the palace and coat-hanger days

Thursday 8 to Saturday 10 December 2017

It is a miserable and rainy day outside. I don’t have anything planned except for packing, checking out and doing a couple of errands.

K came over on her way to work and loaded me up with Christmas presents to take home for the family. Luckily I had room for them in the small suitcase I brought with me, the same suitcase that I loaded up with goodies for her when I came over. The only person she didn’t have a present for was her father and he decided he wanted a t-shirt from Anchor Brewing as an American Facebook of his had told him about them.

K went to work and wouldn’t be able to get the t-shirt so I studied Google maps to find where to go to get it. I checked out and stored my bags, then I set off and caught the N train at the Powell Street station which travelled below Market Street, emerging on Embarcadero by Folsom Street. I got off at the stop near AT&T Stadium which apparently is the home of the San Francisco Giants baseball team.

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I walked to Townsend Street and caught a bus that would take me close to Mariposa Street where the brewery is, grabbed the t-shirt, caught another bus back (same driver!). I went back to the train/tram stop outside AT&T Stadium and hopped on an E street car heading to Pier 39.

With all the rain today it was pretty foggy out there with the Bay Bridge being partially obscured. I think they are used to that in San Fran but it doesn’t get like that very often at all at home. I had had so many blue and clear days in my time here that I wasn’t upset it was foggy at all.

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I even spotted a streetcar I hadn’t seen before though I wasn’t in a position to get a good photo

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At Pier 39 my mission was to get a charm to fit my Pandora bracelet that I spotted a few days earlier, in the shape of a cable car. My kids had agreed to chip in for it for my Christmas present. Too easy.

Getting lunch I decided to try a different eatery for a bread bowl with chowder. I had only gone to Boudin previously and I wish I had stuck with them. At this place the bread bowl wasn’t as good as at Boudin and neither was the soup. Oh well.

It was too wet and miserable to do anything much and I was meeting K at her work at 3.00pm so I left early taking the F street car. As I was early I thought I would nip in to Ghirardelli’s on Market Street and at least get a free chocolate sample. I had time so I ordered a caramel flavoured hot chocolate. I came with another chocolate sample. Winning!

I walked one block to the building where K works, she gave me a tour and introduced me to her work friends. Then she left work to spend the rest of the day with me. We took an Uber to the Palace of Fine Arts because I hadn’t been able to get a good look at it during my stay. We took our time walking through and around it.

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Next we took another Uber to Castro and then walked to the bank so I could get some money out to give to K for her Christmas and birthday presents. We waited in the rain for a bus to take us to Mission. I wanted to have a burrito for my last dinner here as I hadn’t managed to get one before now. We got burritos at Taqueria El Farolito and it was amazing, but filling.

When we left it was raining out, a lot. We really didn’t feel like waiting for the bus and sitting on it for 15 stops so we decided to take the Bart train even though the fare is not included in my travel pass. The station is right next door to the burrito place and would take only three stops and a lot less time to get to Powell Street.

Back at the hotel I collected my bags and we waited in the guest lounge area for a while before heading to the airport using the Bart. I checked in, we had a drink and then it was time to go through security. I gave K a hug and told her to take care. She told me not to cry. Who me? We said our goodbye and then she was gone. Time to go home.

The flight was delayed by about nearly an hour and ended up leaving after midnight. It was the only part of 9 December I saw as 14 hours later when I landed in Sydney it was 10 December as west of Hawaii we crossed back over the international date line.

Sunrise on the plane – somewhere north east of Sydney, it was 3.30am Sydney time and still nearly five hours before landing

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Coming in to land at Sydney from the north and sitting on the left side of the plane gives a fantastic view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge (fondly known as the coat-hanger), the Sydney Opera House and Sydney city itself. Sydney has got to be one of the prettiest places to fly into.

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The plane landed in Sydney about an hour late so I was worried that I wouldn’t make my connecting flight in time. I did. Just another five hour flight and I would be home.

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By the time I got home I was knackered as it was almost 24 hours since I had taken off from San Francisco. I didn’t have much time to recover as I was due back at work in less than two days.

I have had a fantastic two weeks. I am so glad I got to see my girl and that I got to see a city I hadn’t had any immediate plans to see before my girl went there to live for a year.

 

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