Sunday, July 5, 2015

San Francisco Day 1

For Big Trip 2, we were gone 10 days: 2 days of travel and 8 days of adventures. I took 364 pictures. We ate at…um, a lot of notable restaurants, including Chez Panisse and the French Laundry. Needless to say, this one earned the right to be called a Big Trip.

So let the fun begin.

Here’s our home away from home, ie my aunt and uncle’s house on the south edge of the city.


Theirs is the yellow house on the left, at the start of a nominal slope. In the distance to the right is where you might see some of the city itself, but it turns out they live smack against the base of Mt. Davidson, one of the foggier areas of town. The character and weather in this city can change completely from one block to the next.

Our first activity of the day was to walk up that mountain, at least part way. We navigated our way on foot through charming if confusing curved and sloped streets lined with cheek-to-jowl blocks of homes. It didn’t take long for the gardener in me to go all agog at the unfamiliar flora along the way.


The impression of being in a very different natural world was confirmed as soon as we entered the footpath to the top.



We didn’t go all the way up—there was no point with all the fog—but we did find some interesting scenery all the same.




Great place for a cabin-in-the-woods horror flick, eh?

After we wended our way home, my aunt, who is Thai, took us out for some pretty authentic dim sum. The menu and ordering routine would probably have confused us without her guidance, but we ended up with a table full of interesting flavors. Which is exactly what we wanted.

2015-06-26 14.00.37



After lunch we wanted to go to the Ferry Building, so my aunt dropped us off at the most convenient underground Muni station (Muni covers underground, buses and aboveground trams; Bart is kind of like the RER in Paris, designed for suburban commuting. The famous cable cars are a separate system.) That stop happened to be at Castro, the heart of San Francisco’s gay community. And this happened to be the day after the Supreme Court made its historic decision regarding same-sex marriage. Needless to say, there was a tangible spirit of shared jubilation here.




We strolled the area for a bit, then hopped the Muni to the terminus downtown and found our way to the Ferry Building, home of the city’s biggest farmers market. This was Friday afternoon, so the real fun wouldn’t be ‘til the next morning, but there are plenty of daily vendors to peruse.




What a great slogan—to the point!



Miss Chef was mesmerized.



Of course we bought two.




There were other things to look at besides food, like this sweeping view of the Bay Bridge.



We walked a bit along the piers and got a nice view of the city skyline.



Then we cut inland and dipped our toes in Chinatown before picking up the Muni again.




This was one of the few nights we did not have fancy-pants dinner reservations, and my aunt was planning to cook a simple Thai meal for us.



One sign you might be in the kitchen of a Thai cook:



Most of the family gathered for dinner, including one of my cousins and his girlfriend.



Spicy green beans with tofu, and garlic prawns and calamari. Look at that beautiful presentation. Simple, huh?


Once again I have clogged a page with an overload of photos. So I guess I’ll do the same as our last Big Trip, and break this down day by day. Besides, it’s about bedtime here now, and I have to be at work in the morning. Oh yeah, back to reality! That’s ok, our air conditioner is on the fritz, so I’ll be happy to be in some cooled air for most of the day. Adventures never cease around here…

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