Thursday, March 11, 2010
San Francisco: Nob Hill, Chinatown, North Beach,
the Financial District


Up at 6:30 a.m. for the first day of the NCRA conference. Tom still gets to be on vacation. The view of the Oakland Bridge at dawn was quite pretty. The weather is perfect today, warm and sunny, but I’ll be inside until around 5:00.



Oakland Bridge at dawn

As anticipated, “breakfast” here is yet more meager. Not even all-you-can drink free coffee in the lobby. There was a tiny coffee pot in the room, which gave me the strength to make it to the elevator, and, luckily, there was a 7-Eleven right across the street. There was also a Starbucks, but I'm more of a 7-Eleven gal.

Tom hadn’t been feeling great and decided to take a lazy day instead of heading out into the city without me. Our room is so luxurious I can hardly blame him for staying in to enjoy it! At lunchtime he and I went across the street to Taco Bell.

My seminar ended at 4:30. Then Tom and I hopped on the California cable car just outside the hotel door and rode to the top of Nobb Hill, a very upscale area with fantastic views and the landmark Grace Cathedral.



Episcopal Grace Cathedral

From Nobb Hill we walked to San Francisco's Chinatown, the oldest one in America, established in the 1850s as Chinese immigrants flocked to California for the Gold Rush and to work on the Transcontinental Railroad.



Dragon's Gate, Chinatown

Next we wandered into North Beach, San Francisco's "Little Italy" and adult entertainment district. Yeah, baby! More interesting even than Chinatown!



On Broadway in North Beach

Then we found ourselves in the Financial District, where San Francisco’s most recognizable skyscraper, the Transamerica Pyramid, dominates the skyline.



Transamerica Pyramid

Just across the street from the pyramid is a giant Church of Scientology. A Scientologist came out of the building and invited Tom and I to “tour the lobby.” Yeah, right! Tom successfully rebuffed him, and we were immediately on our way.



Where are all the celebrities?

We walked back to the Embarcadero and along the waterfront, enjoying the nice night, then ate dinner at Schroeder’s, a German restaurant at 240 Front Street. Tom had bratwurst, and I had Hungarian goulash. His bratwurst came with horseradish so strong it took his breath away.

Tom and I shared a pitcher of beer, 64 ounces. There were four Japanese salarymen at the table next to us. They EACH ordered Das Boot of beer, 84 ounces apiece!!! Two of the guys only made it about halfway through their beers, but the other two guys were still drinking when we left. I’m confident they were going to finish!



Schroeder's Fine German Food

That’s about it for today. I spent the remainder of the evening perusing and discarding vendor propaganda and turned in fairly early. Tomorrow’s seminar finishes at noon, and our plane leaves at 1:30 a.m. I’ve arranged for a late checkout so I can change clothes and pack before we go on our final vacation adventure – to Alcatraz!



Coit Tower from the waterfront

Continue to March 12, 2010

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