When last we spoke, I was writing my last post while Kathleen was having surgery on her elbow that she hurt on our first day in San Francisco. Today (four days later), I am starting this while she is in for her post-op check. She is doing better. The first day was fine, the block wore off, the pain kicked in on day two, and now things seem better. I hope whatever they do to her today doesn’t make her regress.
But back to our second day in the Bay area. Not much happened for us because Kathleen (with her arm in an ugly splint) slept most of the day. But I got up before dawn to take pics from the ship (all of them are in the gallery below), and then after getting her up, bathed and off to breakfast and then back to the stateroom for another nap, I went out to walk the Embarcadero in the opposite way we went yesterday. I wanted to walk from the ship at Pier 27 to whatever they call the ballpark where the San Francisco Giants play.
It was a beautiful, windy day, and I think I enjoyed my walk as much as Kathleen enjoyed her nap 😜. I shot a bunch of pics (again, see the gallery) and then headed back to the ship as we sailed at 4:30 in the afternoon to head out for another sea day and then a visit to Astoria, Oregon.
One of the best things about sailing into or out of San Francisco is sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge, and this time (on a clear afternoon), I was on the top deck as we sailed out to sea. There are lots of photos from that in the gallery as well.
That about does it for San Francisco. We had a decent time, but if I had to do it all over again, I would have preferred that Kathleen not fall and that we do not have to spend more than six hours in an ER. But that’s what happened.
Below is my photo gallery from day two in San Francisco. The first few are from an early sunrise shoot from around the ship’s upper decks.
Early morning in the City by the Bay
Standing in one spot on the aft deck of Millennium I took these shots.
We were directly in front of Coit Tower.
Looking to the left down the Embarcadero
Looking towards the business district.
The Ferry Building
The sun coming up over Treausure Island.
Alcatraz at first light.
The second group is from my mid-day Photowalk.
Looking across to Treasure Island under the Bay Bridge.
A speed boat crosses under the Bay Bridge.
My view back towards the Ferry Building and Millennium.
An intersting art placement in the bay side park.
I posted this as a travel shot of the day. Looks to me like a guy who lost his boat.
This busker on the Embarcadero was thrilled to have his picture taken.
The last few are from our sail out, which took us under the amazing Golden Gate Bridge.
A tour boat heading right towards the ship as we left the dock.
Thousands of seagulls came to feed.
A wide shot of San Francisco looking back.
Looking forward to Alcatraz.
The Golden Gate on the San Francisco side
Sailing out under blue skies/
From one side (north)
To the other south
See how close the ship gets to the bridge
Looking at the bridge in one direction…
And then another.
And looking back at the city.
San Francisco is really fun and liberal, and it’s my kind of politics. It’s like being Jewish in front of Jewish people. —Elaine Boosler
As I write this, I am sitting in the waiting area for Proliance Surgeons as Kathleen is getting her elbow repaired. We are now fully moved into our new home (except for about 20 boxes we still need to empty), have sold our old one (escrow closes on the 16th), and things are indeed…”interesting.”
When Kathleen asked me what I was going to do while she was getting cut (surgery takes 90 minutes, but she is in pre-op for 2 hours and then post-op for two hours), I said it was about time I finished up the Pacific Coastal cruise report, so here we go.
San Francisco—I used to like this town.
Ok, I still do like this town, but I am also kind of ticked at the city. This is the city where Kathleen found a nice lip on a sidewalk and took the fall that led to the surgery she is having now. But you already knew that, so here’s what we did that day.
Our ship was in port for two days. I had hoped to get up early and be on deck when we sailed under the Golden Gate, but we were already docked when I woke up and looked outside at 4:30 am. I guess I could have taken pics of us coming in but they all would have been black scenics.
The ship was docked at Pier 27, about halfway between the Ferry Building and Fisherman’s Wharf, right on the Embarcadero. After breakfast, the four of us set off on a walk towards Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39 and Boudin’s Sourdough Bakery. Lots of photos on the way you can see in the gallery below. We stopped for coffee at Boudin’s, and then Kathleen and I headed back to the ship via Uber while Jamie and Steve went exploring.
That afternoon we had scheduled another food tour with Local Tastes of the City Tours. We had chosen to do their North Beach/Little Italy tour. They also do a Chinatown tour, but we went that way since I love Italian food more than Asian. We took an Uber up from the ship to meet our guide smack dab in the middle of Little Italy. We four were part of a group of 14 who would take the tour, which started with us eating a cannoli on the street corner where we met up. They were delicious, but I sure would have liked to see the places where they came from. Our guide just brought them along with her from Stella Pastry about half a block away.
