A few years ago, I visited San Francisco for the first time, while making a presentation or two at the Integrated Media Association conference (integrated in this case means "online," by the way) and thought it would be a great place for Carolie and I to visit.
Next week is our 25th anniversary and so what better place to celebrate than San Francisco!
We arrived this morning and we found our hotel down on Fisherman's Wharf. All of my highbrow acquaintances advised against the wharf because it's basically a tourist area. But we are, when all is said and done, tourists.
Our hotel looks out over Alcatraz -- in fact I'm sitting on the bed watching a big container ship pass by Alcatraz (probably more cheap junk from China coming in. Carolie just showed me a postcard she took with Alcatraz on it. It was printed in Korea. They took the picture not more than a mile away... and then imported it from Korea!).
We were pretty hungry so we had lunch at The Franciscan Crab Restaurant. We headed up to watch the sea lions when we ran across someone with a stack of brochures for Grey Line Tours. He "comped" us a tour up to the redwood forest...somewhere... on Monday...and $50 in dining. And all we had to do is listen to some pitch for some time-sharing-like place for 90 minutes.
Now, frankly, I've always wondered if I could withstand one of those things and it seemed like a challenge and Carolie is always fun to watch with challenges like this, so we said sure. It was actually pretty interesting, but we just don't take a lot of vacations where that sort of thing makes any sense at all. I believe they were looking for an investment of $29,000.
Now I tend to believe that any "investment" that includes the popping of a balloon and a bunch of people clapping whenever anyone makes it, is probably not a good investment.
So, about 80 minutes later, our salesman pulls his manager over in a last-ditch effort to sell us something and I said, "Anthony did a great job of making his presentation, but let me tell you why no balloons are going to be popping here today...."
So we got our coupons and out the door we went. We stopped by to see the sea lions and came back to the hotel.
And the obligatory picture with Alcatraz in the background...
Tomorrow, we'll probably get up earlier than most of California (I'm guessing we're going to fall asleep before most of California tonight!) and follow the tourists guidebook on a walking tour. At some point we'll rent a bike and try to bike across the Golden Gate bridge to Sauselito and then take the ferry back. Or maybe not, depending on how old we feel.
(PS: I know some folks have posted comments, but they haven't shown up on the public page; not sure why. But keep trying. I think there's a little problem with the blogspot server which should be fixed at some point, I'm sure.)
5 months ago