Day 595 OUT OF Beijing: Cable Cars, Alcatraz and Clam Chowder.

 

A cable car getting ready to leave on its journey.

A cable car getting ready to leave on its journey.

 

As Jill and I hopped off the bus, we knew we had a number of places to visit today and needed to be time sensitive since we had so much to do and research for SF Tourism Tips.

The first place we needed to visit was the Aquatic Park area and get a few pictures, and videos, of the cable cars there.

It would be a long day of walking all along the Embarcadero and this would be a perfect first stop.

The Buena Vista Cafe, which is world famous for its Irish Coffee was right across the street but we decided we’d wait a bit and take our time before imbibing as we planned to hit a few of the new breweries later in the day.

The cable cars were running, on their usual 10 minute schedule, and we were able to get all the pictures we needed.

We enjoyed just hanging out, watching the fog roll away, and seeing the signs of pure joy on the peoples’ faces as they began their journey on the Cable Cars through the San Francisco hills.

 

Waiting for the journey to begin.

Waiting for the journey to begin.

 

After getting what we needed, we headed down to the waterfront, to grab some breakfast. We had left the house around 6:45 am and it was already about 10 am and we were starting to get a bit hungry.

One our way, we spied Alcatraz prison, off in the distance and shrouded in fog.

As people say, “It is a great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.”

It always amazes me how close Alcatraz is to the shore and yet how desolate it feels when you are there.

It is definitely worth a trip, if you haven’t gone, and worth visiting again if you have!

 

Alcatraz peaks out of the fog.

Alcatraz peaks out of the fog.

 

We walked down Jefferson Street and listened to the barkers as they called out different attractions people could enjoy, like renting bikes or little go-carts, to travel around, and finally got to the area where all the fisherman sell their clam chowder in sourdough bread baskets.

We both love these delicious treats and missed them greatly while we were away.  The clam chowder was delicious and the bread was nice and toasted.  All in all, a perfect way to start our getaway in San Francisco.  It also only cost $7.07 for a meal that filled us both up and warm us up at the same time.

Doing research can be wonderful if you love your job as much as Jill!

 

Delicious Clam Chowder served in a sourdough bread bowl!

Delicious Clam Chowder served in a sourdough bread bowl!

Day 565 OUT OF Beijing: Mornings in San Francisco.

 

A cable car making a stop on Nob Hill.

A cable car making a stop on Nob Hill.

 

Jill and I went to meet some of my co-workers for lunch this morning.

We had forgotten, after 1.5 years in Beijing, how gorgeous San Francisco is each and every day.

The Christmas tree at The Fairmont Hotel.

The Christmas tree at The Fairmont Hotel.

Especially today.

It was a balmy day and we didn’t even need jackets or sweaters.

It was a short sleeve day on December 22nd.

Just amazing.

We had a wonderful lunch with my co-workers and then decided to just walk around and breathe in the clean air and take in the sites.

It is really hard to explain how luckily we feel to be out of Beijing and free of the pollution, the crowds and the constant pressure of living under regime that we were always worried about in regards to our own safety.

It was interesting, to ride the buses and walk the streets of San Francisco, and see how many homeless, and mentally ill, are out and about.

Christmas at the Fairmont Hotel

Christmas at the Fairmont Hotel

We almost never saw any mentally ill, and only a few homeless, out in Beijing.

This is probably because the government wouldn’t allow them to be out and made sure they were not in public view but I’m not sure.  Just my guess from what I’ve seen their government do to people they don’t want seen or heard from over the last 1.5 years.

The USA has problems, no question, but we are free and happy compared to what we lived under in Beijing.

We don’t take it lightly how lucky we are to have been born in the USA and the choices that gives us in our lives.