Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Estera and Willie surprised me by dropping by with lunch for me.  She'd made up a big batch of veggie tuna salad (too much for them to eat) and it really hit the spot.

Fortified, I left to run my errands (drug store, library, quilt store, bank, etc.)  All went well until my last stop, the grocery store.  By then I was starting to run out of steam (I have been up since 4:00) plus I'd rather do just about anything, even clean the bathroom, rather than grocery shop.  

Got all my items, and headed to an empty (!) line.  The young cashier said she'd be right back (she had to show her last customer where something was) so I was getting ready to unload my cart onto the conveyer belt when the manager said not to since she was getting ready to send that clerk on her lunch break.  Instead the manager directed me to Lane 4, which wasn't currently open.  So I headed over and started to unload, just as the first cashier arrived back and wondered why I'd bailed from her station; I let her know she was going to lunch. <G>

Unfortunately it was Carol who came over to open up Lane 4, saying "it'll be a little bit" because she had to fill up her till.  I'll do anything to avoid her line (even use Ann's, who I used to think was slow).  People who showed up after me went to other lines and were out of the store before Carol even started on my order.  And yes, once she started processing my groceries she was even slower than usual (who knew that was even possible?!)

The final straw was when she started a bag by putting grapes on the bottom, and next was getting ready to put in a heavy bottle of juice when I stopped her.


Okay, done ranting.

I'm very grateful for our fully-stocked stores, and I'm even more grateful that I have the resources to buy healthy food.  Life is good!

The painting yesterday went much better (and faster!) than I expected. 

Alex was a tremendous help moving the furniture for me, and now the room's all done except for the small half-wall behind the metal floor-to-ceiling quilt shelf.  He might be able to move that for me before he goes to work later, and then the room will be all done.  What a difference a little paint makes!!!

When Alex moved the heavy captain's bed I found a purple shirt I've been looking for everywhere.  (Well, obviously not everywhere.)  

Not surprisingly I also found a few dead bugs, and lots of dust.

I invited Alex to join me last night for dinner (baked chicken, steamed broccoli, and half a cantaloupe) so there are no leftovers.  But after getting up at 4:00 (at least I wasn't up until midnight last night!) I have lots of time to run my leftover errands today, including a trip to the grocery store to fill in what I didn't pick up at Sprouts on Sunday.

Yesterday a couple of the Foothills ladies stopped by with their contributions of  black&white fat quarters for the AQG Fall Meeting baskets, so I may not have to run to the fabric store today after all.  

Now for some of the San Francisco pictures!

Our first day there (Tuesday) we walked through The Haight to Golden Gate Park to visit the museum.  This bumper sticker on an RV in the parking lot caught my eye.

Once inside the museum we headed to the penguins.  Pictures of me are on either Tom's or Lisa's camera so I don't have them yet.  But you can see that I wasn't the only one fascinated with the tuxedo-ed swimmers.

Of course I took lots of pictures, 
but none of penguins 'flying' through the water came out very well.

Unfortunately my pictures up top weren't much better.

But it sure was fun watching them watch us through the glass.

I liked this tortoise exhibit (thought of Pokey) 
and enjoyed reading the book about Lonesome George. 

The Rain Forest exhibit was very well set up; we walked up a circular ramp and got to see many different layers of the rain forest from a variety of perspectives, with beautiful birds and butterflies flitting all around us.  Sadly I never could get any good pictures of the fliers. However this flat gecko was much more cooperative at posing for me; his flatness reminded me of flounders I've seen while scuba diving.

Once at the top of the rain forest we took the elevator down to the lower aquarium level.  There was a full-length mirror before we got on there so we could check to make sure there were no hitch-hiking butterflies on us.  When the elevator opened at the bottom there was a guard doing another visual check "just in case" we'd missed any before he would open the locked door into the aquarium section.

The aquarium was also well-done, and at one point we walked underneath an archway where we got an interesting view of the fish and turtles swimming right above our heads.  We watched an octopus move from one spot to another, then completely alter his appearance to blend into the 'scenery' in just a matter of seconds. I knew they changed color, but it's even more incredible that they also change texture.

It was a wonderful museum (we could have spent much more time there) and it's not nearly as dangerous at it might appear at first; I assure you that this visitor was quite safe. <g>

But we had places to go and things to do.
After a brief stop to visit the stoned lion outside

we walked to the nearby art museum and headed to the 9th floor for a panoramic view of San Francisco.  We were able to get a glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge - at least a little part of it.  The fog was rolling in.

Then we walked back to The Haight for lunch and some shopping.  

This weaving was in the coffee shop that we frequented each morning.

We did cruise a number of shops and also had lunch, but all the standing at the museum and the shops (plus the hike to/from the park?) got to my back so by late afternoon I was DONE.

Wednesday we went to Chinatown (again, the picture of Tom and me under the famous arch is on one of the other cameras) where virtually all of the stores were run by Asians... except possibly this one!  (FYI a Sabra is a native-born Israeli.)

During our travels Tom clowned around with a lot of hats; 
I liked this one best of all, but he didn't buy it.

This bronze of readers (did you notice the cat helping?) was outside a very nice store with lots of objet d'art (with very 'nice' prices, of course.) 

