Tuesday, June 19, 2012

San Francisco's Chinatown

Last time our family was in the San Francisco area (see here) we visited Pier 39, Fisherman's Wharf, and the Golden Gate Bridge then called it a day.

This time I had a few more areas I wanted to see, one of them being Chinatown.  After Jim took care of some work this last weekend, we set out to see, "a city within a city."  I was not disappointed!

We parked our car close to the pier, and started walking in the general direction of Chinatown.  The walk was probably a good mile or so.  We weren't sure we were heading in the right direction, until we heard some zithers, lutes, and fiddles being played, along with noticing the signs in front of buildings changing from English to Chinese letters.

Our first stop in Chinatown was at a park.  There was a little playground that caught our childrens' eyes.  Since it was their vacation too, we decided to stop and let them play for a bit.  It was so fun to see our little blondies running around with Chinese children.  All my children saw were children.  Other children  = instant playmates.  So, around went our blondies with their new found friends.

I saw a fabulous looking group of older ladies sitting on a bench at the park.  I tried to be sneaky and snap their picture by pretending to take a picture of Tralee.  I'm sure each one of these ladies has a story to tell.  I wish I could hear them all!  Besides from resting on a park bench, there were people playing games, meditating, and listening to the live musicians playing their instruments at the heart of the park.  I LOVED the energy there!

I dared Jim to join in this group practicing Falun Dafa.  He declined.  If we had more time, and no children around pulling on my legs while asking for a drink, I would have liked to give it a try!

Street lamps in Chinatown

I could have spent ALL DAY LONG exploring each and every crevice of this part of San Francisco.  Jim did not share my enthusiasm.  We are polar opposites in so many ways!  How we ended up together, I'll never know (remember this post?)!  On the drive home from our trip, Jim saw a little stream and said, "I could spend all day just fishing and exploring in that stream."  I told him that's how I felt about Chinatown.  He looked at me like I was crazy!  I returned the look.  Then we both started singing Paula Abdul's, "Opposites Attract" making up our own lyrics that went something like, "I like big cities, while I catch stream-trout, but when we get together it just all works out!"

  We're both dorks.  

That's probably why we work out so well. . . that and the whole opposites attract thing.

Anyways, after exploring (a tiny bit of) Chinatown for a little while, and eating at a fun little restaurant, the children (and Jim) were ready to go.  Jim also had to get back to work, so I threw in the towel and promised to come back someday to explore a little more.  I'll have to bring someone who shares my enthusiasm for the city life, as my partner for eternity only tags along to amuse me, and because, you know, he loves me!  It's a lot like how I wait patiently for him to catch, "just one more fish" on our (mostly his) outdoor excursions, because I know it makes him happy -- even if the bugs are biting, the sun is sweltering, and I swear I just heard a bear galloping towards us.  I do this to amuse Jim, and because, you know, I love him!  

On the walk back to the car we saw people riding in a trolley.  That is one thing I still need to cross of my San Francisco to-do list.  Next time for sure!

We let the kids throw a penny in the fountain pictured below.  Then Hunty starting running all around it.  I snapped a picture.

We also let the kids chase pigeons around.

The building below is a YMCA.  Are ya freakin' kidding me?  Look at the architecture!  I love San Francesco for the architectural diversities alone - not to mention all the other cool stuff to see and do!  I mean, this is a YMCA!  Sigh.  They just don't make 'em like they used to, do they?

Before we had to drop Jim back off at work, I made Hunty and Jim pose for a picture in front of the Bay bridge.  We crossed this bridge almost everyday to drive into San Francisco, as our lodgings were in Oakland.  Why Oakland you ask?  Well, all the hotels were booked in San Francisco for that weekend due to the U.S. Open Golf Championship.  There were a few hotels available, but they came with a price tag that was a little too much for Jim's work to cover.  So, we earned some street cred by staying in Oakland.  What what!  Jim also took BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) into work a few days so the kids and I didn't have to drive him into San Fran during rush hour.  

Fun Fact:  Did you know BART goes UNDERWATER?!?!  It zooms right through a tube on the ocean bed!  Ka-RAZY!  It was stuck underwater during the 1989 earthquake.  I WOULD NOT like to be stuck underwater in a tube!  Therefore, I will probably never ride on BART.  Just sayin'.  Jim said he wasn't too worried about it.  So brave!    

Do you like Jim and Hunter's facial expressions below?  It was their rendition of "Blue Steel" from the movie Zoolander.  If you ask me, these two boys are really, really, ridiculously good looking.

That's about it from our get-away.  It was a short lil' trip, but a whole lot of fun!  I hope to do it again sometime soon!

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