Saturday, October 9, 2010

day in SF

Because Martin and I never went on an official honeymoon (he went to work at 8 AM the day after we had our wedding), I believe that we get to have mini honeymoons for the rest of our lives to make up for it. Saturday was a partial honeymoon day. As a subscriber to the San Francisco Opera one of my "benefits" is that I get a complementary tour of the opera house. I missed out on the opportunity last year as I tried to book too late in the season and they were all full. So this year I planned ahead and with our desire to experience as much of the Bay Area as we can during our last year here we set aside October 2nd for a day in the city. Since the tour was in the AM we decided to go out for breakfast before. Katie and Mary Anne graciously agreed to hangout with the kids and we set off for the BART around 8:30 or so. I had done some research as to where we could eat in the vicinity of the opera house and had found a place called Stacks a few blocks from the opera house that had excellent reviews. It was super fun to go out for breakfast. We usually think that breakfast isn't a legitimate meal to go out for since you can usually make it very easily at home but we might be changing our minds about that! Because it was just the two of us, and because we were on our honeymoon (!), we were very flexible about seating and decided that it would be fun to sit at the bar. It was indeed fun- easier to chat because we sat next to each other! We both had Eggs Benedict and I indulged and got a smoothie as well.

After breakfast we made our way over to the opera house which I have been in quite a lot. I have seen Aida and Werther this season and last season I saw Il Trittico, Otello and Daughter of the Regiment. The tour was lead by Michael, a gentleman of about 180 who was had a slight tremor and lost his thoughts a couple of times but was a lovely and capable guide through the building. He had an able assistant (Esther- also about 185) who followed us around. It was her job to make sure no-one got left behind or got lost in the warren that is back stage. She did round up Martin and me when we were lagging behind in order to get a better look at the prompter's station. No fooling around with Esther in charge! Both Michael and Esther looked like they could do with some serious ABM lessons!
From Aida

We both felt a little nostalgic for our lives that used to be spent so much in theatres. . .

We had made a tricky plan to spend the day with Katie in San Francisco. When we got out of the tour she and the kids met us at the opera house. They were all giddy from already having had some SF fun. We had plans to go to Crissy Fields and get lunch from an Italian deli that Katie loves. We decided to do a couple of other SF touristy things before heading for lunch. First we drove down Lombard street (the twistiest street in the world). Then we took in Coit Tower. The fog/clouds in the bay were quite spectacular was they completely obliterated the towers of the GG bridge. Then we went and got our lunch from Lucca Delicatessen at 2120 Chestnut Street in the Marina District. It reminded me of Bosa but with even less space to move around. They specialize in making fantastic sandwiches with really great breads etc. We took our lunches down to Crissy Fields to eat them. Now we had a sea-level view of the GG bridge with no towers!! The fog horns were very active and they kept sounding  an interval which sounded so much like a piece of music I couldn't quite name. When we checked at home it was indeed Pictures at an Exhibition. It was all very dramatic with the fog and the horns and the reams of cyclists with rented bikes racing past. We walked a little after lunch but the kids were not up for much walking- it was a bit chilly.

Before we left sea level we went to visit the "Wave Organ" that is on the yacht club pier. I had been wondering what the "wave organ" was all about and was very glad to get a chance to see it in action. Basically it is a project where you can hear the ocean/tide through tubes that have the other end in the water. The whole thing looks like a fabricated "ruin" with these weird looking tubes sticking out everywhere. Katie had already brought the kids here before they came to pick us up at the opera house but that did not diminish their interest in the organ. Apparently the kids were telling Katie what they understood the organ to be saying. I wish I had been there for that! I am ready to take my recorder down there and get some great samples of cool sounds.

black conveyor belt at front desk
takes shoes somewhere magical?
in the ceiling?
 Our last stop in SF was to the Camper Store where we hoped we could get Martin some new laces for the pair of Camper's Caitlin gave him. Alas no laces but we got to see and drool over the beautiful shoes. I hope to have an income some day so that I can even bother to try a pair on! They sent us to a really old-school shoe repair store 1.5 blocks away which was worth the detour.
It had a neat conveyor belt storage thing that had all the jobs that were complete (I assume) and an amazing stretch of conjoined chairs that looked like they were for getting your shoes shined. They told us that we should take pictures because they were getting rid of them any day.. . .

I wonder if there was ever a time that this many people were waiting for their shoes to be fixed!

We employed Katie and Mary Anne's parking angel "Kevin" very effectively for our trip to SF. He found us spots at Coit Tower, across the street from Lucca's, at Crissy Fields right down at the bridge and literally outside the door of the Camper Store. Thanks Kevie

A fun day in SF indeed!!

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