Sunday, April 4, 2010

2010 April 4 - San Francisco Auto Tour

2010 April 4 - San Francisco Auto Tour

{Click on any photo to view the full size image}

{underlined items are links to more information}

It is Easter Sunday and I am driving into San Francisco to give an auto tour to a couple that I met at dinner at the Star Hotel in Elko, NV. They along with the 9 year old son have ridden the California Zephyr from Elko to Emeryville, CA and then the Amtrak Bus to Pier 39 with a short walk to their motel late Saturday afternoon.

I had to take a couple of pictures through my windshield because I could not believe the lack of traffic. I had moved the start time up an hour because of the approaching storm.
This is where I-580 becomes restricted for through trucks. Hwy 238 the road to the left is normally backed up to way behind this point.

And the drive getting to the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge was so easy "that a caveman could have done it".
The Bay Bridge Toll Plaza - unbelievable. But it is 8:00 AM on a Sunday morning.

I phone them at 45 minutes to ETA and again as I reach the Embarcadero in San Francisco so they can meet me at the entrance to the Motel. Parking is miserable in San Francisco so that was the arrangement we made the night before.

The first thing to do around 8:30 AM is to drive down "America's Crookedest Street".
They is no waiting line and I am the only car on the street, so I really creep down. Of course the Posted Speed Limit is 5 MPH. But I was probably doing 2 MPH. :-)

From there we head to Miller's East Coast Deli for breakfast. And my obligatory food photos.
The entrance to the Deli

The young boy's breakfast of bacon and eggs. He did not want any bread, but I made him get the bagel with a schmear for me to eat later. {same price}

Dad has the Homemade Corned Beef Hash omelet

Mrs has the bagel and lox

And I have the All American breakfast a Hot Pastrami on Marble Rye

This is the Deli Benedict with Corned Beef in place of the Canadian Bacon

Carrying out my bagel

Oh to be a nine year old

From breakfast I make a beeline to the top of Twin Peaks.
Taking a photo or two

"What is that over there?"

More views of the City

Now the fact that I moved the start time messed up the timing of our next stop, Mitchell's Ice Cream. They do not open until 11:00 AM. So after driving passed Mission Delores and driving by Mitchell's I head up to Glen Park. There we stroll the little neighborhood for a few minutes and I take Chenery back toward Noe Valley.
We still got back a few minutes before they opened

I had to take a photo of the little girl's seventh birthday ice cream cake.

Today they did not have any Irish Coffee ice cream ready so they only had 40 flavors.
Also it was overcast and cool. So I had the Junior scoop of Mexican Chocolate. This is like the Mexican Hot Chocolate drink with a hint of cinnamon.
The youngster gets an adult double scoop.

He was really smiling, but the digital camera delay missed it

The menu along the back wall

From Mitchell's I hop onto I-280 and head to John Daly Blvd in Daly City. Mrs notices the "ticky-tacky" houses on the hill and asks what they are. I explain about Malvina Reynold's hit song "Little Boxes". Of course you have to be really kind of old to remember it. So you older folks can click on the link below to hear it again. And you youngsters can hear it for the first time.

Click on the green arrow to play the song

Malvina Reynolds - Little Boxes .mp3

Found at bee mp3 search engine

Anyway "Little Boxes" was inspired by and actually written because Malvina saw those same houses, although much fewer in number. Click here for the history of the song.

We exit John Daly and head past my alma mater, San Francisco State. Well we go past the parking lot entrance as we drive past Harding Park Golf Course and Lake Merced. Then over to the Zoo and down the Great Highway, along the Pacific Ocean.

We then turn inland as I want to show them the 16th Avenue Tiled Steps.
The plaque at the base of the steps

This is one of the very few vertical photos that I have used in my Blogs, but there is no better view of the enormity than to show it vertically

The bottom portion is landscaped by the residents of the neighborhood

Then we continue through the U of Cal Med Center and over to Haight-Ashbury. From there to Golden Gate Park and the Academy of Sciences. I got turned around in the Park and exited back to Lincoln and headed back to the Great Highway. Did not stop at the Cliff House, no parking spots and it was starting to rain.

I drive through Lincoln Park Golf Course around the Palace of Legion of Honor and then through the really upscale parts of the Sea Cliff neighborhood. Here is a depressed price real estate listing for a home with an ocean view:
2 br / 2 ba / 3,734 sq ft / $3,080/sq ft
Single-Family Home
Sea Cliff
From the Real Estate Multiple Listing Page

Then before getting to the Golden Gate Bridge I stop at Baker Beach with some memories of evening wienie roasts there in the 1960's.
It had started to rain pretty steadily by now

Taking a photo of the Bridge

It is just a short ride from there to the visitor's lot at the San Francisco side of the Bridge. With the weather there were a ton of empty parking spots, a rare occurence.
Even in the rain the desire to walk onto the Bridge is powerful

"Hey, there's Alcatraz"

It is getting pretty rainy so we had to call off the rest of the tour, which was Nob Hill, Union Square, Chinatown and Coit Tower. But they will be in San Francisco for a couple of more days, so will be able to see a few more places.