Home > Travel > Entry 03/23/2009 11:05:54 PM – Mentat 493

Entry 03/23/2009 11:05:54 PM – Mentat 493

03/24/2009
     Day One…
     Day one was certainly one of the more challenging of days for me.  First, by the time I got out of the Hotel and had breakfast at IHOP which was a block up the street, I had been running on something like 7 hours of sleep done as 2 hour naps from the time I had left Providence, to the time I had gotten into my room at the hotel in San Bruno.  Then after calling BART to get some directions on how to get into town, I didn’t pay much attention to the maps and where I wanted to go, thinking "it’s a city, it shouldn’t be too hard to pick a point on the transit system, get out and walk about town to get a feel of the lay of the land.  After all, I did the same thing when I was in Seattle, and getting off around Pioneer Square and heading up to the Space Needle, so it shouldn’t be too bad a walk. 
     Heh, little did I know, huh?  So, I got off at the first stop that felt like I was within the city — 24th and Mission — and decided to make the trek from there.  I should’ve gotten the hint when I was walking up Mission and counting the streets that it was going to be a trek — but little did I know how much of it.  About an hour later I finally got to Market Street after checking the maps in the Public Transit (Muni) stops along the way. 
     From there, it was a straight shot up Market to Embarcadero, checking out the financial district along with the commercial parts of the road where all the shopping was.  On the way up Market, I came across an unusual sight…  Seems that there were something like 20 – 30 police officers mulling about in front of the Bank of America Building.  Didn’t realize to look around until after I had passed by and saw it.  Apparently there was some sort of demonstration going on across the street.  Got a picture of it and continued on my way. 
     Getting to Embarcadero and seeing Port of San Francisco, I knew it wasn’t too far to Fisherman’s Wharf.  Heh…  About a half-hour later between the casual walk and having to dodge grazing tourists, locals jogging and biking, and the occasional teenager riding skateboards where they’re not supposed to, I finally got to Fisherman’s Wharf.
     Now mind you — I wasn’t really stopping to check things out.  As I had done on the first day in Seattle was get a quick lay of the land before I started doing touristy things.  Sure there were some things that I did pick up during the walk — but for the most part it’s more or less a forced march for planning the next day.  Like I picked up that Mission District was predominantly Hispanic and Latin American…  Like from Port of San Francisco to Fisherman’s Wharf is mainly business and not really a tourist attraction…  Like the fact that when I was walking up Mission Street after leaving the main strip of the Mission District, there was this smell like warm crayons in the air.  Like the fact that once I got to Port of San Francisco, the smell of the Bay while being present was by far not as strong as smelling the ocean on the East Coast…  And like the first smell that hit me when I was at Fisherman’s Wharf was the smell of boiled crabs and clam cakes. 
     I knew that I was going to make my way back to Fisherman’s Wharf if only to try out the seafood, as I wasn’t hungry from the large brunch that I had at IHOP.  So from there, after checking out a couple of the places, decided to make my way ‘cross the city and check out where Chinatown was.
     Ha! Fun times to be had there…  Like usual, I stumbled across a part of town I didn’t know existed:  the Titty Bars and Straight Adult bookstores.  Seems that Broadway, near to Columbus Ave at the end of Chinatown is where all the Titty Bars and Bookstores are. And of course, because it’s me and my luck, I happened to stumble across it quite by accident…  Like I did in Seattle last year…   Got a couple of pictures from that while wandering down Chinatown to the gate, and looking at the time, realized that it was 3:00’ish and I was getting seriously tired. 
     Little did I know that I had walked a little over 10 miles in 5 hours and still didn’t have a tenth of the city down because of it.  No wonder I was seriously tired.  What I thought I had taken a nap turned out to be about 5 hours sleep by the time I had woken up, and instead of being able to head down the street to the mall that I saw from the bus on my way to the BART station in South San Francisco and perhaps grabbing something quick at Chili’s that was nearby to the mall, ended with me actually going across the street to Wendy’s for a quicker bite to eat before I passed out again for another couple of hours.  In fact, I spent a couple of hours chatting with friends online, getting caught up with Wordscraper with Diane on Facebook, and generally checking through my mail before I took another couple of hour nap for….

