SAN FRANCISCO I

I left my heart in, well here. I had a free U.S. Airways ticket to use and I needed a place to go. So I decided to visit the City by the Bay, San Francisco. I had been there once when I was twelve, but not as an adult. Besides, I wanted to run my new digital camera through its paces. So I ran around town snapping photos like a typical tourist. Here are those photos. We start out after my arrival on Saturday morning.

This is the Powell Hotel where I stayed for three nights.

The Powell is an older hotel that has recently been refurbished. The rooms are a bit small, but certainly comfortable. The only downside regarding size is the shower. It is about 3' x 3'. But at least there is a bathroom in the room. Some similar hotels I looked at didn't have that. Also the channel selection on the television sucked. No ESPN!

Right outside the hotel door on Powell Avenue is the turnaround at the cable car terminus. Here you can see the operators manually turning the car around for its return to the Fisherman's Wharf area.

San Francisco is a city of smells, not all of them good. There is a distinct smell to the cable cars. The brakes on the cars are made of wood, so that when the brakeman yanks back the brake lever, passengers can smell the burning wood.

More cable cars queued up at the other end of the line.

Pablo: ¡Oye, Jefe!

Jeffrey: Aw, crap! It's my imaginary friend Pablo again.

P: Yeah, and I brought my girl with me. Say hi, Semolina.

Semolina: Charmed, I'm sure.

J: Oh, brother. Your imaginary girlfriend?

P: No, she's my real girlfriend. We are imaginary.

J: This is a sign many people are familiar with. The smell in the Fisherman's Wharf area is one of salt water and fish, particularly shellfish.

S: Ooh, stinky!

J: Why are you here?

P: You got a problem with my woman?

J: Not if you don't. I just wasn't expecting you.

P. You are in California. This is where I live. Imaginarily.

J: A bird on a BMW. This won't end well. The car owner is going to wish he'd parked in a garage.
J: There is an atmosphere in this part of town that is not unlike the touristy parts of Key West or New Orleans. Lots of cheesy souvenir shops and street performers.
J: The latest in my series of sea birds on posts.

S: Uck, is that bird doo-doo?

J: Pablo, can you please ask your girl not to help.

P: Man, I can't ever get her to stop talking. If you have an idea, let me know.

J: There is no shortage of seafood restaurants at the Wharf. You can walk by and smell the crabs boiling in pots.

S: Does boiling water work? Because I got a friend who has crabs.

J: PABLO!

P: Girl, please be quiet.

J: Here we have an aerial photo of the bay area and you can see...Aaaaaaaahhhhhh!!! Giant birds in San Francisco Bay!!!

S: Pablo, baby, is this guy alright?

P: Not really.

J: We're now going to take a boat over to Alcatraz Island and see the old prison. The Blue and Gold Fleet offers an evening tour. The Rock certainly has a different vibe at night.

S: I used to have a boyfriend who was in a correctional facility. Let me tell you, there's no sex like conjugal visit sex.

J: Okay, I'm leaving you two on the dock. I'll see you when I get back.

Cruise to Alcatraz