Wednesday, March 26, 2008

great California odyssey: change of venue

Although we were excited for the next phase in our adventure, we did find ourselves bidding a reluctant farewell to San Diego. But no time for dwelling in the past - San Francisco awaits!

The funny thing about the San Diego airport is that it has only ONE runway. I don't know how many thousands of passengers it services each day, but it is in the tens of thousands. All with one runway. And the airport itself is right in the heart of the city, so that planes arriving and leaving have to narrowly bypass tall buildings. It's a disconcerting sight to see a large jet just skim the top of the buildings coming in for a landing. I have a feeling they don't assign the San Diego flights to the rookie pilots.

The first thing you notice upon arriving in San Francisco from San Diego is the different colours. San Diego is blue and white and terracotta; San Francisco is taupe and grey and sage green. Except our hotel.

I'll post photos when we get home, but the Sheraton Fisherman's Wharf has been redone in slightly psychedelic, slightly Cat in the Hat decor. Broad turquoise bands of colour line the hallways, the blinds are canary yellow, the carpet is a paintbox of stripes, while the beds are covered in aquamarine and fuchsia pillows and a huge rectangular bolster. And it's all cubist and sleek and cheerfully modern. And it's only slightly flash-back inducing.

We checked in and almost immediately wandered the streets. In San Diego, we needed to cab everywhere, in San Francisco, there is so much within walking distance, it's like being in the heart of downtown. Except that two blocks away is the waterfront.

We had dinner at the wharf where I had a fabulous fish stew that I have been dreaming about my whole life. Outside the restaurant window, a precocious sea lion sunned itself on the dock, occasionally rolling over onto its back as though inviting us to rub its belly.

Tomorrow, we plan to arise fairly early and wander down to Chinatown for starters and then see where the day takes us. In the evening we will take the F line cable car down to the Castro area, where we are meeting Will and Hillary for dinner. Are you jealous yet?


Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Heck yeah I'm jealous. I was in SF for about two hours when I went to see my late brother. I had not time to check out all the sights. Take me with you on your next trip please? I promise I'll behave.

Allison said...

So very jealous! I'm glad you made it to SF safely. Hope you have a wonderful day wandering Chinatown!

BeckEye said...

First a panda pic and now a seal?? Oh, joy joy joy.

If I could run away and live with seals, I totally would. Of course, I'm not that great of a swimmer, so I'd be one of those really fat ones you always see just lazing around on the rocks.


Not only am I jealous I am bordering on whininess! Waaaaaahhh!

I want to be there too! Can't wait to hear more!

Deb said...

I'm SO jealous. You should do your own "Dear San Diego" entries.

ONE runway??!!! Geez, hopefully everyone in the tower's on the ball. Vancouver is the same (with the airport right in the city). If you sit in Wendy's on #3 Road, the planes go right overhead and it freaks the living shit out of me. We had a little plane just smash into a building, so I'm kinda thinking I'm glad I live a few miles south.

Anonymous said...

Photage, ole girl! Grab a shot of Lenin if you make it to Freemont.

And don't forget coffee houses! The Victrola and Cafe Vita are real close to each other, and you'd do worse than hit them both.

We go in the summer... you can scope things out for us!

Where's Teddy Now?

Anonymous said...

Been jealous! Enjoy!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

That's what we aim for, Dr M, jealousy. But we'll book an extra room next time.

Chinatown was pretty great, Ak. We made a lot of fine discoveries. Details to follow.

You would make a really cute seal, Beckeye! And swimming ability is overrated when you are that cute.

Whinging is permitted, Blondie, nay, ebcouraged.

It's truly creepy to see those planes barely grazing your head, Deb. Sooner or later somebody is going to hit something.

Lots of photage being taken, Teddy. Not sure if we'll make it to any of those coffee shops though, we need way more time.

We ARE, Leazwell, thanks.

justacoolcat said...

mmmmmmmmmmmm San Franfoodco

Anonymous said...

Please take lots of pics, Barb, as my aging brain has forgotten most of our 28 year-ago trip to S.F. I vaguely remember Sausalito(sp) being very cool and trendy. Will you check it out for me?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I need to stay longer to get all the eating done that I want, JustA. I have not had enough cioppino yet, not by a long shot.

I just checked a map, Berni and Sausalito looks a little far away, as we have a few places planned for today. And sadly, this is our last day. We'll just need to plan another trip. Maybe next time you guys could join us.

Toccata said...

Insanely jealous! How lucky to see the sea lion sunning himself. Your trip is sounding like the trip of a lifetime. I'm thrilled for you although still definitely jealous.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Sea lions are so funny, Toccata, the way they lie there like saying "rub my belly" and then push each other off the docks.