     Day Two… 
     This time, I was determined to check out some of the tourist attractions I had tagged the day before, although I wasn’t entirely sure which ones that I wanted to do.  About the only one that I actually had on my mind was getting to Duck Tours (as I did see them drive by me while I was walking to Fisherman’s Wharf.  After that though, everything else was up in the air.  I also made the decision that I would try to grab something when I was in San Francisco rather than in San Bruno because I didn’t want to be weighted down by a heavy brunch and then miss out on some of the food while I was there.
     When I got back to the Wharf — I hit Pier 39 where they had the Bay Cruises.  In fact, I had just missed their first Bay Tour by about 15 minutes, grabbed a ticket for the next cruise, had about an hour or so to kill, and headed back to the place where I had smelled the clam cakes and boiled crab.  When I ended up getting back to the place where the seafood was, my stomach turned at the smell of it, and ended up heading over instead to In-N-Out Burger and having a quick bite from there.  Needless to say, great burgers and after having tons of onions on it; was breathing enough fire to know to stay away from folk or else I’d wilt them if I breathed on them.  And me without breath mints or my usually carrying a toothbrush and mouthwash either. 
     So I took the Bay Cruise around the bay and under the Golden Gate Bridge and got a hell of a lot closer to Alcatraz than I wanted to be.  Friends and family all asked why I didn’t take the Alcatraz Tour, and I consistently told everyone, "I’ve never been in the prison system before, I don’t see any need to want to go into it even if it’s for a tour."  Although I did take a picture of it with my cell phone and sent it over to a couple of folk at work with the message, "Look, it’s our new office…" 
     Then from there, I went over to Leavenworth St and booked a trip on Duck Tours of San Francisco, otherwise known as "Bay Quackers".  Fun time being in a bus (of sorts) and getting through some of the parts of San Fran I had already been through while at the same time checking out other parts that I hadn’t.  Also got a chance to check out the other part of the bay that I didn’t catch when I was on the Bay Cruise.  I was particularly enthralled with the Merchant Marine Roll-On and Roll-Off boats that were in dock there.  The pictures that I have of them are pretty deceptive of the size, but I was able to find some info on them here: http://www.navsource.org/archives/09/54/545068.htm  Still though, they were impressive for their size even sitting there quietly in dock. 
     By the time the two tours had been completed was about 4 PM and again, I was getting tired.  So, I decided on making my way back to the hotel, try to get a nap in again, and try again to head down someplace to sit down and eat instead of something fast food.  Heh…  I talked with Tracy a bit, and she had offered to give me a call in a couple of hours to wake me up after a power nap, which I had declined.  I am disciplined enough to wake myself up after a short time, but if I’m too tired…  Call or no, I’m going to simply roll over and fall back to sleep. 
     Which is precisely what I did.  8 o’clock I woke up, couldn’t see the time clearly enough, rolled right back over and fell asleep until 12:30 AM.  By that time, not even Wendy’s was open so I was pretty much SOL until the next day when I’d have to pick something up quickly for breakfast.  Further through the early to mid afternoon, I had been texting Keagan back and forth about meeting up which he had at first suggested heading down in his direction, but given how shaky I had felt about my knowledge of BART and public transit in the area, adding Caltrain or Amtrak would’ve been worse, particularly given how tired I had been for the last couple of days.  When he offered to come up with his boyfriend to San Francisco instead, I agreed, decided on taking a shower to relax and get as much sleep as possible. 
     Starting the shower, I turned quickly to take a look at myself in the mirror to see if I looked as tired as I felt and saw to my shock that I had gotten a little burned on my neck, face, nose and ears.  I got burned because of the time I had spent on the Bay Quackers Tour.  Seeing how red I was in the face, I knew that I would probably be peeling pretty quickly, and hoped that I wouldn’t look too much like a raccoon when I met up with Keagan and Paul. 
     So I showered, wrote a little, and put myself to bed, to get as much sleep as possible so I wouldn’t pass out at 5 again while Keagan and Paul were up toward San Fran for the day… 

     Next up — the totally fagalicious Day Three…  Until then.
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