GAR: Day Five – San Francisco

San Francisco was our oyster today, and we spent most of the day in the city, goofing off and exploring.

Our first stop was Japantown. Siobhan badly wanted to explore this area of SF. She’s really taken a shine to Japanese culture, and this was right up her alley. We visited the pagoda, and wandered around a couple of Japanese malls in the Peace Plaza. She found some manga books she was looking for, and introduced Beck and me to pocky. Pocky’s pretty good stuff… basically a cylindrical biscuit, dipped in a flavored candy, and quite tasty.

With Beck navigating, we found our way to Lombard Street, and took the new Jeep down the path. That was quite interesting! With the nice bricks, and tons of tourists, it sure felt like I shouldn’t have been driving on it. In fact, the tourists were really taking a hard look at us as we wiggled down the lane. This was as exciting a Jeep ramble as we would have in SF. 🙂

With Japantown and Lombard behind us, it was time to visit Pier 39. It was way past lunch, so we stopped at the Surfboard Bar and Grille for a little lunch. The lunch was good, but the more interesting things was watching the people enter the restroom. It was a co-ed facility, with lockable stalls (kinda like an airline stall). Folks would walk in on the opposite sex washing their hands, and jump back, look around to see if they were in the right place, and then ask the waitstaff for the correct restroom. The reactions on folks’ faces were priceless.

Knowing there’s nothing that goes better with seafood than some time on the water, we set up for an hour-long cruise of the bay. That was wonderful! I’d done that trip a couple of times, but it was the first time for Beck and Sio. We ran under the bridge, around Alcatraz, and up and down the bay. Cold air, the occasional churning wave and a taped commentary by “Captain Nemo” made for a great time on the water.

No trip into the city is complete without a little souvenir shopping, so we walked about, picking up t-shirts and other trinkets. We came, we saw, we bought. 🙂