Tag Archives: penny arcade

ODNT Goes to San Francisco – Day 3

1:45 am

Wow. I don’t think I thought this whole trip journaling thing through. Beat the pavement (often severely inclined pavement) with six other people across San Francisco all day then return to the condo, get the kids to bed and wait for everyone to settle in so I can finally write everything down while the others sleep. Oh, yeah. And try to be interesting. And witty.

That’s hard for me even on a good day. Sigh.

But enough of my belly aching. Let’s talk about today. We did lots of planning so (spoiler alert) there’s great stuff on tap for the next few days. And we got out later than we should have (you hear this comment a lot on my family vacations) and started the day with the same one-mile walk from our condo to Pier 39 to try to charm our way into a (booked-until-August) Alcatraz tour. (My brother is known for these silver spoon moments in life.) Unfortunately, it didn’t work today so we settled for the next best thing: a bucket of Trish’s Mini-Donuts (36 in all) and hopped aboard the ferry for a San Francisco Bay cruise. The boat ride was awesome but (A) it was freezing and (B) the boat bar didn’t accept credit cards. (They could have made a fortune!)


Here I model for you my “snazzy,” new Mexican-made blanket-like pullover alongside my girl and my brother. I know. You are jealous. Not everyone can pull this look off.

But we braved the cold on the deck for the first half of the cruise and seated inside by a big picture window for the second. (I had to think of my hair at some point.)  And we took in a lot of great city views, sailed right under the Golden Gate Bridge and fully circled Alcatraz at a really slow, appropriately-eerie pace. Honestly, it seemed like they literally cut the engines for this part of the tour.


This might be the closest view I’ll be able to give you. Still bummed about that.

When we got off the boat, we did a little shopping and grabbed a late lunch (also known as an early dinner) at the Franciscan Crab Restaurant where we, along with (assuming the walls don’t lie) hundreds of famous people from the last century, ate seafood immersed in butter until it hurt to speak. (Bloated, after-dinner me just HATES menu-holding, wide-eyed, let’s-just-get-BOTH me. Come to think of it, still-suffering-from-late-night-indigestion me hates her, too.)

After dinner, we waddled over the Musée Mécanique, one of the largest working collections of antique arcade machines in the world. And, I have to admit, it was pretty cool. My kids loved it, too. Although half of the stuff in there was so very creepy. Check out this old relic called ‘The English Execution.’ The placard beneath it says “Place Coin in Slot and See the Last Rites Performed.”


Did I put a coin inside? Have you MET me?? 

Of course, I also found this one in the back of the arcade.


Check out the high scores below.


MRP = me. There was NO WAY I was advancing any higher than that.

But I learned I’m no longer cut out for 1980s video gaming as I gave myself a pounding headache in that place. Fortunately, everyone was ready to move on so we split up into a few groups. My brother and I took the scenic route back to the condo on foot with my girl. It was only a mile so we knew she could make it. And this time, instead of taking on the steep streets (say THAT three times fast), we opted for the rock wall of stairs. I honestly believe the Statue of Liberty has less.


The picture shows only about a tenth of the stairs we covered on the way up.

But we did it, with me only having to stop twice to massage my heart into submission, and we were treated to lots of amazing views along the way.


We escalated so high that I had to fight the urge to belt out “Climb Every Mountain” at the peak of our staircase ascent. It would’ve looked ridiculous, me being neither Julie Andrews nor a nun.

So far? I love San Francisco … but it’s definitely kicking my (hopefully decreasing in size because it’s not living its usual,  sluggish, 180-degree lifestyle) ass. We’ve got a lot planned for the next few days so I’m thinking I should get to sleep … right now.

Until tomorrow, I’ll leave you with this lovely view of the city I took with my phone’s crappy “zoom lens” from the boat today.


Click to read past installments of this trip journal … Day 1 – Day 2