“Who says nothing is impossible? Some people do it every day!” (Attributed to Alfred E. Neuman, but who knows?)
I was doing my usual morning headline scan the other morning and came across one that read:
“Top 10 things to worry about in 2013”
So, it’s not enough to just live my life, plan for the future, eat right and exercise. I have to read lists to tell me what to worry about? Please. And actually, none of the items on that list are things that even affect me. Maybe in some distant way, but will they impact my day-to-day life? No. I realize that it’s not good to completely ignore current events, and I don’t. I’m far from oblivious. But why do the media think we need things to worry about? I suppose it provides better ratings or page views, but that’s just one more thing to get in the way.
It’s bad enough that we can’t trust any information we get these days. But then we get these people who feel the need to tell us what we need to worry about? No thanks! If we want to spend our days running around like Chicken Little I guess that just adds fuel to the fire, but that’s not how I prefer to spend my days. Especially the preciously small portion of my days that I get to spend actually doing something I want to be doing!
With just under 24-hours to spend in San Francisco, we admittedly got a very thin slice of this city. But we made the most of it, I think.
The Golden Gate Bridge viewed from our harbor tour aboard Blue & Gold Fleet
We had originally booked a hotel on our own near Fisherman’s Wharf, figuring that being in the middle of all the action would be the place to be. We later heard that due to some construction at the port that there could be some heavy congestion there, so we cancelled that reservation and booked our hotel through Princess, knowing that they would provide the transfer from the airport to the hotel, and from the hotel to the ship. That turned out to be a very good move, as they had a special lot for our bus to drop us off, and they made special arrangements for our luggage. Since we were making independent arrangements for after the cruise (more on that later) we knew we would be on our own then, but also knew that would not be a problem.
Wildlife at Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco
Princess uses the Mark Hopkins Intercontinental Hotel, which is located at the top of Nob Hill, so the view was great, it was right near a number of restaurants, and a short walk to Chinatown and other interesting venues. We arrived at the hotel just after noon, so once we checked in we headed out in search of lunch. We found a nice little Italian restaurant a couple of blocks from the hotel, and had a nice lunch of pizza and salad. Then we started to explore.
Cappuccino, pizza and a good book. Nob Hill Cafe, San Francisco
We had talked about riding the Cable Car around, foolishly unaware that you can’t just “hop on” a cable car any time you want! Most of them are packed, and since we (a) didn’t want to hang off the side, and (b) knew that if we rode inside we wouldn’t be able to see, we decided to see how far our feet would take us. We ended up pointing ourselves in the general direction of the bay, and after walking for a couple of hours we ended up at Fisherman’s Wharf.
Famous Cable Car in San Francisco, California prior to our cruise on Sea Princess
We spent some time exploring the Wharf area, checked out the seals at Pier 39, tried to find Alcatraz through the fog, then bought tickets for a harbor cruise. The famous fog was in full force, and the tour was windy and chilly, but it was a great way to see the sights. We cruised under the Golden Gate Bridge, around Alcatraz and had a nice over view of the skyline. At least what we could see of it! After a nice dinner at The Pier Market, we wisely took a taxi back up the hill to our hotel.
Uphill all the way, San Francisco
Sunday morning came quickly, given the time change, and we did a little more exploring, finding a nice little neighborhood diner for breakfast. A walk back up the hill was our exercise for the day, so we headed to our room to pack up for our trip to the port and our ship.
My first impression of San Francisco is that it is a clean, vibrant and diverse town, with pride in their community, good food and friendly people with a respect for historical buildings and architecture. We definitely would like to return and spend more time. I think we would be hard pressed to do it justice in even a week, but I’d be willing to give it a try! A return trip is definitely on the Wish List.
Chung King Produce Co, San Francisco, California
“BY FIRE SHALL HEARTS BE PROVEN, LEST VIRTUE’S GOLD CROWN DIM, AND HIS FIRE WAS TESTED IN LIFE’S ORDEAL OF HIM. NOW CALIFORNIA RENDERS THE LAURELS THAT HE WON-DEAD ON THE FIELD OF HONOR, HER HERO AND HER SON.” Dennis T Sullivan, 1852-1906
Aboard Sea Princess departing from San Francisco, California
Kathy & I returned home late Sunday after an amazing vacation to California, Alaska and back to a few days in Sonoma, CA to visit wine country. This was our first time to California, second visit to Alaska, and of course – since we hadn’t been to California before – our first time to wine country. What an experience!
A good time was had by all, the weather was relatively uneventful, with the usual cool weather in San Francisco, a little snow in Alaska, and gorgeous weather in wine country.
I ended up with just under 3000 photos, but with the 5D Mark III it turned out to be just shy of 100GB of data, so I am now pushing the limits of my storage capacity and am now in the market for a new set of hard drives!
I took the MacBook Pro along and did some captioning and keywording, and I even processed some photos, but I purposely decided to “stay on vacation” and not try to post stuff while I was away, since that tends to take me away from enjoying where I am while looking at where I’ve been.
So here are a few of my keepers from the first several days of the trip. I plan to follow this with a little summary of the various parts of the journey over the next few days. Stay tuned!