Todd and I went on a brief getaway to San Francisco, while his parents graciously looked after the kids. He had been to California many times before for business, but this was my first time there. On our first day, we walked from our hotel, the historic Sir Francis Drake (complete with Beefeater doorman), all the way to Fisherman's Wharf. At Pier 39, we sat and watched the mostly lazy but occasionally playful sea lions sunbathing.
We passed through San Francisco's large Chinatown on the way back and had dim-sum in a crowded restaurant that held only one obviously non-Asian diner (i.e., Todd). We also visited the famous City Lights bookstore, which played a significant role in the growth of the Beat movement. (More about my visit is here.) Coming from relatively flat Southern Ontario, it was hard work going up and down those hills, but it gave us a chance to admire San Francisco's architecture.
Our second day included several hours at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, where we saw works by Paul Klee, Alexander Calder, Andy Warhol, Rene Magritte, and the New Topographics photography exhibition which showed rather stark images of the American landscape. As is usually the case when I go into a museum of modern art, there were a good number of "Wow!" moments interspersed with as many "Huh?" moments. (See Robert Rauschenberg's White Painting, for example.)
The food in San Francisco can be summed up in one word: fabulous! This city is a seafood lover's paradise. Todd and I had two terrific seafood meals at the Eagle Cafe and the Fog Harbor restaurants at Pier 39. The meals included a good deal of oysters and this magnificent Dungeness crab, cooked Asian style. My only disappointment was that they cleaned out the eggs and internal organs before serving the crab to us. Clearly, the restaurant doesn't cater to the Chinese crowd! In addition to the great seafood, we also enjoyed excellent beer, sangria and tapas at The Thirsty Bear.
I loved San Francisco and look forward to going back. Next time, we'll bring the kids with us. I'm certain they'll enjoy this wonderful city as much as Todd and I did!