Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Short Trip to the Big City

The boys and I recently wanted to get out of the house so we decided to go to San Francisco. We ended up staying at this great historic hotel The Hotel Whitcomb that I found on It had a really impressive lobby, all marble and wood and fancy chandeliers. It was right by a BART station, a streetcar stop, a bu stop and lots of walkable stuff too. We were going to experiment with being car-less in a big city.

The historic streetcars were a lot of fun, kind of retro looking, but still very functional. Apparently they are from other cities which is kind of nice. There's Zach, in a single seat, pretending he didn't know us. Standard teenager behavior I know. Good thing he didn't know I was taking a picture.
We had really beautiful weather, which was nice since we spent most of the time outdoors. It wasn't too hot or cold or foggy or windy, perfect!
This is a street scene of the Hearst Building and a Muni bus and lots of pedestrians. I decided to not be embarrassed about taking touristy pictures, because hey! I'm a tourist...
The first night the boys requested seafood, so we went out to Fisherman's Wharf around sunset and ended up eating at the Franciscan Crab Restaurant.
It was beautiful, we could see Alcatraz, one of the ferries, the sunset, lots of shipping traffic and sailboats zipping around.
They had some really interesting art glass and this very cool mermaid lantern.
Even the silverware was cool with a fishy shape to it.
I like taking pictures of neon when it isn't quite full dark.
This was always my favorite sign in San Francisco as a kid. I don't know if we ate here, but I remembered I liked how the #9 shimmered and moved.
The Musee Mecanique moved from the Cliff House out here to the Fisherman's Wharf area, so we got to check out all the cool old coin-op games and music devices. Including the terrifying Laughing Sal and the most worried fortune-telling wizard you've ever seen.Back in the hotel, I pointed out the mail slot right outside our door and explained how it all worked (forgot to take a picture of the beautiful and ornate drop box down in the lobby!), so we mailed ourselves a letter on hotel stationery to prove that it still worked. Alex thought it was A#1 Thumbs Up!The room was smallish, and the ceiling was quite high, which is about normal for an older hotel.The hallway was really cool with lots of wood and many mirrors.
One of the main reasons we went to San Francisco was to go see the Treasures of King Tut exhibit at the DeYoung Museum out in Golden Gate Park. No photos were allowed of course, so we went up in the new tower and took some panoramic shots.

Right across the way is the amazing California Academy of Sciences which I posted about when we visited last year. We really need to go back soon!

You could walk right into the corner of the windows as you see Zach doing here.

It really is quite a view from up there.

The size of Golden Gate Park always amazes me, right there plopped in the middle of a big bustling city.

An enforced brotherly shot with the Beethoven statue in the park.
It really is a beautiful city with so much to see and do, I always feel energized from being there, but super exhausted too. It is different being in a big city when you're used to the rural life. So many people, and so much noise.

Here is the City Hall dome surrounded by the electric bus lines.

This picture cracks me up so much. I told them this should be their album cover photo or at least on the liner notes. I may even use it for our holiday card! I love how they are sharing their ipod headphones.
Poor Alex tripped and cracked his elbow so we bought a scarf at Goodwill and he wore a colorful sling.

One of the last things we did was to take a bus ride down to the Mission District to check out a really neat world music store Lark in the Morning, which we discovered had moved there across town. Zach fell in love with and almost bought a dobro. We popped into a fish market store and checked out what all was on offer, saw some fish I'd never heard of.
I'll leave you here with this last picture of a whole bunch of craw fish in a beautiful orange bucket.


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

OH the MEMORIES!!!! Dad was stationed at the Presidio, so a lot of the places you went were places I had been years ago. I swear I remember the coin operated fortune teller and wizard. The Wharf, Golden Gate Park, on and on......and finishing off with the bucket of crawfish is either wonderful or mean---FRESH CRAWFISH!!! YUM!
Nice memories....sigh.......

Lunaea said...

Oh good, I'm glad you all got to go to a Lark in the Morning store. They are so very cool. I have just one thing to say about that photo of the hotel hallway: REDRUM!!! *hee*

Jaye said...

They definitely should use that photo of the two of them on the bus as an album cover. It is great! At the very least, you should frame it and put it on your wall of fame.