Monday 26 December 2022
Drive to San Francisco
Today, after five rough days, I’m starting to feel vaguely human. So, for the first time in what feels like forever, I am able to join the others on today’s outing. As it’s a public holiday, we decide to take a drive up the I-101 to San Francisco.
We park near Fort Mason because we know there’s free car parking there, then take a walk through Fort Mason, along the Embarcadero to Fisherman’s Wharf, as far as Pier 39.
The former shipyard of Fort Mason has been transformed into a cultural centre and park. For me, the best thing is the views it offers across the bay to The Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. Although, to be honest it’s not that great a view today because the weather is rather overcast.
The area along the bay shore is lined with all manner of tourist opportunities; souvenir shops, restaurants, old ships and museums such as Musee Mechanique and Ridley’s Believe it or Not! But not really places to explore with a dog in tow.
So we continue to the iconic Pier 39, lined with even more shops, restaurants and tourist attractions. Including, of course, the sea lions for which it is famous.
We do a full circuit of Pier 39, from the festive displays at the entrance, as far as the heart at the end.
Then back down the side to watch the sea lions which bask on nearby pontoons. It turns out that Mariah is scared of sea lions, so we move (very) quickly on as she pelts off up the pier with daughter no 2 clinging on for dear life!
Lunch at Boudin Bakery
On our return, we stop for lunch at Boudin Bakery, famous for its soup in a sourdough roll. The store is absolutely heaving. It appears that we were far from the only ones who thought a stroll along Fisherman’s Walk and and lunch at Boudin’s was the way to spend the day.
The store is beautifully decorated with a tree adorned with bread decorations. We finally make the front of the queue, purchase our soup and take it outside to eat. The old man opts for the clam chowder, while we choose tomato soup with Parmesan and croutons. Because if you’re going to serve soup in an entire loaf of bread, what it’s really crying out for is a garnish of more bread! Mariah sits underneath the the mesh table, trying desperately to work out why she can see food but somehow not quite reach it.
After lunch, we walk back to the car and return to Palo Alto to pack for the next leg of our adventure. In the morning, the old man flies to Los Angeles to start our second house sit in Temecula. We will follow slightly later. Being British and living on a small island, I happily agreed to two housesits – one finishing tomorrow and the other starting tomorrow in the same state. Simple, right? I forgot how absolutely enormous California actually is. It turns out the houses are 448 miles apart. Hence, in the absence of a teleport, we must split up with him going on ahead, while we wait for Marian’s owners to return.
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