Then it was off to cross the street to Cavalli Cafe, where we tried Italian sodas (definitely the weakest link on this tour), but they did have a nice restroom. This was also one of the few stops where we got to go into someplace and sit down. The rest of the tour involved our guide (who was very good) going into the store/restaurant and bringing the food out to us to eat on the street. While all the food we had was excellent, this got a little annoying after a while—eating on a sidewalk with people walking by. But as I said before, life is certainly interesting.
After Italian sodas, we went on to a fun little Sicilian delicatessen about a block away to try arancini (rice balls full of meat and cheese). The food was fine, but the real attraction here was the owner, who came out on the street and pretty much put on a comedy show. As you can see from the photo, he is a pretty animated Sicilian who truly loves his store. A few days later, I have to say that we had arancini in Victoria, BC, which was a lot better.
I should also note that none of these places were more than about two blocks from another, so this was not a long tour by any stretch. As we walked, our guide Isabella told us all about the history of the neighborhoods we were walking through. She was genuinely well-versed in her San Francisco lore.
Our next stop was our favorite on the tour, San Francisco’s oldest Italian market, Molinari’s. Inside this place was AMAZING! If we had a place like this near home, I might ask for a job or spend a lot of money there regularly. I have some great photos of the inside of these places in the gallery below. BTW: This place had the best sandwiches I may ever have eaten. Don’t ask me why, but I think it’s because everything was just perfect, from the bread to the cold cuts and veggies inside. It was so good it would almost be worth a trip back to the city to eat there.
After we left Molinari’s, we walked a bit, and I climbed a high set of stairs to take pics with a few others from the tour (see the gallery), and we were headed to Z Cioccolato to get some of their amazing fudge. But sadly, we never got there. About 25 feet to the right of this photo is where Kathleen fell and broke her elbow. From there, we hailed an Uber and drove quickly back to the ship. We had hoped that she wasn’t hurt too badly, but by the time we got down to the ship, it was evident that we needed to get to a doctor or an ER.
At this point, I need to point out that we did have a little bit of good luck because the ship was in San Francisco overnight. If that had not been the case, and seeing that it was already after 3:00 pm, we would have been in real trouble as the ship would have sailed at 4:30 pm, leaving us behind to fly home on our own. That’s what happens with ships. That would have given us some real problems for so many reasons.
After we got back to the ship and dropped Steve and Jamie off, we grabbed another Uber and had them take us to the nearest Kaiser hospital (our HMO). It wasn’t too far away, but when you are driving bumpy streets with a broken elbow, it seems like 100 miles. We had high hopes that we would be out of there within a couple of hours and make it back for dinner. Unfortunately, that was not to be. We were in the ER for more than six hours from start to finish. And they were so crowded they wouldn’t let me in the building (not even a waiting room) due to COVID restrictions for the first three hours. I got so stand outside in the cold wind. This was not one of my most fun experiences.
Kathleen left with a fully wrapped arm in a splint (that had to be kept DRY), and we got back to the ship about 9:30. My brother had arranged for a wheelchair to get her back on board, and by that time, she needed it. So we got a very late room service dinner and went to bed.
One other thing I want to mention before I drop in the photos. The folks at Local Tastes Tours were awesome when this all happened. Our guide (after making sure we were doing OK) ran to the chocolate store and grabbed fudge for all of us to enjoy later. Then that evening, I got an e-mail from the tour company owner asking how Kathleen was and sending us a certificate for a free tour for four the next time we are in San Francisco. Of course, he did not need to do that, but this is the sign of a great company, and then our guide Isabella sent me a separate e-mail asking how she was doing. They were just wonderful. I can’t recommend them highly enough. Don’t forget, these pics look much better if you click on one and watch them as a slide show, either on a computer or a tablet.
The view off our verandah early in the morning.
The California sea lions at Pier 39.
Fun to watch…
But a lot less of them than on previous visits.
Just a fun shot.
Just off Pier 39. Really liked this shot.
The smells were amazing.
St. Francis Cathedral
Across the street a band was playing in front of a just-opening Italian restaurant.
You know I love shooting pics of performers.
Inside the Cavelli Cafe
Our intrepid guide Isabella
The stairs I was the only one to climb.
To get this view.
And this one combining the new with the old.
Laundry on the edge of Chinatown.
Looking into Chinatown from Little Italy.
That was about it for day one in the city by the bay. As if that wasn’t enough. As I am finishing this, we are back home after Kathleen’s surgery, and she is OK and doing well. Her elbow just needed some repairs but not a complete replacement. Thank heaven (or whoever) for that.
Nothing important has ever come out of San Francisco, Rice-a-Roni aside.