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The end of the holiday Thursday, 4 October 2012

Posted by Ian Cole in Ian C, New York, Bermuda cruise, San Francisco 2012, The Ians on Tour.
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Here we are, back at home recovering after our fun trip. So here’s a wrap up of what we did since the last post.

Chinatown GateSaturday night after our day visiting The Castro, Alamo Square and Coit Tower we went to Chinatown for dinner. My memory of Chinatown from a tour we did on a previous trip years ago was that there were many, many restaurants, but we didn’t find many (maybe we were in the wrong part). Eventually we found a restaurant called the Empress of China, which seems to be a San Francisco legend – the lobby displayed restaurant awards going back to the 60s, and also photographs of dozens of celebrities that have dined there (again, mostly dating back to the 60s).

The restaurant is on the 6th floor of the building, which gives it great views to the west and north over the other buildings in Chinatown. And the food was very good – a great choice for dinnner.

The Walt Disney Family MuseumSunday we headed out on another multi-bus trek to The Presidio (former military base) to visit The Walt Disney Family Museum, a museum dedicated to the life and work of Walt Disney established by his daughter and her family. The museum was fantastic,  extremely comprehensive and very well executed. We spent 4 hours going through!

The back of the museum also offers fabulous views of the Golden Gate Bridge, which we could see as the fogof the previous few days had finally lifted!

Palace of Fine ArtsFinished there we walked to the nearby Palace of Fine Arts, built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exhibition (and as we learned, was completely rebuilt on the 50s). It’s an odd but beautiful place, built to resemble a Roman ruin. And a popular place for locals to picnic and walk their dogs.

Sunday night we felt lazy, so just went to a local diner for dinner, then visited the bar down the street from the hotel that allows smoking – apparently under California law, in an owner-operated business with no employees smoking is allowed.

Kathy and me, Cruisin' the CastroMonday, our last day in San Francisco we revisited The Castro forCruisin’ The Castro,  a walking tour run by Kathy, a local lesbian and long-time resident of the area. Lots of fascinating history of the area, and a lot of local colour as we heard stories of residents past and current, some of whom we met along the way.

There is a San Francisco law that makes public nudity legal. There as a small public square at the intersection of Castro and Market Streets that was created a couple of years ago, that has become a popular spot for what is known as “the naked men”. We’d heard about this phenomenon a few times on the trip, but during the tour we were finally confronted with it, in the flesh (so to speak). Of course, it’s always people who you ‘d rather not see naked 😉

Hard Rock CafeTour over, we caught a streetcar all the way to Pier 39 for lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe, before we returned to the hotel to pack, freshen up, enjoy one final wine time hour in the hotel lounge, then head to the airport and the flight home. Lots of memorabilia commemorating local legends, particularly The Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin.

The flight home was fine. We managed to get quite a bit of sleep. Now we’re home, doing mountains of washing and fighting the jet lag. Freakishly the weather in Sydney is identical to the weather we just left in San Francisco.


Look what they’ve done… Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Posted by Ian Cole in Ian C.
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… to my desk at work while I’m away