Tuesday, July 28, 2009

If you're going to San Francisco...

...be sure to bring a cardigan or twenty.  Forget what the song says about wearing some flowers in your hair.  This was our third time to San Fran but the last trip was something like 8 years ago and I don't know how, but I had forgotten just how chilly this city can be, even in the dead of summer.

However, the sun was out and the sky was blue so we made our way outside to explore a bit.

At the top of the curvy bit of Lombard Street...

Tudor architecture, San Francisco stylie!

Francisco Street, bishes!  (Cut me some slack.  It was a travel day.)

To Pier 39 to visit the Sea Lions...

And for dinner, an old fave of ours - Tadich Grill. "The Original Cold Day Restaurant" is the oldest eatery in San Francisco (some sources say the oldest in California) and they serve up some mean clam chowder and seafood casseroles.  I'm warning you now though.  You will straight up need to be rolled out of here when you're done.  Going to Tadich is like stepping back in time.  The servers are all career waiters and most have been there for YEARS.  They all wear white lab-type jackets and white aprons and give you a hard time if you order anything but whiskey or a vodka tonic.

Jason saw the Grubstake on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives on Food Network so we had to go for breakfast on Sunday morning.  I ordered the Mountain Man (eggs and ham scrambled together, hashbrowns and sourdough toast) just so I could say "I'll have the Mountain Man, please!"

Half of the place - the half on the other side of those little green windows - is an old rail car (part of the train line that served between Berkley, Oakland, and San Fran) that was put out of commission once the Bay Bridge was built.  You can see the rail car bit sticking out the front in the photo above.

And after attempting to see the Golden Gate bridge (no go - despite the blue skies over the whole rest of the city, a line of heavy fog hung smack over the bridge, taunting us), we ended up walking around a bit and lo and behold we saw something here we'd never seen before.  Apparently, this is the Exploratorium - a museum of science and human perception.  To which I said "Hellnothankyouverymuch, no f-ing way am I going in there".  But it's lovely to look at.

After enjoying the outside of the Exploratorium, we made our way to Alamo Square.  People, this is very hallowed ground.  Can you feel the spirit of DJ Tanner?  "Whatever happened to predictability?  The milk man, the paperboy and evening tv?"

Sunday night was the most random night of my life.  And I mean that.  Very seriously.  We had heard about this place called Supper Club and though we weren't really keen to have a meal there, we did want to at least go by for a drink.  We knew it was a very high concept sort of place, but we weren't exactly prepared for just how high.  We walk in and there are no tables - only beds.  Okay, fine.  I'll play along.  

After we situate ourselves on our assigned bed, we notice a middle-aged gay man in a sparkly blue full-body bunny outfit and 8-inch clear platform heels lounging on people's beds and generally mingling about.  I was so dreading him coming to our bed to chat but shockingly, when he did, he was well...kind of...normal-ish.  Which, if I'm honest, made the whole thing even weirder.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't you sort of expect the middle-aged gay man in a sparkly blue full-body bunny outfit and 8-inch clear platform heels to be a little kooky, if not full on bat shit crazy?

Then we tried to go to Cafe du Nord to hear an awesome jazz singer (who, by the by, was actually performing a repertoire of Patsy Cline numbers that evening) but were thwarted because I forgot to shove my ID into my sickly awesome Michael Kors studded clutch and no matter how hard we tried to convince the door guy that "Come on!  We're OLD!  Can't you tell how OLD we are???  Pleeeeeeeease????  We're practically FORTY, man!!!" it was a no-go.  The man was a rock...and indifferent to our pleas.  

So somehow, we ended up at a dive bar in Chinatown called the Li Po Lounge.  Maybe they call it that because you want to Leap-o out the window once you get there.  However, they are apparently known to have the best Mai Tai in the city of San Francisco so that's something...  It's also "something" that they serve it to you in a plastic beer cup.  (In all fairness, the Mai Tai was pretty awesome.  I mean, it was my first Mai Tai ever so I have no frame of comparison but still...yum.)

To cap off the most random evening of my life, we made a late night Jack in the Box run.  I can't even begin to discuss how weird this got but here's what I will say:  An old woman came in begging for money and made a little boy run out crying because she lifted her shirt to show some sort of open wound in an effort to garner sympathy.  And I'm done with that story now.

Monday morning, we got out and picked up our rental car and made our way north towards our base for the week - Sonoma.  How exciting!  We get to go over the Golden Gate bridge!  Another chance to get my shot!  Erm... right...  Not. So. Much.

So, I'm going to cut out here and bring you part two of this adventure a little later...  I do love a good cliffhanger.


Well That's a Good Scottish Name... said...

Looks just like being here in the UK right now! Fog, rain, some sun but mostly days requiring cardigans at the moment....oh summer where did you go?

Caitlin said...

Love the Full House reference. Don't love that the song is stuck in my head now!

Alice said...

Love San Fran! And anxiously awaiting part two of your story...although in all fairness, I'm a sucker for any story involving wine. :)

Jessi said...

Can't wait to hear about Sonoma and where you stayed. We stayed in Napa last time we were out there and would like to stay in Sonoma or the RR valley.

MrsBlueberry said...

So jealous of your trip! We honeymooned in SF and Napa and I am dying to go back.