Though J and their two girls were practically raised together for three years, they hadn't seen each other in almost four. They circled each other like cats for the first few minutes but muscle memory eventually kicked in and they reverted to their remembered dynamic very quickly.
|Alcatraz with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background|
|TheAlcatraz exercise yard|
We explored Fisherman's Wharf after returning to the mainland, laughing at the antics of the Sea Lions lolling about Pier 39, finally settling on The Fog Harbor Fish House for dinner with a marvelous view of the harbour and the Sea Lions. Another coupe may have started our meal...
We headed back to the hotel amongst the throngs of New Year's Eve revellers, had a swim, and a soak in the hot tub before sharing a couple of bottles of champagne: one Australian, one American to ring in the 2013.
New Year's Day found the city much easier to navigate as many of the tourists seemed to have cleared out early. We walked up toward Union Square and hopped on one of San Francisco's famous cable cars and rode it up through Little Italy, Chinatown, and Nob Hill before disembarking back at Fisherman's Wharf. We chose the San Francisco landmark Sicilian restaurant, Alioto's, for lunch with a marvelous view of the Golden Gate Bridge.
After lunch, we walked and walked and walked, first to Ghiradelli Square (home of the famous chocolate) and back toward Union Square via Telegraph Hill, Russian Hill, Lombard Street (San Francisco's crookedest street), and Nob Hill. It was a great way to get out of the touristy parts of the city, and see more of the real place. San Francisco is architecturally beautiful, original, and fascinating at every turn. That we were blessed with spectacular weather didn't hurt.
Early the next day, we bid farewell to our friends. They headed north to Napa, we headed south to Carmel and the Pacific Coast Highway. Stay tuned for Part 3.