A Few Days in San Francisco (Day 1 – 26 July 2014 – Cable Car Museum and Dinner on Nob Hill)

Posted: December 20, 2014 in Bucket List, Family and Friends, Full Life, Living It, Travel, Vacation
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Panorama from the top of our building in San Francisco
I did a planning post for this short trip to San Francisco in March. Although the trip did not go completely to plan, we had a great time and have a lot of reasons to return soon and often. We had found a place on Vacation Rental by Owner (VRBO) that was centrally located and on the Cable Car line. It was a historic looking building, with an updated 2 bedroom apartment. Since the building was right on the corner of Jackson and Mason there were actually multiple cable car lines that ran right past our front door.

View of a passing Powell and Mason Cable Car

There were nice views from the bay windows in the living room and one of the bedrooms, but the best view was from the roof of the building. I took the panoramic photo at the top of the post from there.

We settled in quickly and decided to walk up the hill to the top of the Nob Hill district for dinner. The Cable Car Museum was just one block from the apartment in that directions so we took a detour through the museum on our way to dinner. It was a quick walk through. Not only are there historic cable cars to see…

Clay St Hill RR Company Cable Car

Sutter St Open Cable Car

Sutter St RR Company closed in Cable Car

but you can see the inner workings of the huge cable system that keep the cars running safely up and down the hills.

Motors and wheels moving the cables for all three Cable Car lines

On the way up the steep hills on Mason St between Jackson and California we started to question our decision to walk! It was only 4 blocks from the Cable Car Museum to The Big Four restaurant where we had decided to eat, but we all felt the burn by the time we got there. We also realized that we had already forgotten the code, and the printed out paperwork with the code on it so we could get back into the apartment! Jenny gave the owner a call while we walked and left a voicemail with her. Even though the restaurant was a bit more upscale than we had originally been looking for, it had great reviews so we decided to splurge a bit on our first night in San Francisco. The atmosphere was amazing. We had a few drinks in the front before being seated in the dining area. The detailed woodwork was impressive throughout the restaurant. Not long after we ordered the owner of the place we were renting and now locked out of called back. Jenny kept it short, but was explaining what happened and thanking the woman for calling back when an older lady next to us made a very snide comment something like “We don’t need to hear that in here.” A waiter standing very nearby, it almost seemed like he was watching over this older couple, immediately came up and let my wife know that cell phones are not allowed in the restaurant. She finished up and got off the phone. The restaurant was fairly loud and there were several conversations going on at all times including at our table where we were catching up on things with our friends Dave and Wendy while waiting for our food. I could tell Jenny was upset by the woman’s comment, so I leaned toward their table and mentioned that “We really had not needed to hear her very rude remark either.” Our food came shortly after that and we quickly relaxed and got back to enjoying our meal. The older couple finished up before us and as they were getting ready to leave the lady slid over on the bench we shared with them and tried to apologize for her comment. I say “tried”, because she obviously did not know how to apologize, and it quickly turned into a lecture on proper cell phone etiquette. Now she had rudely interrupted our meal twice… I was at a loss. I should have thanked her for her rudeness and poor excuse for an apology (I wish I had), instead I was polite and said, “I hope you enjoyed your meal, have a good night.” I think she actually looked a bit taken back by the comment. A couple of minutes later my wife must have decided there was something she wished she had said too… she got up to go find the woman to have her say. Luckily for the woman my wife never found her.

The walk back down the hill to our apartment should have been easy, but we needed to stop at a store to stock up for the morning. Unfortunately that took us west and down the hill in a different direction. That meant a climb before we could head back down… and we were carrying several bags of supplies. The exercise did us no harm, and we were soon safely back in our apartment. We did some more catching up before heading to bed. We opened the windows to enjoy the summer breeze. The cables for the cable cars run 24 hours a day and once we opened the windows the noise was very noticeable. Luckily, the owners of the apartment had installed two full sets of double pane windows (4 panes total) in every window, so when the windows were closed we could only just barely hear the cable.

Next Post for this trip: A Few Days in San Francisco (Day 2 – 27 July 2014 – Pier 39 and Marin Headlands)

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