Thursday, June 12, 2008

Ragfields in San Francisco (Day 4)

First, a couple of photos from last night in Chinatown:
Four apes sitting on a bench

"Uncle" restaurant?

This morning Rob got up before 6am and went for a really long bike ride. I don’t have the details; he’ll probably post his own blog entry about it, but here are a few pictures he took during the ride:
I presume he rode up this hill

Bike Friday on the Golden Gate Bridge

Classic Rob

I had a bit of a slow morning and then ended up meeting with my new friend Laura. Her husband and Rob work together, and Laura has also come to San Francisco to visit. We met with the guys for lunch, and then Laura and I hopped on a bus up to Fisherman’s Wharf. We went to Pier 39, which is apparently where everything is happening. Its got tons of shops and restaurants and sea lions and a carousel.

The Aquarium at the Bay is also on Pier 39, and this was the main reason why Laura and I had wanted to go there in the first place. It did not disappoint. In fact, it was one of the coolest things I have ever done. Part of the aquarium was a glass tunnel through the bay—as you walked through the tunnel, fish were swimming on all sides of you. All of fish were native to the region. The most interesting thing about this part was the sharks. There were several different kinds, including at least one very large one (I think it was a Seven Gill Shark). It was always really exciting when this guy decided to swim by. I couldn’t help but be retroactively paranoid about the time that Rob did the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon and swam in these very waters.

Meli in the tunnel. Note the WFD bag, Aimee!

The very best thing about the aquarium came at the end, when they had all these different tanks of animals that you could actually touch. I petted a sting ray, some sea cucumbers, sea urchins, starfish, and yes, even a shark. It was a 2 year old leopard shark. It felt so cool. If primatology doesn’t work out, I would definitely consider becoming a marine biologist.

Meli petting a leopard shark

After the aquarium, Laura and I spent a long time wandering around the strip of shops on Pier 39. Among the most noteworthy was a place called Chocolate Heaven, where I tried to use restraint.
Something that you must know about me is that I love the bitter of bittersweet.

I got a few non-edible souvenirs at some other shops, again, trying my best to use restraint because of our limited luggage situation. But still, I think its necessary to have a few mementos.

There were a lot of really great views on Pier 39. One of the coolest things was the sea lions, who apparently live right on the pier. I seriously could have stood there watching them for hours. I don't know much about their behavior, other than males seem to be very territorial and aggressive. Here is a photo and some video I took:

And some more photos of Pier 39 and the views:

Laura and Melissa at Pier 39

Laura and I had some dinner (which included San Francisco Sourdough Bread) and then wandered south. We encountered a Trader Joe’s, which is truly the most amazing thing ever. I had never been to one, but I’ve always heard people from big cities like Chicago talk about how great they are. And it was. It was like I had entered my own personal heaven. I could have bought everything in the store. It was all healthy, organic stuff, and it was so (comparatively) cheap. I know if I had one wish, it should be for something like world peace, but I think instead it would be to live in a place with a Trader Joe’s.

We caught a cable car to get back home and planned our adventures for tomorrow. Tentatively it includes breakfast and a trip to the San Francisco Zoo. Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

I am with BARB,,,,, sounds good to me...... Soooo happy you have a new friend, to explore the sights, sounds, and smells of S/F with!!!!!! SOAK it all up dearie, as soon you will be back in the flatlands, of IL, and finding NO TRADERS JACK close by!!!!!!!!!!!!! The PHOTOS are absolutely AMAZING!!!!!! What a busy and beautiful city....... ENJOY and WHAT doesn't FIT in your SUITCASE, just SEND it home------- don't wish you had "GOTTEN' something , after you get back. Eat as much BITTERSWEET CHOC as you can hold......... have some for me......... WAITING FOR "TODAY"S ADVENTURES>>>>>> Luv you, foxy mama

Ragfield said...

Actually, I rode down that hill, but only after riding up a very similar hill. This is Lombard street. You can see the crooked section at the very top of the next hill over.

By "classic Rob" do you mean sweaty?

Aimee said...

thanks for sporting the WFD bag!!
Sounds like you're having a great time. When you come visit me in the "big city" we can hit Trader Joe's and Whole Foods.

gutzville said...

I hear we are getting a Trader Joes, but that may have just been someones wishful thinking.
How did you get those captions. I have been trying to do captions in blogger for some time with no luck.

amypfan said...

I'm with Aimee.... come visit us, and we'll let you spend as much time at Trader Joe's as you want. :)

amypfan said...

Oh, and I think that you need to prominently frame the picture of you with the apes. Very cute!

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