Thursday, November 09, 2006

I've been in San Francisco with Kerry this week and heading home later this afternoon. While Kerry has been at her conference I've been wandering around my old stomping grounds. On Tuesday I rode CalTrain down to Palo Alto to meet with my old group at EMC for lunch at the Peking Duck. It was the usual 2.5 hour team lunch I had when I traveled here for work. It was good to see everyone again and catch up on all the EMC gossip. They were a great group of people to work with and made corporate life at EMC tolerable. I miss them but know we'll all stay in contact.

Wednesday I decided I'd take a walk across the Golden Gate Bridge since it was something I never did while I lived here. I added my own twist by starting from our hotel on 5th and Market near Union Square. The weather forecast was for sunny skies so at 9:30am I headed down Market Street to the Embarcadero going by Noah's Bagel to grab a bagel and coffee. I walked along the Embarcadero stopping to eat my bagel and drink my coffee on one of the piers open to the public. I passed the uber touristy Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf area and continued on to the Maritime Museum and Fort Mason which I didn't even know existed. It sits bluff overlooking the bay between the Fisherman's Wharf and the Marina. It looks like it would be an interesting place to explore further.

After Fort Mason I continued along the waterfront through the Marina District and to the Presidio. The Presidio is a huge place and was always one of my favorite destinations in San Francisco. I discovered a new trail I didn't know about and followed it along the waterfront. The trail ends at Fort Point under the Golden Gate where I turned uphill to reach the sidewalk that goes across the bridge. The bridge itself is a mile and half long and 220 feet above the water in the middle. The views of the bay were incredible! Having forgot my camera (again) I bought a disposable camera and will post my photos once I get it developed.

I took a short break at the viewpoint on the north side of the bridge before turning around. I stopped for lunch at a cafe in the Fort Point Visitors Center where I had an interesting sandwich of sliced apples, a bri-like cheese and honey on whole wheat bread with nuts. It was very tasty and I might try it as a climbing lunch. After lunch I walked back through the Presidio, the Marina, Fort Mason, Fisherman's Wharf to Pier 39. There I braved the crowds of tourists to get a caramel apple from a shop that was a frequent weekend destination when I use to live here. After eating my snack surrounded by a flock of hungry pigeons I turned down Stockton street and headed back to the hotel arriving around 4:30pm. All told it ended up being a 7 hour day hike on a beautiful day in San Francisco.

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