As I mentioned in my last post, I spent last weekend visiting family in San Francisco. We had a wonderful time exploring Alcatraz on Friday, but when I woke up early to this view on Saturday:
...it was tough to go back to sleep. What you can't see in the picture above is that those clouds were actually clearing out and we were in for a beautiful day.
We visited with John again in the morning and then had breakfast at Cafe Flore in the Castro, which was amazing. Luckily, I was able to get my bacon fix since I was missing Sacramento's first Bacon Fest. Then Rod drove us around to see the sights.
We went to Twin Peaks:
Then we drove up to a turn out in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which offered spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge:
We spent the afternoon in Sausalito just taking in the sights and window shopping. We also visited the Bay Model Visitors Center, which houses a working hydraulic model of the bay and our delta systems. It's pretty incredible if you're a little bit of a nerd like me.
When we had finished learning all about California's water and land-use issues, we headed back to San Francisco. We needed a little something to eat so we decided on this hole in the wall:
Heh. I kid. There was a line out the door and the place was packed. BUT...and it's a big but...it was so damn worth it. We enjoyed every bite.
Then, since I'm an awful Californian and had never been on a cable car in San Francisco (at least not that I recall), we decided to catch a ride.
This turned out to be the worst tourist experience. Ever.
I love tourist traps...really...I do. When we went to Boston, I couldn't wait to eat and drink at Cheers. When we went to Yellowstone, I couldn't stop taking pictures of the bison, as though I'd never seen one before. During my second trip to Montana, I was super pumped to head to Philipsburg to go sapphire mining. I'm telling you, I'm ALWAYS game and I usually thoroughly enjoy myself.
But cable cars in San Francisco...never again. We waited in line for over an hour as we watched several empty cars leave the stop. We learned later that they were having mechanical issues, but at the time no one could tell us anything...not the car operators, not the man in the booth where we had already purchased tickets...no one. Once we finally got on one of the cars, we were packed in like sardines. THEN the car operator decided to take our tickets/cash. No joke. The tall, burly man squeezed through the car from the front to the back AFTER everyone was on board. Ridiculous.
Then he stood outside of the car for 10 minutes counting the cash. When people on the car started to get upset, the operator loudly (and aggressively, if you ask me) explained that there had been mechanical problems and that we shouldn't be upset with them because they're just following orders. Mind you, this was the first time we were hearing anything about mechanical problems.
The ride was fine, although there were several times when the car had to reverse and almost get a running start to get back on the tracks and make it up a hill. I can understand mechanical issues. They happen. What I can't understand is crappy customer service in one of the most visited cities in the country. Ugh.
Luckily, we wrapped up the day with another great meal with lovely company to get our minds off the bumpy cable car ride.
The next morning, we visited John one more time, had a quick breakfast and were on our way. I was lucky to be heading out of the city that day. The traffic heading into the city for the play-off game was insane. Any 49ers fans reading this? Bummer about that loss...better luck next time.
You can check out more of my San Francisco photos over on Flickr.