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Impressions of China

San Francisco | Beijing 1 | Beijing 2 | Beijing 3 | Beijing 4 | Xian 1 | Xian 2 | Guilin |  Chong-Qing
Yangtze River 1 | Yangtze River 2 | Yangtze River 3 | Shanghai 1 | Shanghai 2 | Shanghai 3 | Observations
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San Francisco

Our trip to China began with Carol's college reunion at Berkeley. We stayed at a funky old resort in the Oakland hills called the Claremont. The reunion was large and noisy, filled with people who apparently had a great time at school and kept that school spirit over the years. Cal reunions, usually planned around a homecoming football game, are good for the University as well. Cal raised $17 million dollars from the alumni this year. Carol had a great time renewing old friendships and catching up with people she hasn't seen for decades (it's up to her to reveal how many decades). [CC note: well, I'm not going to reveal how many!] I helped Carol celebrate Greek style, by breaking and spilling a water glass on the table. Opa Opa!

Because there was no room at the Claremont after our first night, we moved to San Francisco. Awwwwwww. What a great thing to be "forced" to do. The clear, slightly crisp October weather has just been beautiful. The first day we walked all over the downtown. It is crowded and filled with more shops than I remembered from our last trip just a few years ago.

The day had a number of other surprises. Unbeknownst to us, we had arrive in the City at the start of Fleet Week, an all-hands-on-deck (literally) naval and air extravaganza. The Blue Angles did acrobatics over the Bay. There were more huge grey ships in the Bay than we'd ever seen, including a carrier and other ships (battleships?) both anchored and moving in the Bay. Of course the civilian sailers and boaters were also out in force to watch the military boats and planes- -a traffic jam of major proportions on the water! In the evening, there was a fireworks show which we could see from our hotel balcony.

Did you know there is a parrot population living in San Francisco? We discovered them on our way to dinner. Their rookery is a clump of what look like poplar trees in a small park between the financial district and the ferry building. (See http://www.markbittner.net/parrot_pages/wildparrots.html for more information).

The next day was also a three ring circus. The parrots got some competition in the "wildlife in the City?!" department. In Fishermen's Wharf, a colony of seals have made some floating platforms their home. Between 50 and 100 of them were barking, rolling on their backs and clapping their flippers, and just generally captivating hoards of onlookers.

During Fleet Week,civilians are apparently allowed on board the big Navy ships. As we walked the Embarcadero, we saw people in lines literally a quarter mile long waiting to do this. Other parts of Fishermen's Wharf were blocked off for a Columbus Day parade (yesterday Union Square downtown was blocked for a Chinese celebration
and parade).Today, the Blue
doing acrobatics in a fire
back to the hotel along
seemed that everyone in
lined up to see one of the
 Angels were replaced by a pilot
 engine red MIG. We walked
 Columbus Street, where it
 Northern California who wasn't
 Navy ships was lined up, or
bunched up at outdoor restaurant tables, to see the Columbus Day parade. Columbus Street runs through North Beach, an exuberant bit of Italy in San Francisco.

Having walked a good fifty blocks today, we thought we deserved not only a good dinner but a continuation of the sight seeing. We went to a restaurant called the Equinox, which happens to be on the top of our hotel, which is just across from the Ferry Building. Equinox is the only revolving restaurant in San Francisco. While such places are usually tourist traps with indifferent food, this restaurant is rated rather well. So, we ended our day going in circles (actually only a circle and a half), looking out at the Bay Bridge, Oakland and Berkeley, and downtown, and having a quite good dinner.

San Francsico continued

Our Monday in San Francisco had nothing to report. We spent the day shopping and I was not going to post anything. However, coming back from visiting a lawyer colleague of Carol's we went through the park where the parrots roosted and saw people feeding them, setting up a great picture opportunity.


San Francisco | Beijing 1 | Beijing 2 | Beijing 3 | Beijing 4 | Xian 1 | Xian 2 | Guilin |  Chong-Qing
Yangtze River 1 | Yangtze River 2 | Yangtze River 3 | Shanghai 1 | Shanghai 2 | Shanghai 3
Observations


HOME  |  AUSTRALIA 2003  |  ACROSS AMERICA  |  IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA  |  VIETNAM  |  AFRICA  |  AROUND THE WORLD 2009  |  SOUTH AMERICA 2009  |  LEGENDARY CULTURES 2011
  |  TURKEY AND GREECE  |  CIRCLE THE ARCTIC