For our main trip this year, we headed to the San Francisco Bay area, including San Francisco itself, Napa Valley, and Monterey. While I had been to SF before, I had spent only a total of two days in the city over the course of four work trip. I had been the Monterey area way back in 1997 but didn’t actually visit Monterey itself. Suzanne and Kyle had never been. It seemed a good time to revisit some things while seeing some new places. It was an excellent trip and we had a great time.
A few weeks back, my group at work did a week long tour of the west coast. It was very hectic and busy, but I took an extra day or so on either end. I posted a couple of pages of photos. I flew into San Diego on Saturday afternoon, spending the night at the Hotel Cosmopolitan right in Old Town San Diego. This was an old stage coach hotel built in 1869 (as the second floor of a house built originally in 1827 by Juan Bandini). Back in both 1997 and 2002 when I visited, I ate here when it was Casa de Bandini. I ended up spending all afternoon and much of the next day right in Old Town, enjoying some great Mexican food, the history, and the warm sunshine. Sunday afternoon, a colleague picked me up for the drive out to the “burbs” for a workshop on Monday and a user meeting on Tuesday.
Wednesday morning, we had an early flight to San Francisco where we had some meetings on Wed followed by a user visit and workshop on Thursday at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and a meeting with a collaborator on Friday morning (also at LBNL). Finally, Friday afternoon I was done for the week, so headed back to San Francisco and spent a couple of nights at the Club Quarters hotel in the Financial District.
After checking in Friday, I did a bunch of walking around town, seeing Chinatown and Fisherman’s Wharf. On Saturday, I had hoped to visit Alcatraz, but tickets were sold out by the time I got around to thinking about buying them. Instead, I took a cable car ride up California Ave followed by the bus to the Presidio. Here, I walked a ton eventually reaching the Golden Gate Bridge, crossing it (and coming back of course), before heading back into the city after lunch. I then headed back to Fisherman’s Wharf, visiting the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park and heading back Pier 39 and then the hotel. I had an excellent dinner at Sam Wo in Chinatown. I turned in early as I had a 6:30 AM flight the next day (involving a car pickup at 4AM). I ended walking around 14.5 miles over the two days. Even though I really only had a couple of free days total, it was nice to bookend the stress of the trip with some relaxation. I also enjoyed my first real visit to San Francisco.