joe from chicago arrived on September 23 for six days in Northern California, so here's my "record" of the activities on the 23rd and 24th.
On my drive to the San Francisco International Airport (SFO), I got on my cellphone and called georgeob to find out if he would be available to meet with us, and he said that evening would be good. My immediate problem was I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt, expecting to pickup joe, and returning to Sunnyvale where we had planned for him to stay the first night. So the first thing we did after his arrival on the 23rd at SFO at noon, we drove into San Francisco and visited the new California Academy of Sciences Museum in Golden Gate Park. After finding the parking garage (after making far away detours), we went to the museum cafe and had gumbo for lunch. The first thing I wanted to show joe was the show at the Planetarium; an amazing film that begins at the museum, moving onto the roof planted with native plants, then flying off to the Galapagos Islands, and eventually going to the moon and the cosmos. From there, we walked across the concourse to the DeYoung Museum to take the elevator to the ninth floor to get a 360 degree view of the city. We couldn't see too much because of the fog. From there, we drove to downtown where I went to Macy's to purchase a trouser and shirt. That was followed by a driving tour of the waterfront area from Market Street to Fisherman's Wharf. We stopped at Fisherman's Wharf for a short walk, and found ourselves at an arcade full of antique, coin-operated games. The big surprise for me was the fact that they have the Laughing Lady from Playland At The Beach (closed many decades ago) there. joe inserted .50c to listen to her familiar infectious laughing which puts a smile on anybody. I saw some of those old games I used to play in my youth such as baseball, knock out, player piano, but the place had about 100 games most of which looked familiar. The place has a French name, and it was complete nostalgia for an old foggie me!
From there, we drove to the St Francis Yacht Club. We were about a half hour early, so we stopped at the bar to have a drink, but since it's a membership club, you have to have a number to purchase drinks there. I went to the reception and asked for a number, but I could only tell them that we were guests of georgeob, and I was able to purchase a cash card that was accepted at the bar, so we were able to have our drink. About 20-minutes later, georgeob walked into the bar. After a short while, we walked upstairs to the dining room, and were seated on the Golden Gate Bridge side a couple of tables away from the window, but still with a good view of the bridge overcast with fog - close to sunset.
george and I enjoyed the prime rib and joe enjoyed a fish entree. The prime rib was huge, so I wasn't able to finish the whole thing, but was able to have sherbet for desert. george and I enjoyed the cab while joe enjoyed a white wine that george claims is one of the best chardonnay.
We discussed many subjects including politics, wars, energy, and of coarse about the personalities on a2k. It was a full and satisfying evening enjoying good company and food - again thanks to george for hosting us.
After we said our goodbyes, we took the Presidio Drive/19th Avenue drive towards home on hwy 280, arriving home at about 11PM.
The following morning, we were up by 7AM, and after a short chat with my wife, joe and I went for breakfast at a local restaurant. From there, we visited Santana Row, a famous shopping/restaurant street in San Jose. After our walk, we drove across the street to visit the Winchester Mystery House, and took their famous tour.
Some of the facts about the Sarah Winchester Mystery House are;
Number of rooms: 160; cost $5,500,000; construction was 38 continuous years from 1884 till 1922; it once had 7 stores until the 1906 earthquake, but now has only 4; Mrs Winchester was very creative for her time, and she had steam, forced air, fireplaces, and a hot and cold running shower; 47 fireplaces; 467 doorways; 40 staircases, many with 13 steps (good luck number for Mrs Wincheser), but many of the staircases were very narrow to prevent Mrs Winchester from falling to injure herself (she suffered from artheritis); and it takes over 20,o00 gallons to paint the whole house. There's a collection of stained glass windows which includes a Tiffany.
From there, we drove home to pick up joe's luggage, and to proceed towards the city. We drove to his hotel to get him checked in, and from there we proceeded to J-town for lunch. After lunch, we drove to the Legion of Honor where they have a huge collection of Rodan sculptures, and paintings from the Baroque and Impressionists periods. After a short visit at the Holocaust Memorial, we drove to the Cliff House for drinks and a light dinner of fried calamari, crabcakes, and steamed clams.
joe had to return to his hotel for a change from shorts to long pans, and to get his jacket. We arrived at the AT&T Park a little late, because we couldn't find the parking garage on Brannan Street that I originally wanted to park at located only a couple of blocks away from the ballpark, but ended up following another car into a parking garage.
The ballgame was a very good one, because by the 8th inning, the Giants were ahead by one run, but on the top of the 9th, the cubs got two runs after it was two outs and two strikes, but Baker's HR pretty much ended the game for the Cubs.
We followed the crowd out of the park, but we had difficulty finding the parking garage where we had left our car, and they told us they would be closing one hour after the end of the game. We were getting a bit frantic after we walked about eight blocks not seeing anything that resembled the area where we parked the car, so joe suggested we back-track from the front of the park. From there, everything fell into place, and we were able to find the parking garage. It was the last car still in the garage.
I don't need that kind of "excitement" at my age! LOL
So, here's some pictures in no particular order.
I took this picture, because this German flag was flying from this boat from the marina by the St Francis Yacht Club, and joe felt Walter would enjoy seeing this.
From our table.
joe and george studying the menu.
Winchester Mystery House.
joe looking at the huge collection of rifles. (They also have a collection of pistols made from other makers such as Smith and Wesson).
Sculpture of Victor Hugo by Rodan.
Another picture for Walter (at the Cliff House), because it's in German.