San Francisco Weekend
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Elena, Tyler and I took an extended week-end trip to San Francisco in late August of 2001; here's the story...

Here's Tyler actively helping us to reach our destination. I guess this mode was preferable to being bored out of his mind.
We entered the tunnel just before the Oakland Bay Bridge. We entered San Francisco after around six hours of driving. That included a "rest stop" along the way. We didn't really rest, but we're more comfortable referring to our stop activities this way. We got to our hotel around 11:30 that Friday night. We quickly checked in and spent a fitful night listening to all the noises in that building of cardboard walls (babies crying, mothers "shoosh"-ing, and all other kinds of distractions.)
The next morning we had a quick breakfast in the hotel cafe and then headed out to the Exploratorium. This is a science "touch and feel" exhibition hall set up in the Palace of Fine Arts (constructed at the turn of the century—see photos later.) Here, Elena and Tyler experiment with matters of perception. Somebody's out of place; you guess who.
Elena's exploring the Alice in Wonderland Room. This was a room of strange proportions. The end was skewed smaller, but the floor tiles and other parts of the room were painted in a way that made it appear to be a normal room. Elena became monstrously large when she walked to the other end.
The Exploratorium also had a mirror with a step stool at one end. An observer watching from the other end would get an amusing illusion of levitation if the subject lifted their visible foot.
Here's the lake outside of the Palace of Fine Arts. Many ducks and other water life were enjoying the beautiful day.
Tyler snapped this shot as we prepared to descend Lombard Street, billed as the crookedest street in the world. There were pedestrians all the way down. Silly folks, I'm not sure they realized they had to walk back up again to get to their cars...VERY steep climb.
On Saturday, while we were waiting to get on the tour to Alcatraz, Tyler spotted these punks along the side of the road. They had a sign soliciting their photogenic qualities for a mere $2 - 5. If we had taken this shot just a month ago Tyler could have blended right in with his mohawk.
Our dinner on Saturday consisted of Boudin's Sourdough loafs hollowed out as bowls to hold Clam Chowder (Elena's choice) or Chili (Tyler's choice). They also have a beef stew that's quite good.
Here's a shot as we waited to board the Harbor Emperor of the Blue and Gold Fleet. They're the charter service that currently holds the contract to service the Park Service's tours to Alcatraz Island.
Here's our wash as our boat skips along the waves to Alcatraz.
This is the sign that greets visitors when they first come to the island. You can see the remnants of the Indian's takeover of the island in the late 1960's.
Elena and Tyler are listening to the audio tour...highly recommended.
This is a frozen honey...
Tyler, Elena, and Valentina (Elena's mother) in front of one of the lakes in Santa Rosa, where Valentina lives.
My honey and the good looking guy she's married to...
Tyler was begging not to be forced to go up this hill, but you can see who lead the pack.
On Monday, we visited Muir Woods, a famous stand of redwoods and giant sequoias.
You can see how big around the giant redwoods get...
...and how tall. Look at the people in the bottom of this shot. The largest giant redwood recorded was around 370 feet tall.
Elena's playing hide 'n seek in this tree.
Our final crossing over the Golden Gate Bridge. Hard to believe this is the middle of summer by the looks of the fog.
While we enjoyed our final lunch in San Francisco at Tarantino's on Fisherman's Wharf we watched a street performer. That's him behind the bushes. He had some branches (probably torn off of a nearby shrub) behind which he'd hide, waiting for unwary passers-by. When they approached close enough he'd jiggle the branches and scare them, to the delight of the onlookers. Of course he also had a donation can nearby.
Here's the Van Gogh exhibit at the Wax Museum. Stupid waste of $20 in my opinion, but Tyler got a kick out of it. Of course, he didn't pay for it.
Racing back home, my honey got the old buggy over 100 mph. If you're law enforcement I'm just exaggerating.

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