yeah, we did all this in about 24 hours...
as soon as we were checked in, kat and I took off on a brisk 3 mile walk up and down the hills. trying to get to swan's oyster depot before they close at 5:30. they're closed the whole week of july 4th...
we stayed at the Sir Francis Drake, a Kimpton Hotel. I remembered that Kimpton usually hosts a free wine social hour. We have a friend that works near, he stopped by to join us.
we found TV celebrity chef Tim Nugent working a Hula-hoop at the social hour. he offered to take our pic with my iphone, WHILE HULA HOOPING!
nice try chef! maybe hula hoops and steady hand photography don't mix well? show us what you can do in the kitchen while hula-hooping, there's a new reality show for ya: Top Chef, Hula-Hoop Challenge.
we grabbed a snack at Scala's Bistro at the hotel to feed the kids. the squash blossom pizza with truffle oil was pretty good! and, we got oysters!
kat and I stepped down the street to E&O Asian Kitchen. We got Oysters!
we closed the night at the starlight room, managed a few moves... but the trip was starting to slow us down. that, and two V&T set us back $25.
#2 son was anxious to hit the streetcar early the next morning. he'd noticed them just out front of the hotel the day prior. he'd yelled "WHAT'S THAT!? I WANT TO RIDE IT"
and so we did.
we finally caught a streetcar, then it lost the cable. they had to roll downhill to re-connect.
this guy was fun. he played around and joked with everybody, especially the kids.
golden gate bridge peaking out above the fog in the distance.
streetcar ride, CHECK!
saw the golden gate bridge, CHECK!
Fisherman's Wharf: CHECK!
around noon, we were in the middle of Fisherman's Wharf. that place is a tourist trap. it was crowded and loud. kat had to take a work conference call. we finally found an alley where she could take the call. the kids and I stood on the street and waited, 5, 10, 15 minutes. the boys started to melt down. one was bawling, "he punched me in the stomach". I asked why? "he punched me in the balls!"... I paused and issued the bad news to #2 son. "You can't knock somebody in the nads and expect to NOT be punched in the stomach". these kids needed some food. I used yelp to steer us away from the fishy tourist traps (most have two stars and 3 $ signs down there)
what are the odds. I was walking into Fog Harbor Fish co when this girl complimented me on my jacket. the guy next to her said "I was JUST going to say that!" then she pulled back her hair to show that she had the same symbols as my shoulders, tattooed behind her ears. my right shoulder matched her right ear, my left should matched the symbol behind her left ear. it was my DESTINY, to dine at the Fog Harbor Fish Co.
Fog Harbor Fish Co. this place saved the day! we LOVEd it. great food, great location, friendly staff... and that $8 blue cheese garlic bread got the kids smiling again.
one hour later, kat came out of her alley! she joined us at the Fog Island Fish Co, and we had oysters!
then we walked from pier 39 to pier 1, and then ferry building.
Hog Island Oyster Co, We had oysters!
we decided we'd had enough. we walked for miles, and had a long walk back to union square to get the car and head out of SF. it was not to be.
about 30 minutes into the walk, #2 son announces he needs to go potty, NOW. we were in the financial district and didn't know where to turn. then, we spotted this tight alley filled with umbrellas and tiny tables. a quick witted hostess asked "would you like to join us for happy hour, we have $1 oysters"
they treated us real well at the Belden Taverna
we had oysters!
the daughter found none of this oyster and happy hour business amusing at all. she just wanted to get some sleep. the boys were still going strong.
we stumbled through chinatown on the way back to the parking garage. we'd been trying to buy the daughter something for her birthday. she never wants us to spend any $ on her. she'd refused every offer. those boys always want lemonade, the daughter always orders water to save us money. I think kat finally talked her into a scarf, the boys took the opportunity to get scarves in chinatown as well... I stood outside. those shops are too cramped for me.
we're proud of these kids. they walked nearly five miles this last day of vacation, and some of those roads in san francisco have a bit of an incline to them...
we spent our last night near SFO. some friends met us for Szechuan food. I ordered our beer in mandarin. yeah, I can do that.
Yi Yuan Szechaun had great food with many selections I'd not seen before. the service sucked, that that is sort of the norm in real chinese restaurants. you end up waiting and waiting to pay for the food you ate. it helps if you stand up and make things happen. they will eventually take your $. don't worry about all those tables that need bussing.
twisted chicken! this was a new one for me.
kat said my mapo tofu is better than theirs, I'd have to agree. theirs was good, but mine is much spicier.
and then, on the 4th of july, we flew home. virgin now has direct flights sfo-aus. the plane was comfy and the seat prices are good! something to think about...