factory overlooking the water. It was very nice and the service and food were excellent.

1 comment:

Hilary said...

It looks like such a wonderful, colourful city. Thanks for bring it to me.. and Happy Anniversary. :)