We started our visit on Saturday with a stroll around Union Square, which was where we stayed, and into Chinatown. Unfortunately, I don't have photos because they are on the OnlyChild's camera and she hasn't uploaded them to my computer yet.
On Sunday we went to Alcatraz. Now that is something not to be missed. If you find yourself in SF, you absolutely must go to the Rock. Here I am on the ferry on the way over. It was extremely windy and cold. In fact, the cold temperatures all week surprised me - I had to buy a sweater!
We took the audio tour, which explained how the prison was organized and shared stories of some of the more famous inmates - Al Capone, Alvin "Creepy" Karpis (a Canadian), the "Birdman". Afterwards, we explored Pier 39 at Fisherman's Wharf. Very touristy, but lots of fun.
Look at all the sea lions. They were just lazing about at the pier. There were over 300 of them the day we were there!
I met a long-lost relative!
On our last night, we went to Alioto's for dinner. Stacy recommended this restaurant and it was a great choice. I had halibut - it practically melted in my mouth. Alioto's also had probably the best service of any place we went while we were in SF.
On Monday, I dragged a very reluctant Mr. P and OnlyChild to the Mission District. I wanted to go to 826 Valencia. You will understand my fascination with this place if you watch this video.
The front of the building houses a Pirate Store. The back of the building is a writing/tutoring centre. In the course I'm taking right now, one of our assignments involved watching this video. I was so excited to actually get to visit the place. But, alas, I didn't talk to anyone there. It was too busy, I was too shy, and it was lunch time.
This is one of the landmarks - fishnet-stocking clad legs above a very gaudy lingerie store (that mostly caters to cross-dressers, from what I saw).
We had supper at Lori's Diner, a San Francisco institution. There must be 7 or 8 of these restaurants in the city. Very good 'malt shop' type food.
On Tuesday we took the bus to Ferry Plaza for the Farmers' Market. There's also an arts and crafts market there daily. While we were there, an episode of a new television show, Trauma, was being filmed. We weren't even able to get to most of the booths because they were performing a stunt. We did see the stunt, though. Can you believe I didn't take any photos?
Sausalito is so beautiful. It's a little upscale community with lots of boutiques and art galleries. We didn't buy anything, but we did enjoy a lovely lunch at a waterside restaurant.
Yesterday morning, our last day in SF, the OnlyChild and I went to the SF MoMA (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art). We love museums! We went to the MoMA in New York City last summer and were very much looking forward to seeing San Francisco's version. This one was incredible. One of their permanent exhibits is a collection of photographs by Robert Frank. You have to look him up. I was so impressed that I bought a book of his photos!
They also had two limited exhibitions - Richard Alvedon (wonderful photographer also) and a combined exhibit of Georgia O'Keefe and Ansel Adams. I'm not a fan of either of them, but I have to admit it was a clever pairing of the two. It worked.
This one is "Kind mit Pudeln" (Child with Poodles) by Katharina Fritsch - 224 poodle sculptures in tight circles around a child lying on a gold star. Of course, there is also a message behind this work.
And then it was time to check out of the hotel (they allowed us to stay until 2:00 pm) and head to the airport. Sad to leave... but good to be heading home! I missed Abby, Derby and Rex, and I missed sleeping in my own bed.
We bought a couple of books at Alcatraz, too. Mr. P is fascinated with Al Capone (and gangsters in general - must be a guy thing). The book on the left was written by a woman who lived on Alcatraz as a child. Her father was a guard. She was at the store to do a book signing, so we chatted with her for about 10 minutes and she signed our book. She had some very interesting stories to tell!
I thought this sign would be good for my office at school. You know, to remind the kids why they are there. I think you can click on the picture to read the magnets. These are based on the Alcatraz Rule Book.
When we were at Ferry Plaza, we picked up a few of these pictures from an artist named John Turin. He was actually painting them while we were there. John is originally from New Zealand but now makes his home in SF. I doubt he has a website, but if you're ever in SF, look for him. His watercolour pictures are so sweet.
Of course we bought chocolate from the Ghirardelli store. We also picked up a few souvenir items for gifts. But I think most of our money was spent on food!
It was a fun trip. Thank you to Stacy for all the advice on what to do and where to go. That's one of the beautiful things about blogland - meeting people from all over! Stacy was so much better than the guide book I bought. Oh, and Stacy, I walked right by ImagiKnits and didn't go in. I know, I know... but that was the day I dragged the family blocks and blocks to go to 826 Valencia and I didn't want to push my luck. Next time...