San Francisco

After our week in Hawaii, Frink and I spent two days in San Francisco on our way home, to see a few of the major sights and case the place out for a possible return visit later.

Our plans got a little upset when the Testicle Squeezing Authority held Frink back at the airport in Hawaii – apparently they had never seen a keyboard in anyone’s luggage before.  As a result he arrived at a ridiculous hour of the morning and in need of sleep, so we got off to a late start on our first day.

We had a list of restaurants we wanted to try, so the first order of business was breakfast at Gott’s Roadside at the Ferry Building downtown.  Their burgers and shakes are pretty darn good but not better than what we can get at home.


After that and a bit of walking around downtown, we headed out to see the Golden Gate Bridge.  It was nice – that’s all I can say about it really.  It’s a big, long bridge with some nice art deco detailing on it, and a plethora of anti-suicide measures.  I guess if you’re in San Francisco and you want to off yourself, it’s pretty obvious where to go.

Unfortunately that was pretty much it for the first day.  By the time we finished at the bridge and got back downtown, it was past 10pm and we couldn’t find any restaurants that were open.  I wasn’t having any luck finding anything with UrbanSpoon or Google Maps on my phone, so we just went back to the hotel.

The next day was a smashing success though.  Our main event for San Francisco was to go to the Computer History Museum down in Mountain View, and that we did.

I love museums, but this was the most enjoyable one ever.  It tweaked all my computer nerd nerve endings with exhibits on early mechanical computing, punched cards and the census, mainframes and minicomputers, memory technologies over the ages, robotics, Lisp machines, exotic I/O devices and of course video games.  We spent five hours in there because that’s all the time we had – I could easily spend five days studying the displays in detail.  Highly recommended.

Apparently we passed within 20 miles of The Woz while there, according to his twitter feed.

Riding the CalTrain to and from the museum, it was a bit surreal to realize just how many famous technology companies and tech-heavy locales are in the area – Menlo Park, Redwood Shores, Cupertino etc.

After the museum we went back downtown to try and score some good eats.  We ended up going to a highly recommended (and deservedly so) Mexican place in the Mission called La Taqueria.  I had a chorizo burrito, and man was it ever delicious.  Then we walked over to Mitchell’s for some ice cream.  The place was packed but the wait was worth it – it instantly became one of my top three ice cream parlours by virtue of its rich creamery goodness.


The next day I had lunch with friends from Vancouver who had moved down here recently, then got on a plane home.

San Francisco is a really nice city – it feels like Vancouver but is much prettier.  I definitely need to go back and see more.


Overall I really enjoyed this vacation.  Everything went really smoothly (for me, at least) and I did everything I wanted to do.  Got some relaxation in, had some great food, saw some good sights, and most importantly got out of my routine and had some new experiences.

Whereas my last vacation (my road trip across Canada last year) was about rehashing my past, this year’s trip was chock full of new experiences and new records for me:

  • Farthest west I’ve ever been: 157° 57′ W.
  • Farthest into the past (GMT-10) I’ve ever been.
  • Farthest south I’ve ever been: 19° 19’N.
  • Doubled the number of states I’ve visited, to four.
  • I realized I actually kind of like flying, so long as I can see out the window and there’s no turbulence.  It’s still cheating as a form of travel, but driving to Hawaii by road is admittedly a little difficult.
  • First swim in 30 years.
  • First swim in the ocean.
  • First time snorkeling.
  • First time in the US and A since 2004.
  • First shaved ice treat.
  • First burrito.
  • First malasada.
  • First visit to an active volcano.
  • Highest altitude I’ve ever been on the ground – 9000 ft.
  • First time in a tropical place.

Overall: A great success!

One Comment

  • Christine says:

    I’m glad you guys went to the Computer History Museum! Definitely something to see once in a lifetime :-) Total nerdgasm!