Friday, March 19, 2010
We had a great trip to San Francisco for St Patrick's Day! We drove out the night before. We stopped in San Jose to visit the Winchester Mansion, which is a strange place. The owner was the heiress of the Winchester (rifle) fortune in the late 19th century. She believed the ghosts of the people killed by the Winchester rifle were haunting her and she built a crazy house to confuse the ghosts. It had doors that lead to nowhere, stairs that went to the ceiling, and lots of references to the number "13".
We went to downtown San Francisco on St Pat's Day. We took Bart (sort of a part subway, part monorail public transit system) into town. We wanted to see the parade but it turned out they had already had the parade on Saturday. We wandered Market Street, visited a Dr Suess art gallery, stopped at several city parks, and then rode a cable car to Pier 39. Pier 39 was a circus of restaurants, gift shops, and many many tourists. We got some famous San Francisco sourdough and salt water taffy. Wow, that's some good taffy! We could see Alcatraz Island from the pier.
Next we visited a beautiful Japanese garden and walked through China Town and Little Italy. We ate dinner at a German restaurant. The German beer was amazing! Visiting SF required miles and miles of walking up and down very steep sidewalks. By the end of the day our feet were very sore!
The next day we decided not to walk so much. We drove over the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge and around the Bay area. We also drove down Lombard which is the curviest street in the world! It has 8 switchbacks that navigate a 27% grade! Even the Jeep's wheels were squeaking around those corners. We ate dinner with our host, Clint, at his great apartment and watched the sun set over the Pacific.
San Francisco is an amazing city with lots of interesting shops and restaurants. We enjoyed visiting the city!