I always feel bad if we’ve finished our coffee in a busy cafe and there’s someone juggling their plate of food and cutlery, wondering how they’re going to pick up their coffee when the barista calls their order, so I usually given them a nod and leave so they can use our table. And of course I hate it when we visit a cafe and want to sit down with our coffee and food and there are no tables free. That’s the main reason that puts me off going out for breakfast here. The people on their own with laptops at other tables don’t seem to feel the same guilt. I’d love to sit in a cafe with my laptop for hours but I never do – I think I’d feel bad the entire time!
Entries Tagged 'Out and about' ↓
February 1st, 2013 — Out and about
December 31st, 2012 — Out and about
Not really a boat person but looking out the window this morning the bay looked like glass and I’ve always wanted to go across to Oakland to where the Blue Bottle roastery is. Oakland does have a bit of a rep for being fairly rough so I was a bit nervous, especially when we were walking around under the freeway looking for Blue Bottle. The roastery was in an industrial area a couple of blocks from the bay with a tiny coffee bar in the corner. After our coffee we got the ferry back to San Francisco.
We went through a long canal out to the Bay passed a couple of the big container ships we always see out our window and got up close to the cranes.
It was pretty chilly on the water but very cool to go under the Bay Bridge and to see the city from the water.
December 23rd, 2012 — Out and about
We just wanted to say Happy Christmas and thanks to Aardvark – we’ve spent quite a bit of this year with you since you came to live in our street and we sure do appreciate you! You’ve driven us all over the place and have always been there when we needed you for an hour or 2 or for a day. (Except for that one time your spot was empty and the nice lady at 0800 zip tried pooping your horn because we thought you were just lost in the car parking building but we couldn’t find you and it turned out you were actually missing and out all night and we still don’t know what happened to you. We had to go to Sacramento that day in a Mini, we would rather have taken you but we didn’t have much choice). You’ve driven us to the airport a few times, the supermarket numerous times, helped us take our visitors out to Napa, out to the East Bay to our friends for barbeques and Thanksgiving, to the hospital on a wet day to get vaccinations and most importantly to get our California driver licenses (the man had lots of questions about buttons and knobs and because we’d gotten to know you so well that part of the test was easy! As well as being comfortable with the width and length of you for turning and backing and going down the little streets he tested us on).
So Happy Christmas and thanks again for always being there when we need you – hope you get the gift of a lovely Zip Spa so you’re all sparkly and clean for the holidays. I’m sure we’ll be seeing you again soon. We always pick you.
November 12th, 2012 — Out and about
This totally made my day! A very excited tweet from the Bay Bridge (@sfbaybridge) after he saw the photo I tweeted with a cupcake and candle for his birthday today. (ALL CAPS is his excited, alarmed, freaked out (when lightning strikes or cars catch on fire) voice.)
We really did specifically go out and buy a cupcake and candle and used up half a box of matches trying to get the candle to stay alight for the photo. Of course we didn’t throw the cupcake in the sea to be eaten by birds or fishes by the time it got to him so we ate it! Went to all this trouble because of a tweet the other day lamenting the fuss for the Big Orange Bridge’s birthday this year (we went to the party with Mother & Father were here in May). Plus we LOVE the bridge
Our last set of “big” visitors (I say that to mean more than just one person for one night) was The Mister’s parents – here for 10 days. They chose October thinking the weather would be good – not too hot, not too cold as we head into autumn and San Francisco often has an Indian summer so they wanted to chance that. Well. There was a heat wave. 30+ degrees! And apart from that, must’ve been the best weather that any of our visitors have had – no rain, no fog (they were disappointed not to see it on this side of town) and not cold at all!
By now we’re a dab hand a looking after guests and touring them around the city and environs, although M&F-I-L had been to San Francisco before so didn’t need the all-new-visitor tour.
- There was plenty of walking around the waterfront with us, and on their own when we were at work. They quickly became fans of Blue Bottle in the Ferry Building. We even got to see the NZ America’s Cup yacht up close!
