Monday, June 15, 2009

San Francisco 2009, Part 2 (of 2)

I suppose I left off on Wednesday. Laura and I went to Golden Gate Park, all the way over on the west end of the city. It required kind of a long bus ride, and since I started off the day in a haze of bone-crunching nausea, this did not bode well. I had hoped that the fresh air of the park would revive me, but no dice. I felt bad that my infirmities were slowing us down because although I’d been to the park last year, this was Laura’s first visit. She was a good sport and assured me that she was fine with taking it easy. We managed to visit the Rose Garden, the Japanese Tea Garden, Stowe Lake, and the San Francisco Botanical Gardens. Crummy as I felt, I wanted to stay in the park as long as I could because I did not relish the bus ride all the way back downtown.

I didn’t take too many pictures, as a result of my general crumminess, and also because I have a plethora of photos of these same places from just one year ago.

Rose Garden

Japanese Tea Garden

Japanese Tea Garden

On Wednesday night, Rob and I walked up to the Embarcadero from our hotel. We found some dinner, watched the sunset on Pier 19, and then took the California Street cable car just for fun.

Melissa & Rob

Thursday morning, as I recall, I went up to Fisherman’s Wharf on my own for a little more souvenir shopping. I think I may have actually worked on my dissertation in the afternoon, or maybe just slept off some nausea. Perhaps both. Thursday evening, Rob and I went back up to the wharf area again, where we had an overpriced, terrible dinner (what could have been a lovely pasta primavera was smothered in alfredo sauce. I think I got heart disease just looking at it). As if my fat cells hadn’t exploded enough, we went onto Ghirardelli Square, where we split a brownie sundae. It was the best thing I had ever tasted in my entire life. I vowed to never eat again, but I woke up at 3am with Fig kicking and my stomach growling.

Rob's classy photo of Ghirardelli Square

Rob's classy photo of the Powell-Mason cable car

On Friday, I was eager to walk off the excess alfredo and sundae from the night before. While Rob did a long bike ride to El Diablo (I’m sure he’ll blog about it), I decided to go up to Telegraph Hill. On my way, I walked to the Redwood Park by the Transamerica Pyramid.

Fig and I paused to hug some trees

Then I proceeded to Telegraph Hill. I walked up Kearney Street the whole way, which is so steep in places that it is closed to traffic. I took it slow and rested a lot on the way up.

Coit Tower stands in a park on top of Telegraph Hill. There were some really great views from the park. I also went inside the tower and took the elevator up to the top. It was neat to go up there, but kind of cold and also encased in glass, so it was hard to get any good pictures.

Coit Tower

Golden Gate Bridge from Coit Tower

Downtown from Coit Tower

Lombard Street from Coit Tower

Alcatraz Island from Coit Tower

I left Telegraph Hill via Lombard Street. It wasn’t quite as steep as Kearney had been on my way up, and I tried to convince myself that this would have been possible with Fig in tow, providing that Fig is as hardy as his/her father and me. I was able to see the crooked section of Lombard Street as I wound my way back down Telegraph Hill. I eventually caught a cable car back to the downtown area. At some point on the return trip, we passed through the filming of a Bollywood movie. I don’t think we’re going to be in it though; it looked like they stopped shooting as our cable car sped by.

Coit Tower on the way down Telegraph Hill

Lombard Street (can kind of see the crooked part at the top of the hill)

Saturday was a big day for Rob and me. After we procured a breakfast smoothie, we took a trolley (sort of an old-timey looking bus) to the Castro to pay our respects at the Harvey Milk Plaza. I loved the Castro. There were rainbow flags everywhere, same sex couples holding hands, guys in short shorts, and even a shop selling onesies with logos like, “I love my two daddies.” I saw a cyclist who was riding down the street with his pet Chihuahua in a backpack—that’s not the crazy part—the crazy part was that the Chihuahua was wearing pink sunglasses. It was great. I stuck out like a gigantic heterosexual pregnant woman, but nobody seemed to care.

The Castro

Harvey Milk Plaza

Flag at Harvey Milk Plaza

Produce market on Castro Street

We ate lunch at a sandwich shop centered around Fig’s favorite food: the avocado. I had the best sandwich I have ever eaten in my entire life. As luck would have it, the sandwich shop was also next to an ice cream shop, which made for a fine dessert.

We then proceeded to walk on the famous Haight Street till we got to Golden Gate Park. We hopped on a bus and took it to Ocean Beach. This became my favorite part of the trip (the ocean part, not the bus ride). I am thrilled to no end that Fig’s has had his or her first trip to the ocean before he or she has even been born.

Melissa in the Pacific

Team Ragfield

Next on our agenda was the Cable Car Museum, which involved a long, nauseating (well, just for Fig and me) bus ride all the way back across town. We finally made it there and it was well worth the trip. Seriously, the Cable Car Museum is one of the best museums I've ever been to-- and it was free!! Given Rob’s affinity for Things With Wheels, I’m sure he’ll blog all about it and post the pictures that he took (eventually). In addition to the displays, I was also really thrilled with the gift shop, where I found a couple of cute little things for Fig (Fig really lucked out with the souvenirs on this trip).

By this point, it had been a long day, involving much public transportation. We eventually took a bus back to our hotel (but not before stopping for one last brownie-to-go at Ghirardelli Square). I was completely beat, and that brownie (while amazing) pushed me over the edge in terms of nausea. I managed to get my stuff packed up and then crashed in bed, most likely crying a little because I felt like hell.

All day Sunday we spent traveling home—again without incident (except a minor delay to one of our flights). Nobody asked to see my doctor’s note, and I didn’t experience any of the complications that the Internet seems to indicate will happen to you if you travel while you’re pregnant. Take that, Internet. I was hell of nauseous though, and I still am. It’s wearing quite thin these days, I have to admit. Two months to go.

Thanks for reading.


Anonymous said...

You didn't disappoint me and leave me hanging in the LURCH with the lack of TRAVEL adventures!!!!! What a wonderful description of all you did and saw and the pictures are Awesome!!!! In spite of your "NAUSEOUS-ness", and feeling pew,,, YOU LOOK FANTASTIC!!! maybe BEING PREGNANT and standing in the OCEAN isn't so bad after all!!!!! Now if we could just move the ocean a bit closer to URBANA , all would be much better!!!!!! Thanks for taking me along on your adventure, and so happy you all made it back home safe and sound!!!! Maybe you will just have to close your eyes and make the OCEAN sounds your "happy place", til Fig arrives!!! hang in there, you are on the down hill now!!!!!!! Luv you foxymama

Jerry Pritikin said...

Thanks for "Trip" down memory lane... I was lucky to arrive in S.F. at the tail-end of the beatnik era. I was there for the summers before, during and after the 1967 "Summer of Love"... and saw the Grateful Dead play at an upstairs, downtown gay bar The Rendezvous with 25 cents beer in a bottle and no cover charge... in the early 70's, I displayed my photographs
in a Castro st. bakery shop. I was a friend of Harvey Milk... and one of my images of him is on display at Harvey Milk Plaza. I would like to recommend a web-site dedicated to the Castro of the 1970's... and my images are and my blog the stories and images are the real thing and not a recreation like the movie. Weed back then cost $7. a lid
and I spent many hours at Golden Gate Pk and heard Free Concerts by the "Dead" The Jefferson Airship and Janis Joplin... I was lucky to be there when so much was available at so little cost... but S.F. will always be where I found and left my heart. Cheers...Jerry