23-25 September: San Francisco – a brief love affair

Author: Mr A

Location: San Fransisco, California, USA

Sunday: From the moment we left the airport after dumping our car, we started to fall in love with this city. Our cab driver was so polite and helpful, our apartment right down at Fishermans Wharf was great (so lucky to get something in this location so reasonable), this city felt good!Our first night was spent at a beautiful Italian seafood restaurant courtesy of another member of Catherine’s sub-glottic stenosis support group and her husband, Lynne and Ron, and what a great vibe down on the wharf. We could get used to this!

Monday: We headed out to explore, with the traditional early morning mist clearing to reveal a sparkling harbour that we walked along for miles before heading off for a power shop. Some browsing around the shops later we headed off on a tram across town to a discount shoe outlet, even the conductor wouldn’t take our money! It was quite an experience travelling up and down San Fransisco’s incredibly steep hills.Lots of shoe bargains later, we walked back to the bay and hit an oyster bar – wow there’s some big fellas here and a very different flavour from what we’re used to in the Southern Hemisphere.

What a superb market down on the wharf, you could spend some serious coin in the delis here. We just brought some soft cream sheep cheese and headed back to taste test the wine we had been given made by the talented Joe – a Duke’s Folly Pinot – so smooth and just set off the tart cheese wonderfully.Dinner was an early affair (Catherine is feeling pretty beat with her airway so closed at the moment, and we had clocked up just under 12km (7.5 miles) on foot!). We had booked a Korean restaurant just down the road from our apartment and once again had some awesome food. California really has not disappointed.

Tuesday: Another misty start but we headed out to walk up to the Golden Gate Bridge, which was almost completely hidden until we reached it and magically the fog lifted and there it (mostly) was! This city is being so kind to us. I think she knows we have fallen in love.The dog walkers were out in force, although this guy seemed to have his own pack very well trained.A big walk back along the bayside and a lunch in the sun – I had been hanging for a crab chowder in a bread roll – and I got it! Sadly no dairy free version of that creamy number for Mrs A.Off we marched again and caught the ferry over to Alcatraz for a superbly produced audio tour. Thanks to our Napa friends, Susan and Joe, who encouraged us to book the trip – it is not usually our thing to hang out in the crowds but this was great. I wonder how many of the 1 million visitors a year have sworn off a life of crime after seeing this place?Now I have to admit we then committed a major faux pas for travellers and went back to the same Korean for dinner. Please forgive us, but we had seen another dish on the menu we both wanted and just couldn’t resist. We were home by 6.30pm (16km (10 miles) of walking under our belts today) and packed up ready for our early getaway tomorrow to Chicago. Wild things no longer.

San Fran – it was a brief dalliance, but we loved your vibe.

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