- There were lots of nights at home with wine and chips and home cooking and chatting around the table (oh so many questions about our lives here!!)
- A couple of trips over the Golden Gate Bridge and every time (including their hop-on-hop-off bus tour) except once, the sky was clear and bridge and views of the city were stunning
- A day trip to Sausalito was very pleasant, tourist season and summer is beginning to wind down there and we were thrilled to get a table outside the deli where we normally get lunch with great views over the bay while we ate. A German tourist who said she was terrible at taking photos volunteered to take a photo of all of us on the pier – turned out to be a great photo and my favorite of us all for the trip. Amazing how clear San Francisco is in the background.
- 3 days of their trip was the California Zephyr train trip from San Francisco to Denver – you can read my train log here and the day in Denver here. It was certainly a great experience and after I got over the initial motion sickness feeling I was OK being on the train but it was a lot less salubrious than I thought it would be! Some great scenery although some delays meant we didn’t see the Rockies in all their glory.
- Back in the city we spent a Saturday fully enjoying the Ferry Building market and were entertained by the daredevil Blue Angels doing aerobatics and fly-overs as part of Fleet Week.
- The day before they flew out we took them to Napa – our favorite day trip via Yountville for coffee at the Coffee Caboose then to Dean & Delucca for lunch supplies, then to Alpha Omega for a tasting and picnic that lasts just about all afternoon because it’s so lovely sitting in the warm shade watching the water fountain.
Dean, Steph and Aidan have just visited for 2 weeks – having a child to visit meant we had to adjust the schedule, dragging everyone around coffee shops was not really an option! Here’s the only photo from the trip with all 5 of us in it and it’s a great photo!
On this trip I realized that Dean and I have been bestest friends for more than half my life – quite a special milestone!
- We all went to a San Francisco Giants baseball game the day after they arrived.
- We visited the Ferry Building and it became a bit of a regular day trip for them when we were at work for ice-cream and coffee.
- The Mister and I slept in on a pull out couch and lived out of a suitcase – but I could see the Bay Bridge lights as I fell asleep every night.
- I had a long lunch hour at the shops with Steph – she’s quite a good shopper and even took one of those large mesh bags around a shoe shop for when you clearly intend on buying more than one pair of shoes!
- 4th July picnic and Golden Gate Park, homemade burgers (including vegetarian patties) and fireworks.
- Had cars and noise and hundreds and thousands and finger prints all through the house.
- Napa day trip for the boys with me as their sober driver – burgers for breakfast, coffee break in Yountville, wine and picnic lunch and meat tray for dinner.
- Day trip to the outlet mall for the girls while the boys went to Santa Cruz to play on the beach and go to the movies. There’s no food at outlet malls so we ate peanut butter rolls I’d taken in my handbag and to fight off caffeine headaches we subjected ourselves to (get ready for it) Starshudderbucks – Steph was disgusted by her iced coffee that was just a bucket-o-cold black coffee with ice in it and my latte with an extra shot tasted like savaloy water. Awful.
- Dean changed the batteries in all our smoke alarms after we were woken one night to the flat battery beep.
- Got a sitter and enjoyed a night out at a vegetarian/vegan restaurant with a view of the Bay Bridge. I even wore shoes that didn’t require socks!
- Visited an extremely large Toys R Us out in the ‘burbs.
- Very foggy day the one time we went especially to see the Big Orange Bridge.
- Did the Muir Woods and Sausalito circuit.
June 25th, 2012 — Out and about
We joined in the Gay Pride Parade celebrations last weekend. What a huge event! And a lovely spirit that the whole of San Francisco gets behind.
Market Street was closed down and the parade went on for about 5 hours – we stood there for about 2.5 hours of it, and after getting back from coffee and lunch with some visiting Xeroes (from New Zealand and Germany) it was still going!
We waved our rainbow flags and enjoyed the motorbikes, cheer leaders, balloon costumes, tiny shorts, over-the-top dresses, dancing queens, some celebs, a gentleman sausage and lots and lots of smiles and goodwill.
