Thursday, 18 June 2009


On Monday, June 15th NZ time we managed to pack and be at Mum's before 11 am where my sister had prepared an early lunch for us. Mum was looking tired and frail but had forgotten to take some pills to reduce nausea so that was at least part of the explanation. I don't have a birthday photo with Mum or TWJ so I'm sad about that. We hit the road as planned at 1 pm and dropped off the car at friends who took us to the airport and saw us safely through check in before leaving.

We were so tired after not sleeping on our flight we did nothing for the rest of the day. The flight was a little bumpy and we had chosen the two seats at the back for the extra space forgetting how noisy it would be. There were also twin babies in our section .... They were reasonably good but also seemed to cry a lot off and on. We had about 3-4 hours sleep in a 34 hour period between getting up at Matarangi, NZ and going to bed in San Francisco. Had a snack and made sure our phone was working, (being able to contact home regularly is important to us), at the airport while filling in time before booking into our hotel on the corner of Post and Van Ness streets. We didn't want to tidy up enough to eat in the Hotel dining room so went across the road to Tommy's Joynt, obviously a local favourite bar/diner.

Yesterday TWJ slept well. I'd had a long soak in the bath before he woke which was after 9 am. We started the day with coffee and muffin, (Me), Bear's Claw for TWJ. I think that's what it is called, a great big lump of dough, deep fried crisp and sugary on the outside.

Then we began our first long walk, down Van Ness Avenue to Fisherman's Wharf where TWJ spent an hour or so on the Liberty Ship at Pier 45

TWJ was very excited about this ship because he worked on a Liberty ship, converted to a freighter back around 1960, before we married. He reckons that if we came here to live he would get a job caring for this ship and showing people around. He was able to explain all the workings of the engine to a visiting U.S. family and met me feeling very pleased with himself.

I sat on the corner of Jefferson listening to a jazz pianist. Couldn't resist buying his CDs of very mellow Jazz and getting him to join us for this photo

We strolled along to Cioppini's for lunch, glad to get out of the cold. We shared their White Flight, 3 glasses of local white wines, plus a plate of fried clam strips with dip and a plate of tomato & garlic topped bruschetta.Compare the bottom of these two photos from Feb 2005 with this summer in San Fransisco.

We took the walk/cycle track that goes from Fishermans Wharf to Golden Gate Bridge but gave up part way, at the end of Marina Boulevard, cold and tired.

Typical houses in San Fransisco. These are on Marine Boulevard.

We crossed the road and wandered around the Palace of Fine Arts before catching a bus all the way back to our Hotel where I couldn't get my shoes off fast enough. We had walked more than 4 miles/6.5km on pavement.

Following a short rest we went across the road to Tommy's to have the day's special of veal parmigiana but it looked kind of dry so we changed our minds. TWJ had meatballs and spaghetti which was OK but not as good as the Oxtail I'd had the previous night. I had salad and one of TWJ's meatballs. We thought it would be a good idea to have something different to drink so TWJ had a local draft beer and I ordered Absolut mango thinking it would be a cocktail. When the waitress said it was just a drink, without thinking I indicated I would still have it. I was really too tired to think of anything else. Wow! It's a wonder I walked out. Pure alcohol with a bit of a fruit flavour came in a medium tumbler with some ice floating on top. Wow! What was I thinking. I don't drink spirits so it was a shock to the system. TWJ drank half of it or I would never have made it back across the road.

Today we weren't going to walk anywhere! I rubbed peppermint anti-flamme into my feet, legs and hips. TWJ wanted to go to the rental car people, just to check them out. That was not so far. I went too, just to make sure I didn't cease up altogether. By the time we had reached the Hertz Office on O'Farrel Street I suggested we were so close to Union Square we may as well continue. I've just checked the distance from our Hotel to Union Square ... 1 mile! I wanted to check out Mimi's on Union Street so we looked at the bus routes but I couldn't remember where on Union Street so we got off at the wrong end and walked over a mile up and down some steep hills.
We stopped at a cute little Cafe for a drink and sorbet where the folk were watching the local Baseball game between the Giants and Angels. I just love the names! We finally found Mimi's and love her style. She wasn't busy when we stopped by so had a long chat, mostly on politics. Interesting hearing how other people view the state of things and we agreed with much that she said. I would have loved to buy one of her handbags and a top and, and, and ..... but we aren't sure whether we will have any spare cash yet. If I lived here I would haunt Union Street shops. We walked some more ... just to Van Ness to catch the bus back to our Hotel, except that we walked all the way. Today we have walked more than 4.5miles/7.3km on pavements. My legs don't feel quite so stressed this evening so stretching myself was a good idea even if it was kind of accidental.

I'm having some problems finding time to keep up with emailing home and Blogging so will post this as is and try to bring things up to date tonight.
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