Sunday, August 17, 2014

I left my heart in San Francisco

"Dealing with other drivers in San Francisco is like going to war." -- Mom

We went to San Francisco today with Henry's film club. The purpose of the field trip was to see some of the locations where the 1958 film Vertigo was shot. Though it was exhausting as we were out for almost 14 hours, all of us had an amazing time.

Dad insisted on starting out early to avoid potential congestion. The drive was smooth; not only was there less traffic than anticipated, my family ended up being the first to arrive. After parking our car, the three of us headed to Portsmouth Square to wait for the others. It just happens that the San Francisco Chinatown Ping Pong Festival was being held at the plaza. Even mayor Ed Lee was there!

Once everyone showed up, the tour began with a walk on the Barbary Coast Trail. Our family friend Pi-Yun acted as our guide and took us to several points of interest in the area, such as Saints Peter and Paul Church and the Cable Car Museum. The cable car power house at the museum was a cool sight for sure.

All of us then had a short rest at Fairmont San Francisco. The hotel was impressive - both inside and outside - although I'm not too keen on finding out the rates. The last stop of the morning was the beautiful Grace Cathedral. One interesting feature of the church was the labyrinth outside the entrance. Going to the center was a workout in itself.

The group split up for lunch; about half of us went to a Chinese restaurant called Imperial Palace. Everyone was super hungry as it was well past noon. Let's just say it was like feeding a pack of starving wolves when the food arrived. While the prices were somewhat high, the food wasn't too bad.

Only nine of us stayed for the second half of the tour as the others left after lunch. There was more driving than walking as the remaining stops were farther apart. The afternoon began with a visit to Mission San Francisco de Asís. Founded just before the U.S. declared independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain, the mission is the oldest surviving structure in San Francisco. Some of us also went to the nearby Palace of Fine Arts, although we didn't actually go inside due to time constraints.

Up next was Fort Point National Historic Site. The fort had just closed when we arrived, but the parking lot was the perfect place to enjoy the cool ocean breeze. The next destination was the Legion of Honor. Though it was also closed, the museum made for some great pictures. The tour concluded at the makeshift memorial outside the home where the late Robin Williams once lived. It was touching to see that so many people cared about him.

The plan was to head to another Chinese restaurant for dinner. However, my father had such a hard time finding a parking spot that we almost decided not to stay. Mom was about to call Henry to tell him we were leaving when Dad found a spot at the last minute. Our group then had dinner together before going separate ways. The food wasn't that good, but at least Mom didn't have to cook after a long day.

Having walked so much, the three of us were totally exhausted when we got home. MapMyRun says we walked a total of around 12 miles - which is a new record for us. I'd say that burned quite a few calories. :-)

On the whole, this had to be one of our best day trips ever. I had no idea San Francisco could be so much fun. I'm hoping similar events are planned for the future. In the meantime, be sure to check out the pictures from the field trip.

In other news...

Only six more days until my 10-year high school reunion. I'm so excited!

Update: The pictures are online.

Currently listening to: "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" by Tony Bennett

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