We arrived in San Francisco last night and after a harrowing cab ride to our hotel (there were several cars and buses I'm still not sure how we avoided), we set out to get some dinner. After doing a little aimless walking, we settled on a very humble Thai place and had some great food. We then walked around Chinatown for a while and had fun exploring some of the shops there. Our hotel is directly across the street from the Chinatown gate. We did a pretty good job staying up late to try to switch our internal clocks to Pacific time and made it until 10:00 local time before crashing.
I do miss the kids, but getting to sleep in this morning was great! We had a lazy morning, reading the paper and enjoying some hotel coffee before heading out for some breakfast at the adjacent cafe. We decided to brave the rain and do some walking. We headed through Chinatown to the North Beach neighborhood. This neighborhood was home to the beat poets and has streets like Jack Kerouac Alley and Via Ferlinghetti and is now a pretty seedy area home to many cabarets and strip clubs. We spent some time in the City Lights Bookstore, owned by Ferlinghetti and one of the most political bookstores I've ever been in (with political viewpoints expressed on handmade signs in the windows). We then headed to the Embarcadero and the Piers for a little bit of tourist indulgence. We strolled around Pier 39 and saw the infamous sea lions before hopping on the trolley to dry out a little (drool a lot) at the Ferry Building. Olive oil, wine, salami, cheese, chocolate, gelato, fresh seafod - these are all wares in the quaint shops located in the Ferry Building. We purchased a few wares to enjoy for dinner and then headed back to the hotel. We are now drying out with some coffee and internet time.
I'm pretty much on my own for the next two days while James attends his conference. The weather is calling for rain those days, so I may hit a few museums and maybe do a little shopping. I think I'll also try to see Alcatraz before we head to Sonoma on Wednesday.
Here are a few pics from today. Nothing great, due to the rain and neglecting the settings (oops)...