Tuesday, September 21, 2010
SAN FRANCISCO IN 30 HOURS, PART I
We had several museums in mind, but when we started getting realistic about time zone changes and how long it takes to get between points A and B, we realized that by the time I retrieved my luggage from the airport carousel, at what was nearly dinnertime according to the time zone my stomach was accustomed to, we wouldn't have a lot of museum-going time Friday afternoon. Our solution was a visit to Golden Gate Park, and the first of many picnics.
Marilyn and Jeanette picked me up and we drove through the park and out to the beach near the Cliff House, which was so foggy I dispensed with taking any pictures. As we drove back into Golden Gate Park in search of sunshine and a pleasant place to picnic, we stopped at Queen Wilhelmina's Tulip Garden, over which towers this windmill. Wilhelmina's garden doesn't feature tulips this time of year, but the plantings sure were gorgeous.
Next we found a parking place and a picnic spot.
After lunch and a bottle of wine, we had a short window of time before we needed to check in at our North Beach hotel and head for our sunset cruise on the bay. There is a hereditary strain of indecision on my mother's side of the family, and we debated what else to try to see as we moved the car to another spot in the park. We walked up to the Japanese Tea Garden, intending just to glimpse it from outside, when Jeanette, thankfully and impulsively, suggested we go in after all. Good thing I had cash on me, as my aunts had left their purses in the car. We didn't begin to see the entire garden, but what we did see was serene and inspiring, especially in the late afternoon light.
After deboarding the boat, my aunts indulged my request to check out Boudin, which was just across the parking lot from our pier.
Reveling in the vibrancy of a city with so much going on after dark (and avoiding the Fisherman's Wharf T-shirt shops), we walked back to the hotel, making a stop at the Trader Joe's on our route so Jeanette could see what it's about, as a TJ's is set to open in Nebraska. Setting the tone for the rest of the week, we purchased some chocolate, an introductory 2-buck Chuck, and some more indulgent wine, then headed back to our hotel, where the beds and couch looked inviting indeed. It may have been only 9:30 California time, but it was after midnight for me and almost midnight for Jeanette, who'd risen crazy early to catch her 6 a.m. flight from Omaha. We needed to sleep and recharge for our Saturday morning trip to Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, which was all I'd hoped it would be and more. I have so many photos from that lovely experience that I'll be back with another post. Soon. I promise.
Meanwhile, because I can't get this song out of my head, I'll leave you with this U2 clip. I did find what I was looking for on my CA vacation, but I still love this song, even if Bono wasn't personally serenading me :)