there were lots of flowers, i just didn't accessorize with them.
but we DID go to san francisco.
(i tell you ... i didn't travel much growing up. rode on a plane, like, twice. then we got married and STILL didn't travel much. more, but not much. then, in the past five or six years? crazy travel opportunities. so grateful for that.)
marc's company summit was in san fran last week, so he knew he would be gone for five days. about two months ago he said, "are your parents planning to come for easter? if they do, think you'd want to meet me in san francisco while they stay with the kids?"
so that's what i did. he left monday morning, my parents arrived thursday evening, and i flew out friday morning for the weekend. it was a whirlwind, so we packed in as much fun as possible.
when i got there on friday, i met marc at the hotel (the ritz carlton ... thanks, red hat!) and we walked to a little cafe for lunch. from there, we walked downhill to union square to grab a cable car for a ride back UP the hill. at that point, we took a cab to the wharf to walk around, and somehow found ourselves buying tickets to take a rocket boat ride. it had the potential to be really cheese or really awesome.
it was really awesome.
(photo was pre-awesomeness.)
the boat company calls it a "bay tour," but that's a lie. what it is is a boat with 4,000 horsepower, let loose to essentially do donuts in the parking lot that is the bay. 30 minutes of donuts. and wake jumping, and hockey stops. then a really fast run back to the dock.
and this is all done to a loud soundtrack of bon jovi, ac/dc, metallica, pearl jam, the chili peppers.
again, awesome. we loved it.
once back at the wharf, wandering recommenced. we walked out to the pier where all of the sea lions gather ...
then popped into a few shops, including this one ...
which i knew would make my kids very jealous. so of course i texted a photo of it to henry. because i'm mean. he responded immediately:
sadly (for them), we walked away empty handed.
it was then dinnertime, so we headed to a lovely-sounding restaurant, butterfly, and had some of the yummiest apps ever. eh.ver. specifically, the smoked salmon strawberry salad rolls and the trio of spoons sampler, with bites of tuna poke with wasabi, heirloom cherry tomatoes with ricotta, and bacon dates.
we sat at a community table and made friends with a gentlemen visiting from seattle. we became buds.
then it was time to head back to the hotel. where we forced ourselves to get dessert.
saturday morning, we packed up and headed out to the marriott at the wharf (because the weekend was on our dime), then walked down to the water to wait for my friend ann and her husband to meet us for lunch.
we were early, and killed time by watching the fishing boats clean their catch and throw bits overboard to a waiting sea lion.
we met ann and craig at scoma's for really yummy seafood, and hung out for two hours ... just chatting and having a great time. after lunch, we wandered a few blocks to the boudin bakery to smell the bread. at that point, ann and craig had to head home, so marc and i wandered through the boudin museum and learned the history behind their bakery. (fascinating, actually.)
from there, we just kept wandering. having zero agenda or schedule, and no kids whose whims we needed to keep in mind, was really a lovely thing. we walked to ghiradelli, got cupcakes at kara's cupcakes, then walked down to aquatic park to watch the fog roll in and chat with a hippie who was out for a swim.
after a few hours of wandering, we took a cab to a sushi place marc's co-worker recommended, ozumo. again: yum. especially, the dohyo, which was a tower of spicy tuna tartare, avocado, cucumber, edamame and tobiko on a puddle of ponzu and wasabi oil, with wonton crisps; japanese chips & dip, if you will. we ended up needing two of those.
the restaurant was right across from the bay bridge, so we took a little walk along the water before grabbing a cab back to the room for the night.
sunday was our "tourist" day. we had tickets for the big bus tour, which we also did in dc, and planned to ride it around the city, and disembark in a few places if they caught our fancy. we started out riding around the wharf, then into the city, through various neighborhoods, out to the golden gate bridge, and back again.
the bus picked us up across the street from the gates to chinatown ...
points of interest: 1) look up. the network of cables for all of the busses is really interesting and impressive.
2) next time, i want to go up coit tower. i've seen three slightly different versions of its history ... regardless of which is accurate, it's a neat tower!
3) san fran has really weird trees. these are all over, and they are so, so strange.
the only stop that was a *must* for me was alamo square, so i could see the famous "painted ladies." i was feeling pretty optimistic when we got off the bus and were greeted by a block-long, wall-high mosaic, which included a swimmer ...
however, the "painted ladies"? i thought there would be more to it. like ... a block or two of fabulous victorians surrounding this lovely park. it was a lovely park, but there were only, like, five houses that i would consider "fame-worthy." and even then ... meh. if we'd had more time (and i didn't have a blister on my foot), maybe more were out there to discover. still, the ones we saw were quite charming.
we hopped back on the bus and it headed to the golden gate bridge.
then back to the city, where we got off the bus and grabbed a cab to the alcatraz ferry pier for our ride to the rock.
lovely on the outside ... creepy and sad on the inside.
i can't imagine being imprisoned out there, with glimpses of life going on a mere mile and a half away.
after alcatraz, we had yet another incredible meal - amber india ... the butter chicken was the best butter chicken i've ever had ever - then called it a night.
during all of our running around over two and a half days, we were taken right by lombard street a total of three times. and we couldn't see it three times. so monday morning, i google mapped to see where the world's curviest road was ... it was four blocks from our hotel. so that became the pre-flight home plan. we walked three blocks to a coffee shop, then another two blocks - straight up - to get to lombard.
i'm not kidding about "straight up": if marc had stood up straight, he would have tumbled backward down the sidewalk.
so we took our time climbing. we "enjoyed the view." (ie went really slowly because we're woefully out of shape.)
eventually, we got to the top.
and then that was that. we flew home.
quick, but amazing.
big thanks to my parents for being with the kiddos so we could get this time away. it was appreciated and enjoyed on every level.