Walking around the City over the past few weeks I’ve devoted very little attention to the faces I’ve passed, because I’ve been so certain I wouldn’t recognize a soul.
Wouldn’t you know that changed.
This Saturday was a whirlwind of an adventure. After welcoming our first ever guests to our apartment (honeymooning friends from Florida), we set out on foot with them to explore the City. We picked up some fresh-fruit samples at the Farmer’s Market at the Ferry building on the Bay, then indulged in crab — lots of crab — at the Crab House at Pier 39. We continued our walk along the Bay, through Fisherman’s Wharf and to the main tourist hub to catch a trolley. After finding out we would have to wait more than an-hour-and-a-half to board a trolley on a beautiful weekend day, we decided to keep walking and headed up a steep-inclined street into the residential areas.
As we entered the Russian Hill neighborhood, a sketchy little bar appeared on the horizon that seemed to call our names. It was smoky, had tons of young people indulging in some daytime pitchers of beer, and had pictures of women in 80s workout attire on the wall. We needed a place to stop and look at our respective cell-phone GPS maps to plan the rest of our day, and this was a great place to do that.
While sitting at a table enjoying the company of our honeymooning visitors, it happened. I saw the face of a long-lost-college-friend enter the bar! How about that. He and his wife were also honeymooning, in the form of a cross-country road-trip over two-months long and were just passing through San Francisco for a couple of days. Apparently their local friend had suggested the sketchy bar to them as one of the best places around to catch college football. There you go! We caught up for a little while and recounted where our lives had taken us over the years. It was such a welcome surprise.
Soon enough it was time to continue our adventure via a short cab ride and end up at our planned destination, the San Francisco Painted Ladies. We’d been told that these five colorful, Victorian homes built in the 19th century were an incredible visual masterpiece. Sometimes called “postcard row,” these homes are very recognizable from various movies and shows. Perhaps you have seen them in the beginning credits of one of my personal favorite “TGIF” programs, Full House? As a note, through some quick research, I found out that one of the five homes was on the market earlier this year for the low, low asking price of $2.5 million.
The houses were lovely. The view behind the houses of the downtown skyline was also lovely. But what was even more lovely, was the fantastic park across the street from which you stand to view the homes called Alamo Square. This park was totally bustling. There were groups of residents gathered on picnic blankets hanging out, socializing, basking in the green grass, popping champagne, playing with their dogs, you name it. They didn’t seem to be looking at the large Victorian homes; they were just there to chill. I’d definitely return to this tourist spot, but I’d do it the local way, and sit down for some cheese and crackers rather than pose for photos in front of the homes.
The temperatures throughout the day on Saturday probably spanned a good 20 degrees depending on where we were, and we hit the coldest, windiest point while at Alamo Square and the Painted Ladies, so it was time to go home.
After another great expedition seeing the City, we dropped our friends off at the airport later that night and were completely exhausted from the day.
To round out the weekend, we spent our Sunday doing some less than blog-worthy shopping in the ‘burbs south of the City, both San Carlos and Redwood City, to continue populating the 700 square feet of rented-City space we share.
Check out the picture and see if the theme song to Full House pops into your head …