Day 3

(I gave my camera a workout today, but Blogger is being a pain, so I’m only sharing a few at this time.)

I took full advantage of my MUNI pass today.

MUNI is, bar none, the best public transportation system I have ever encountered in terms of tourist use. For all I know, it sucks for commuters…. At any rate, it’s really easy to schedule a trip since every bus stop has a map of the transit system and every single stop is announced on the buses. Instead of sitting on the edge of my seat praying I wouldn’t miss my stops, I could sit back and relax.

My first order of business today was to visit my quintessential San Francisco landmark, that is the one thing that tells me that, yes, I’m definitely here. Then, I was going off to the De Young fine art museum. As it turns out, this was really simple and involved two buses, the first one catchable just two blocks from Neil’s. The landmark in question was on the same bus route as De Young, so I just had to hop off a bus, hike to the landmark, take a million pictures of it, then hike back to the bus stop to catch the next one.

Here is my quintessential San Francisco landmark. I’m sure that these gorgeous painted ladies require no introduction!
(squeals with glee at finally seeing them live!)

De Young is located in Golden Gate Park and features recent works of art plus some more contemporary exhibits like haute couture. There is a fantastic 360 degree view of SF from the observation tower.

I wandered a bit around GGP after and found the Japanese Tea Gardens. They were breathtakingly beautiful and the highlight was the Bell Bridge:

So much fun to climb up and down I did it twice!

I wandered around a bit more, discovered the Shakespeare gardens, then decided to head over to the Legion of Honor, accessible with my De Young ticket. I hadn’t planned on how to get there since I assumed that someone at De Young would be able to indicate the way. Nope. I went back to the bus stop where I’d been dropped off and easily mapped out a two transfer route that took me to the Legion of Honor’s front door.

The Legion of Honor was my favourite museum thus far (not counting aquariums). It’s another fine arts museum, but with much older art, including ancient Egyptian sculpture, Estruscan pottery, medieval illuminations, 16th to 18th century furniture (including one of Marie-Antoinette’s sofas), impressionist paintings, and a whole gallery devoted to Rodin. I went through twice! I think my favourite piece was a truly hysterical frieze of Adam and Eve being scolded by god in the garden of Eden. The details were fantastic–the pair holding onto their fig leaves for dear life and god pointing his finger in a way that makes me think he was probably shaking it at them. Here’s one of Rodin’s ‘The Thinker’:
I bussed home after and decided that I really needed to spend a couple of hours off my feet. So, I grabbed Neil’s bike and went for a ride along the bay. This was interesting since he has a man’s style bike with the bar across it and the bike is set about an inch too high for me. So, getting on and off in my skirt was quiiiiite the challenge! The ride really did the trick and it was just so nice to use different muscles. I took a lot of pictures of palm trees today, but this is my favourite one and was taken on my bike ride:I also took a lot of pictures of the bay:

I came back to Fisherman’s Wharf after several miles, locked the bike, and went off in search of the most gluttonous seafood meal I could find involving calamari and shrimp. So, I was quite pleased to stumble on huge calmari body parts (???) stuffed with tiny bay shrimps in a creamy sauce. I think I got about two-thirds of the way through my plate before I had to capitulate. 🙂

Thus ends what will most likely be my last full day in San Francisco. Neil and I are visiting Alcatraz tomorrow, then picking up my rental car so we can go search for nuclear wessels and light houses across the bay. Depending on how late we get back, I’ll most likely be leaving for Vegas tomorrow night. I’d like to get a couple of hours (and miles) under my belt so that I won’t be completely wiped upon arriving there Sunday night.

I could be happy living in this city.