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'Cause sometimes I even surprise the knit out of myself.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

San Francisco and S- FOs

As most of you know, I was in San Francisco for work all last week. I was in training for 8 hours a day. At night, the 4 of us from my company tried to get out and see some of the city by the bay.
Our preferred hotel is the Hotel Monaco right downtown. Yes, it is pricey and swanky, but we get a fantastic rate through corporate. See? Very trendy.

On day one, only 1 of my co-workers would be getting in at a comparable time to myself so we intended to shop when she got there. After a bit of a delay, she got to town and we hit the ground running. First up. What is the most touristy thing you could possibly imagine doing in San Francisco? There is nothing like hanging from the side of a trolley with 110 yr old breaks and other cars passing your back end within mere inches. What can I say? I live life dangerously on business. The view below is looking down to Fisherman's Wharf/Pier 39. That is Angel Island in the background out in the bay.

I love how they turn these buggers around. They hit the end of their route and are spun around by hand on a wooden turnstile of sorts. You got to love the smell of burning brakes and trolley operators throwing around huge gears. It's certainly part of the experience.

We ate at Neptunes that night on Pier 39 and took a night view of the local group of Sea Lions that call the docks at Pier 39 home. It was a gorgeous night and we headed back to the hotel to meet our 2 other co-workers for a drink at the hotel to say hello.
Over the course of the next two days, we ate at The Waterfront (swanky) and then The Slanted Door. I've got to tell you, the Slanted Door was my favorite of all nights. It was a Vietnamese fusion restaurant and the food was fab.u.lous. I ain't lyin'!
Please excuse the extremely blurry shot of the San Fran Bay Bridge at night near the Embarcadero, a trendy section of town on the water full of nifty eateries and place to "be seen". By the way, let me just mention the Garmin GPS sucked in this city with telling us to turn on one ways into on-coming traffic and at trolley cars. Yep, the Garmin was about chucked out of the window regularly. That bitch living inside the Garmin tried to kill us on numerous occasions.

One night we walked through Chinatown with our counterparts from another company. We walked through and ended up in a "little Italy" of sorts and settled to eat at the Mona Lisa Restaurante. YUM. Ravioli alla Zucca which translates to pumpkin-filled ravioli goodness in a sage butter sauce. This is truly one of my favorite Italian dishes. For whatever reason, the best versions I've always had of this dish have been in either Oakland or San Fran.
Of course, there was also a little yarn detour. I drug my co-workers into Artfibers. Thrilling company that they were, I did actually come home with this. It's merino yarn, 669 yards of it to be exact.

On Friday, we got out early enough to go play before going to the airport for red-eyes home. One of our counterparts from a nameless, competitor company was there from Poland and staying until Saturday night. She hadn't been out to see anything so we asked her to join us. She happily accepted so we schlepped her along to do more touristy crap.
e went back to Pier 39 to see our Sea Lion friends during the day. What a life.
Next up, we booked ourselves and hour ferry ride in the bay that took us around the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and Angel Island. I had seen Alcatraz in the bay all week and was so dying to get a closer look. We were convinced the Golden Gate Bridge did not exist. All the traveling we had done to different places all week, we still had not seen it. The joke was that it was a myth, a bridge in the mist. LOL. Finally here it is in all its weekly hand-painted glory. Yes, you heard right. It's painted by hand, by two people, continuously. By the time they get to the other end, they have to start over.
BTW, have I mentioned that I love architecture and suspension bridges?

I have a ton of bridge pictures that I'll put on Flickr. I admit I am a picture snapper. What a gorgeous ride around the bay.

Here's a nice view looking back at the SFO skyline and my favorite building, the Trans-America building (the pointy one).

Finally, what I was waiting for was a close-up view of Alcatraz, made famous by the Al Capone, the most famous prisoner.

Next time I want to do the tour on the island and go into the prison. I want to see the solitary confinement cells and things. I think it would give me the creeps, but I would love to see inside.

They say that from the boat dock to the prison is like walking up a 13-story building. Yikes. We'll bring the tennies next time.

To round out the day, there were fruity drinks, of course. I was in good company for that. This is a "California Dreamin'" which went down entirely too easy.
We put the poor Polish girl on the trolley and made her live dangerously with the rest of us and hang off the edge. Hey, it's all part of the experience right? While on the trolley, we ended up at an intersection to allow the USC Marching Band do their thing through the city streets. There was a game there that weekend.
I got on my red-eye home, slept a little, and was reunited with my hubby and spinning wheel. I know. I know. A girl has priorities.
Before I left, I ordered a bit of fiber. I had to people. Seriously. It's from Cosmic Fibers and the colorway is called "Bog of Eternal Stench". Hello? I love the move "Labyrinth". How could I not get this?
Also, I came home and plied a bit, reuniting myself with Wenders, my Ladybug Wheel, aptly named after my bud, Wendy. The wheel was born on her birthday, hence the name. This is one of many skeins I made of Zarzuela Fibers in the "DC Sunrise" colorway. It's so purdy folks. I'm getting more excited as my spinning slowly becomes more consistent.
In other news, there is also a finished object to speak of today. This is the what I am calling the "Psychedelic Bunneh Cowl". It's actually the Crofter Cowl by Gundrun Johnson aka Shetland Trader. I used half of a skein of the agnora/merino blend I bought in Rhinebeck.
It's so warm and soft. I loves me some bun-bun fuzz.


At 8:32 AM, Blogger Jessica said...

Nothing like a fantastic trip on the company dime!! One day I will see California. One day...

Love the spinning and the new cowl!

At 9:35 AM, Blogger Thea said...

I miss living in SF! Was there for 10 years, and my bf (now husband) lived on the California St cable car line at the top of the hill - I used to have to hang off the handle so our co workers wouldn't know I was doing the commute of shame... Now I have a framed pic of the hill on my wall to remind me.

Loved hearing your Hit all the Tourist Spots trip - so fun - when I lived there, the Slanted Door was new and small and located down in the mission, but the food was so good it grew and moved - glad to hear it's still amazing.

And sadly, when I was there, Artfibers didn't exist yet. Must go back next time I get to CA....

lovel cowl too :-)

At 12:05 PM, Blogger Kim said...

The Slanted Door is so effing delish. I ate there too. Next time I'm in SF, I want to do the boat ride around the bay and visit Alcatraz. Love the name of that roving "Bog of Eternal Stench." Awesome cowl too.

At 3:59 PM, Blogger Annie said...

*Sniff Sniff* I so miss living in The City! Even when I was a local I loved riding the cable cars. Did you know that they replace the brakes VERY frequently cuz they are wooden!(One of my best friends is a cable car gripman)

Alcatraz is very interesting--I highly recommend the audio tour if you ever visit the island itself.

At 1:03 PM, Blogger Robin said...

Looks like fun! We have a Hotel Monaco here in Chicago as well and it is very nice.

At 10:44 AM, Blogger The Kelly Green Rogue said...

looks like you had a great trip and you got some new yarn! I'm with you, I'd want to see Alcatraz but I think it would give me the heepy geebies! lol


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