Saturday, August 8, 2009

Day 7: Friday July 31st, 2009

San Francisco

We tried to start off our day eating breakfast at the popular spot, Dottie’s, but a line down the street convinced us to try the Olympic Flame Café instead, which offered a nice meal as well. During the meal I noticed a phenomenon where if there’s a TV at a restaurant I’m compelled to watch it, even if it doesn’t contain something I’m interested in. At home I’m not a big TV watcher, but there I was eating my scrambled eggs and watching none other than The Martha Stewart Show with Joan Rivers as the guest.

Then we drove down the Golden Gate Bridge, which was awesome, except for the $6 toll you have to pay on the way back. But anyway, just past the bridge are the Marin Headlands, which offers a great view of the bridge. We took several photos there.

Following that, we went to North Beach again and Vince got coffee at Caffé Trieste, the spot where Francis Ford Coppola wrote much of the screenplay for The Godfather. Pretty neat place. We then walked through Chinatown, which is pretty cool, but we mostly just walked right through it. And then we made our way to the Coit Tower, but didn’t go up it, because it cost money, and it wasn’t that intriguing to us.

But man, walking was hell. It’s San Francisco, so incredibly steep streets are everywhere. My legs and feet were killing me. Perhaps I should’ve engaged in months of training like I did before my hiking trip with the Boy Scouts to Philmont (in New Mexico) in 2001.

Despite my legs begging me to stop, we went over to the Mission District again and checked out a few more bookstores. While there we were stopped by an enthusiastic girl trying to get Vince and me to sign up for Greenpeace. That’s what we get for both wearing green coats. We said we’d check out their website and consider joining after that (okay, so I lied, I’m sorry!) and parted ways.

We spent a long time trying to find a Mexican restaurant for dinner. Finally we found a place called Taquero. After two years of Spanish in college, I’m still not that good at it, but I believe that translates to “frequent bathroom visits.” The food tasted great, but my night was spent in a revolving door of bathroom visits, and taking two shots of Pepto Bismol. That’s something I learned from Boy Scouts – be prepared. Or more specifically, be prepared for what may come of eating a large burrito.

We ate the food in our hotel room and then around 7:00 I drove Vince to a nearby BART Station so he could take the public transit system to Berkeley to see one of his all-time favorite bands, the Mother Hips, play at the Starry Plough Pub. A lot of the trip had been planned around this event. The Mother Hips fall into a lot of genres, but if I had to classify them I’d say Americana with Alt-Country, Rock, and more. The band broke up a few years ago, but has been playing some shows mainly in California the last couple years, so Vince hadn’t had a chance to see them.

While Vince was at the concert I hung out in our hotel room, engaged in the revolving-door thing I was talking about earlier, read, and relaxed. It was nice to get off my feet. I watched a video online of comedian Jimmy Carr’s performance on Conan from a couple days before. This was the comedian Vince and I saw in Hollywood on Monday. I recognized all the jokes.

Around 1:00 I picked up Vince who was full of enthusiasm after a great sold-out concert. He got his photo with three of the band members who were blown away he had come so far to see them.

This basically concluded our stay in San Francisco. Sometimes it just felt too busy and crowded for what I prefer. Walking was extremely strenuous and driving could be a nightmare. Still, like Los Angeles, I felt like I got pretty good at driving it after a couple days. I started to understand more how everything was laid out. So while it was not my favorite of the trip, I still enjoyed it.

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