San Francisco, Day Three

This morning was a “working day”.  I had things to catch up with for my various web sites, Tom was finishing up  some testimony.  So we worked on our computers, then went for breakfast at Pläj.

Since we’d bought those fleece jackets on Day One, we needed more luggage for the trip home.  Kelly had told us that there were 2 luggage stores near the Absinthe restaurant, so we went out to find them, stopping first at Walgreens for sunblock.

We found the stores fairly easily…and found that they didn’t open until 11:00AM.  So we walked a bit until they did open.  The first store sold Timbuk2 bags which I love, but I’ve bought them way cheaper on Amazon so we walked on.

sf-timbuk2

The next store had a small selection of packable bags so we bought another one of those.  I must have 10 from different trips.  I always think that we won’t be buying anything but…

Back to the Inn at the Opera for a bit more work and a nap.

As we’d arranged, Kate, the Patient Advocate from Korlym, was going to take us out for the afternoon.  She arrived about 2:30.  Tom was enough done with his work that he went along, too.

We had a wonderful time seeing things on a more personal level than the bus.  We went through Golden Gate Park, got out and saw the ducks, a waterfall, redwood trees, a pagoda, bison and more.

Then, we went to the Legion of Honor museum to see an exhibit called Impressionists on the Water.  We had the headphones so we got even more out of the fantastic exhibit.

Naturally, Tom bought the book :)

impressionists

 

The museum was closing, so we drove by the coastline and walked a bit.  I wasn’t thrilled by the sign about the coyotes and I had no intention of approaching OR feeding any of them!

Our last stop was to see the Painted Ladies they kept mentioning on the Big Bus tour, then both Kate and Tom had work to do – and I had a nap to take – so she dropped us off back at “home”

What a fun day!  Here are all the pictures.  Can you tell I’m getting lazy with labels and identifying where they are?

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After the work/nap, we headed out to Stelline for an Italian dinner, then the end of another long, but wonderful, day.

stelline

San Francisco, Day Two

Monday started out just like yesterday – a bit of computer work, down to Pläj for breakfast, out to get the bus for today’s tour.

Our route today was slightly different because it wasn’t Sunday, there was no marathon and no gas leak.

I didn’t take quite so many pictures until we got off at the Golden Gate Bridge.  We wandered around there for quite a while and read all the exhibits and took pictures of everything.

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Then, back on the bus to Pier 39 on the Embarcadero.

We walked around there, had some ice cream then walked to Pier 40, Fisherman’s Wharf.

Then we caught another bus to complete the circle and home!

busmap

The full map is available as a PDF here.

Here’s a map of where we went the first 2 days:

sanfranciscobus

At night, we had dinner with some folks from Corcept Pharmaceuticals, makers of Korlym for Cushing’s Disease, at Alexander’s Steakhouse.  I’d met 2 of them before at different events, Tom had met one. We talked about a variety of things from the Boston Red Sox to Cushing’s to Benghazi.

Taxi back to the Inn at the Opera, then bedtime!

 

San Francisco, Day One

First thing we did was go look at the fire escape we didn’t go down in the fire alarm last night.  I’m glad we took the stairs by the front office instead, even though they would have been dicy in a real fire – all wood.

This one looks scary, though!

Inn at the Opera, 5th Floor Fire Escape

Inn at the Opera, 5th Floor Fire Escape

After this, we went to the very nice – and free – continental breakfast at Pläj, the Scandinavian restaurant here.

Pläj

After breakfast, we gathered up our stuff and headed out for the Big Bus tour

While waiting, we got some pictures of City Hall and the Opera House.

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We got on at Stop 7 and took a bunch of pictures, even though it was foggy. On the double decker bus we were pretty close to the trolly car lines!

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Of course, we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and took pictures both directions!

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It was so cold and windy, we decided to get off somewhere to get a jacket, sweater, anything.

As it turned out, our bus didn’t take the normal route.  It changes slightly on Sunday’s and the San Francisco Marathon had us rerouted somewhat.

On the way to the last stop, Fisherman’s Wharf, I also took these pictures:

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On Fisherman’s Wharf.  We had to get off here and the 7-11 had fleece jackets.  I put mine on immediately!

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From Fisherman’s Wharf, we decided to take a cable car.  I was amazed that 3 men turned them around manually with a little turntable

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After our ride, we had to get off that and board again.  The line was very long and we could see that it would be at least 3 carloads before we could get back on so we decided to go find out bus again.

We walked up to Union Square…and ran into my endocrinologist from Johns Hopkins in Baltimore!  Dr. Salvatori was there for the Endocrine Society Convention but there had been a gas leak and the convention had been evacuated.

Small world!

After chatting with him a little, we took the bus back home and got off at the other side of the City Hall and walked around to “our place”.

I took a little nap and Tom went out to Walgreens to get some aloe vera for his sunburn.

At about 4:30, I got up and got ready to meet Kelly, a Cushing’s patient and member of my message boards.

She had chosen a restaurant called Absinthe, which was within walking distance.  We got our first table and decided to move because the sun was coming through the windows, then moved again to a corner table.  Then a staff member told us that that table was reserved so we moved again.  That party came very late and we probably could have finished before they got there.  Oh well!

We had a very nice dinner, then, finally bedtime.

On Our Way

We got up fairly early this morning so we could take our dog, Mimi, to her sister’s for their visit.  It’s so nice that neither of them has ever seen a kennel!  When we got to Penny’s, we found out that she had taken in another foster dog, a German Shepherd/Australian Shepherd mix who was very shy and quiet.  He won’t be much longer after the 2 rambunctious sisters spend some time with him!