Inside we admired a huge conference table crafted with inlaid stone/wood which carried a hefty price tag of  $25,000.  But we had to pass on it... it wouldn't fit into our house. <g>  

Think I'd pass on these, also!

The store's trumpet-playing monkey bronze would have been a fun gift for Alex.  It was on a marble pedestal and signed by the artist - but <G> was WAY out my price range also.

The bookstore was just outside of Chinatown, so it was an easy walk.  I wish I'd gotten shots of the literary quotes set into the alleyway on our way over, but it was hard just reading them while trying to keep up with the others... sure didn't want them lose me!

The store, on 3 different levels, had some great sections.  I especially enjoyed the books I found in the children's area, like this one.

I would assume that most of the folks hanging out at a bookstore are literate and (at least!) fairly bright, but then again I also assume there was some reason for this sign.

From the bookstore we took an Uber car to the pier for our next adventure, a harbor bridge-to-bridge tour.  This larger-than-life crab sculpture had living plants incorporated into its design.  

Waiting to board the boat, with a view of Alcatraz in the background

A view of the city shortly after starting out 

Approaching the Golden Gate Bridge
Yes, it was a little windy.  No, I'm not pregnant.

getting closer

 saw lots of sailboats out enjoying the day

Back on land again we walked around Fisherman's Wharf trying to decide where to eat dinner.  We didn't eat at this restaurant, but they do have the right idea.

This is the t-shirt I wanted to get for Alex, but the troops were hungry so I didn't take the time.  Sadly the next day that entire (quite large!) sidewalk stand wasn't there.

After dinner (our meals included clam chowder, Tami) we took a cab back to The Haight (getting one was an experience in itself) and then the light rail back to the motel.  Tom's legs were bothering him after the hilly expedition earlier to find the Chinatown arch, which surprised me.  But when he called last night he'd had to go to Urgent Care Monday after being up all night with severe pain - from gout.

On our last day (Thursday) we rode the hop on/hop off open bus around the city.  Here we are crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, and if you look you can see the photographer in the mirror.

proof that we were there

Alex: getting ready to head back across the bridge, a sign just for you

view from the Presidio

next stop, Ghiradelli Square

with a mermaid fountain in the courtyard


some of  items in the shops on the square...

GOTTA remember this!

Only in America do we glamorize prison...

From the Square it was just a short walk back to Fisherman's Wharf.  We were on a quest for lunch, so we passed up Ben & Jerry's.  A little hard to read, but on their sign it says PEACE, LOVE, & ICE CREAM.  

Notice that the platforms were either totally full of sea lions OR totally empty 
(except for the one smart guy in the foreground.)  I cropped out all of the other empty platforms in the foreground, and there were quite a few of them.

Pier 39 was a happening place even on a weekday the end of September.   A few minutes after I snapped this shot we were sitting on that bench in the center enjoying our lunch.

While I was sitting holding our spot and waiting for Tom and Lisa to get their lunch (remember I was still full from my decadent chocolate shake at Ghiradelli's) the prettiest sparkly speckled bird landed right next to me on the top of the bench.  I've never seen a bird like that before, but unfortunately it didn't stay put long enough for me to get a picture. Marilyn - any thoughts?

Hard to tell without anything for scale, 
but these penguin booties in a store window were tiny.

This pretty stained glass reminded me - 
we haven't seen the peacock over here lately.

This music box of Lombard Street brought back memories of my visit there 40-odd years ago.  Our tour didn't pass directly by it, but did give us a glimpse of the squiggly street from a couple of blocks away.

Surprised we never saw this t-shirt in Colorado.

We were heading out to the curb catch the hop on, hop off bus which was scheduled to head out in a few minutes, so I didn't have time to check in here for something for Marilyn.  Could have been fun.

It was a good thing we got to the stop when we did; all the seats filled up quickly (it's the tour's official starting place, although we had bought our tickets the day before and hopped on at the stop in The Haight) and a number of tourists were turned away.  Luckily that was the only stop where space turned out to be an issue.

Whale Watching is still on my bucket list.  No time this trip.... maybe NEXT time? (But we sure did cram a lot of stuff into our 3 days!)

Last stop was the Embarcadero.  Pizza Orgasmica ("The Original Sin - We never fake it!") was at our stop but we kept heading to the Farmers' Market.

Unfortunately the Farmers' Market had already packed up for the day, but we found plenty to sample inside the Ferry Building (although we passed up this stall.)

We tasted scrumption garbanzo beans (made in a crock pot, with onions and some spices) at this stall.  It was so good that I picked up some at Sprouts on Sunday to try and duplicate it at home.

(Touching Beans: Go ahead, you know you want to)

I browsed through this fun recipe book.

Various animal mosaics decorated the walls inside.

Back on the hop on/hop off we passed another of the San Francisco fabric stores that was touted in my quilting magazine.  From the description it sounds heavenly, but there was no stop nearby.  (No, Tom wasn't crushed.)

random wall mural we passed

And that's it for pictures.  Hope you enjoyed my trip!

Alex just stopped by before work, and as I suspected he can't move the quilt shelf with everything on it.  So I'll empty it today and he'll move it tonight.  As long as he was here he had something to eat; it shouldn't be a total loss, right?

Onward and upward!