Can’t believe Mother & Father’s 3-week visit has been and gone – so much planning for their time here and now they’re home. The weather was fab, just a day of light rain and temps always around 20. When I look through the photos I’m amazed how blue the sky is in all of them.
Turns out there are a lot of things to do around San Francisco but and we also got out to a few places we hadn’t been before on a couple of long weekends. This is one of my favorite photos of their time here
Apart from dragging them around a load of coffee shops, some known, some new, and a couple of rest or shopping days, here’s a run-down of what we got up to:
- A day in Berkeley – coffee shops, University of California Botanical Gardens, dinner, sunset from Treasure Island and we almost got to drive back over the Bay Bridge as the lights came on
- A day in Napa – stopping at Yountville to marvel at the idyllic little town and drink coffee from the Caboose, Dean & Delucca supplies for a picnic lunch at the Alpha Omega Winery and dinner at a BBQ joint in Napa
- Went to the Golden Gate Bridge’s 75th birthday celebrations – walked through Chrissy Field, visited the bridge history tent, ate fried green tomatoes from a food truck, watched (with hundreds of thousands of people!) awesome awesome fireworks coming out of the bridge accompanied by a light show and songs featuring San Francisco, waited in a line around the block with hundreds of people for a free bus back into the city where we arrived home freezing after midnight for a hot drink!
Here’s the official fireworks video (about 20 minutes long)
- Took a long weekend road trip to Santa Cruz, Big Sur, a secret beach with purple sand and Monterrey where we visited the aquarium, dined at some fabulous restaurants (one seafood, one Italian) and drove through miles and miles of fruit and vegetable crops and saw the world’s supply of artichokes!
- Drove for a day around the top spots – Muir Woods, Sausalito, new coffee shop on Filmore, Lombard Street, Coit Tower and home passed the Trans-America Tower
- Poked around the Saturday market at the Ferry Building and had a BBQ feast out at Bev and Dan’s place
- Joined the hippies at the Haight Street festival and wandered through Golden Gate Park
And somewhere in between all that, Mother & Father had a few days at Yosemite and went across to Alcatraz. A pretty full 3 weeks overall!
Here’s the photo from the helicopter after a crowd of us in orange attempted to make the outline of the Golden Gate Bridge on Saturday but had to reassemble at the last minute into a 75 because there weren’t enough people. Gorgeous orange line shows roughly where we were on the 7 – Happy Birthday bridge!
We joined lots of orange clad people yesterday morning at Crissy Field to make a human Golden Gate bridge, to be photographed from a helicopter with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background, to be made into a postcard as part of the 75th anniversary celebrations. Something like this from the Golden Gate National Parks website:
However, not enough people showed up, the dogs in their orange outfits didn’t even make up enough numbers, so they opted to just do the 75 out of humans. Not sure if they’re going to Photoshop in the other 1000 people they needed or just make a big 75 on the grass in front of the bridge – that’d be kind of cool I reckon. We were on the side of the 7 so hopefully we can see ourselves although so many people in orange it’s doubtful! There was a woman in the crowd who’d walked across the bridge on the day it opened in 1937 with her grandparents and she got up on the organizer’s ladder to tell us about it via megaphone with loads of clapping and cheering!
Originally we were going to stand on the deck of the bridge on the San Francisco side – the organizers marked our orange spot
And we dutifully stood there with patches of people making up the towers and the central suspension cable
Once we were all asked to abandon our posts and reassemble into the 75 it looked a bit more dense so I think they made the right decision
Now we wait until Tuesday to see the actual photo from the helicopter, and sometime later in the year the postcards! How exciting to be part of the Golden Gate Bridge’s 75th birthday, even though I do have affections for the Bay Bridge – it was 75 late last year but there were no official celebrations (the bridge is pretty pissed about that, it told me so on Twitter!) Next weekend Crissy Field will be overrun by thousands gathering for an actual birthday party and fireworks.