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  • Writer's pictureJeanne Marie

Off to San Francisco, Friday, August 19, 2022

Again, another early start to Logan Airport. The car would be arriving at 4 am for our 6 am flight to San Francisco. Of course, they always come about 10 minutes early, (which he did), but we were ready. At 5 am, the airport security is pretty much empty, so we headed through quickly. Since I didn't have a coffee before we left, I walked around the terminal to search for an open Dunkin' Donuts. I knew Mark would want a bagel while he was waiting to board. This flight we paid an additional fee to have the extra legroom seats. What a difference - no one reclining into your lap. The flight was not full, so we were able to move across the aisle to an empty row and I could have a window seat. I had been sitting in the middle with someone in the window seat. We landed in San Francisco at 9:30 am, but that was 12:30 pm Boston time. We had booked a taxi cab to take us to our hotel downtown.

Since we arrived so early in the city, our room would not be ready until noon, but they would hold our luggage until we could check in. Mark booked a hotel that was right across from the pier which made visiting some of the local attractions quite easy and within walking distance. Before we left home, I looked up some local restaurants or bakeries that might have gluten-free offerings. There was one that was about a 40-minute walk at the Ferry Building. On the way, we had to pass the Boudin Sourdough Bakery, which smelled delicious. I asked if Mark wanted to get a pastry, but he said he would see what the gluten-free bakery had. The Ferry Building, which opened in 1898, was the transportation focal point for trains or ferryboats. With the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge and Bay Bridge, the Ferry Building became obsolete. In 2003, the building reopened as a public food marketplace and kept the iconic clock tower. At Mariposa Bakery, I was able to have a croissant filled with chocolate and Mark had a large cinnamon roll. Yum yum!

We received a message that our room was ready, so we returned to our hotel to check in and decide what to do in the afternoon. Mark had read that there was a City Pass that would allow us to enter some of the local museums and ride the tour bus, Hop On, Hop Off for free. We purchased a two-day pass and headed out for our first adventure. We headed down to the Pier to find out about a boat ride that would take us under the two bridges and circle around Alcatraz. That ride would be at 3:30, so we looked at the City Pass to see what was free and nearby. We decided on the Madame Tussauds' Wax Museum. It was interesting, but a little creepy. We saw a replica of Al Capone's cell at Alcatraz where I was "locked up" and the shower scene from Psycho where I "found" the knife. Mark's favorite part was seeing Robin Williams and imitating the same pose. Mark could be his doppelganger.

Then it was time to get in line for the boat ride. The company took some pictures which they tried to sell at the end. I did screenshots of the photos. The weather was in the 70s, but the breeze off the bay was very chilly. I wish I had brought long pants or leggings with me. It was a fun ride but very choppy. As we left the pier, we passed by the sea lions just basking in the sun. The boat took us first out to go under the Golden Gate Bridge which was foggy until we got closer. For some reason, Mark didn't have the camera setting correct and the bridge looked very washed out. I added some color and the result was interesting, almost like a watercolor painting. There was a windsurfer on a hoverboard, something that I had never seen before up close. When you look at the picture below, it looks like he isn't touching the water at all. We circled around Alcatraz and there was a brief story about the history. It looked so near to San Francisco and we wondered why no one could swim to shore until we got up close and could see the rock and the tide. After Alcatraz, we sailed under the Bay Bridge which connects San Francisco to Oakland. We would be traveling over that bridge on our way to Napa. After our 90-minute boat ride, we headed off for a seafood dinner on Pier 39. Not too far from our hotel, was the Ghirardelli Chocolate Experience. I purchased some chocolate to take with us and we enjoyed thick shakes. Although it was still early, we headed back to the hotel. We were exhaused!

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