San Francisco

A few weeks ago I mentioned that we had been to San Francisco. Here are the pictures -- finally!

This trip came about when lady from emailed me in response to our ad on the site. (It's internet dating for houses!) She was looking to come to Portland and wondered if we might enjoy a stay at her family's home in San Francisco. Now, I've received a few offers over the past 6 months -- offers that I haven't been able to take advantage of for one reason or another. (The timing didn't work out right to jet off to Tokyo at a moment's notice, one house was in Detroit, someplace I'm not particularly keen on visiting again, and another home in Hawaii was something I would never be comfortable staying in -- dolls and doilies everywhere).

So, SURE, San Francisco sounded like a great getaway. And the house looked clean and nice. And it was Rob's birthday weekend. And we owed Taylor a good report card reward. So we did it, we became members of the House Swap family. And we had a fantastic time.

First stop was Taylor's report card reward: Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California. More roller coasters than you could shake a stick at. Actually, the nice surprise about this park was that there were actually some pretty fun aquatic shows (dolphins, killer whales) and exhibits (manta rays, walruses). The roller coasters were far less fantastic than others I have been on, but that's OK -- I was worn out after about 6 rides.

This was the wooden coaster before we all needed chiropractic treatments:

Rob and Taylor before they got totally soaked on the water rapids ride:

And me and my best new friend, the Green Lantern. I remember saying years ago, when I got my picture taken with Captain America, that I wished it had been the Green Lantern. So imagine my excitement when I actually got to meet him and have this picture taken.

And the dolphin show. This was the pool (and set) used for the Hawaiian aquarium scenes in the Adam Sandler movie, 50 First Dates.

We didn't get pictures of some of the more loopy-coasters, but after about 6 rides I had had enough. Taylor went on a few more rides, including this vomit machine (video below). It looks harmless enough when it's turned off -- like one of those bleacher rides that Kitty loves so much -- but it goes all the way around, AND upside-down, spinning and rocking the whole time. No thanks.

The next day was all about San Francisco and its usual tourist sites. Here's Taylor riding the Q-train...

...buying an 88-CENT t-shirt in Chinatown....

...Walking down from Coit Tower...

...and checking out the Painted Ladies.

All ending with dinner in Little Italy.

The next day Rob and Taylor went to Alcatraz while I strolled around Union Square and did some shopping. Rob snapped these pictures during their visit.

And this one I thought was interesting. I need to ask Rob what he learned about this artwork at Alcatraz.

We met up at Fisherman's Wharf afterward and strolled over to Ghiradelli for some chocolate treats.

That's all really. Just a big fat touristy weekend. The weather was cloudy and even a little misty in the area where our house was located (Sunset Beach) but partly sunny and pretty warm in the rest of the City. The house exchange worked brilliantly and so yes, absolutely I'd do it again. I hear our swap had a great time in our home in Portland, too.

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