Our taxi came and I noticed that it was a hybrid.  I innocently asked the driver how he liked it – and he spend most of the time telling us how much was wrong with it.  Then he branched off into how bad American drivers are (he’s from Russia), how he’s teaching his daughter to drive using mirrors only – all while we nearly sideswiped a car carrier truck.  He also thought it was fine to drive in the fast lane until a few seconds before taking a right exit.  Fortunately, we made it to the airport in plenty of time.

Our first flight to Chicago/Midway went smoothly enough except I couldn’t sleep due to a screaming child behind me.

I took these photos of all the other Southwest tails from the plane window.

Southwest Airplane Tails 2013-06-15 13.16.21

 

 

One of the pins had fallen out of Tom’s watch while we were still at Dulles and I was *sure* that there would be a watch kiosk in Midway where he could get another pin.  WRONG!  We walked all over and went into every store.  I also looked, unsuccessfully, for noise-canceling headphones.  I have some at home which I didn’t think to bring.  Fortunately, I didn’t need them on the next flight.

We finally gave up on our shopping and went to Manny’s Express – I had a craving for potato pancakes (latkes)

mannys-express

I hadn’t had those for at least 3 years and they were so good.  I also got a salad which I saved for the plane.

Manny’s Potato Pancake Recipe

2 c. finely grated raw baking potatoes
¼ c. grated onion
2 eggs, beaten
1 t. salt
1/8 t. ground black pepper
1 T. Flour
1 T. Butter
2 T. vegetable oil

Combine potatoes and onions.
Squeeze out excess liquid.
Add all other ingredients except butter and vegetable oil.
Let rest for 5 minutes

Heat butter and vegetable oil on a griddle over medium heat
Drop batter onto griddle by tablespoonful, flatten with back of spoon.

Fry on both sides until a dark golden brown
Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Our next plane was about 20 minutes late – no problem – there was no deadline for us!

I took these pictures of the Rocky Mountains out of the plane window – not the best!

Rocky Mountains 2013-06-15 20.01.03

 

Wikipedia says:

“The Rocky Mountains, commonly known as the Rockies, are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than 3,000 miles (4,830 km) from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico, in the southwestern United States. Within the North American Cordillera, the Rockies are somewhat distinct from the Pacific Coast Ranges and the Cascade Range and Sierra Nevada which all lie farther to the west.
The Rocky Mountains were formed from 80 million to 55 million years ago…”

 

Our pilot told us later that the area below us that we couldn’t see, and didn’t exist, was Area 51.

More from Wikipedia:

According to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the correct names for the Area 51 facility are the Nevada Test and Training Range and Groom Lake, though the name Area 51 has been used in official CIA documentation. Other names used for the facility include Dreamland, Paradise Ranch, Home Base, Watertown Strip, and most recently Homey Airport. The area around the field is referred to as (R-4808N),

It is located in the southern portion of Nevada in the western United States, 83 miles (133 km) north-northwest of Las Vegas. Situated at its center, on the southern shore of Groom Lake, is a large military airfield. The base’s current primary purpose is officially undetermined; however, based on historical evidence, it most likely supports development and testing of experimental aircraft and weapons systems.  The intense secrecy surrounding the base has made it the frequent subject of conspiracy theories and a central component to unidentified flying object (UFO) folklore. Everything that happens at Area 51 is classified Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI).

After that, the pilot said we flew over the Sierra Nevada mountains.  I couldn’t get a very good picture, though :(

We landed and got a shuttle to our hotel, the Inn at the Opera.  We got checked in – very nice – and went out to find something to eat.  I was surprised how cold it was.  When I’d looked at the weather reports before coming, it always said 61-65.  I guess I should have known that those were the highs.  I’ll be shopping for a hoodie or jacket or something while we’re here!

We walked the couple blocks to Caffe Delle Stelle.  Very nice Italian food!

Cafe_Delle_Stelle

 

 

Back to the Inn where we put down a deposit on two days of hop on/hop off bus then up for bed.  It was about 1:00am home time or 11 here.  I fell asleep almost immediately.

In a dream, I heard a loud noise, then Tom waking me up telling me that we had to get outside.  It was the fire alarm and I would have slept right through it.

Quickly dressed, down 5 flights of stairs, false alarm – thank goodness!

Back to sleep – finally!

California, Here I Come…

 

I haven’t been to CA for many years. This time will be in San Francisco and I’m really looking to getting away for a few days seeing old friends and meeting new ones…and a bit of Cushing’s talk :)

Fortunately, I’m flying – no driving like Lucy, Desi, Fred and Ethel!

inn-at-opera

The hotel looks pretty cool: INN AT THE OPERA

A place where performing arts lovers and artists converge, the Inn at the Opera in the heart of San Francisco features a prime location and a luxurious, French-style ambiance. Built over more than half a century ago to house visiting opera stars, The Inn at the Opera continues its performing arts heritage by catering to those who appreciate San Francisco’s exquisite cultural activities.

Your comfortable surroundings are a perfect complement to your love of the arts. Relax in elegantly appointed suites are tastefully decorated with antique European furnishings, and enjoy amenities including a complimentary continental breakfast, 24-hour front desk services, fine dining at Pläj, high-speed Internet access, valet parking and lovely plush robes in all rooms. Inn at the Opera is your perfect choice for leisure vacations, romantic getaways, and business travel to San Francisco.

Located just steps away from the city’s Civic Center, the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House, the California Supreme Court, and Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall, the Inn at the Opera is your gateway to all the finest cultural activities San Francisco has to offer. The illustrious Opera House is just outside your door, and the diverse charms of the city are all within your reach.