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What I saw today

San Francisco, California: Another beautiful day in the Bay Area. Temperatures in the low 70's (as opposed to the low 40's at home). Julie flew in from Portland and will be bunking with us in the Magna Peregrinus for the weekend.

This is our view from our front window this morning. I could get used to this.

We decided to spend the day in The City. Seriously - what else would we do? We piled into Steve & Mary's Chevy Suburban, headed into San Francisco and spent the rest of our day exploring San Francisco.

The remainder of this column will be photos with brief descriptions of what I saw today.


First, we parked the 'burban in The Haight and walked around with our eyes wide open. I'm thinking a wholebuncha hippies would totally freak if they knew there was a Ben & Jerry's ice cream shop on the corner of Haight & Ashbury in 2010.

No one would have batted an eye at this stocking store.

Then, the seven of us drove down to the pier area, parked and walked over to Pier 39 to see the sea lions. On the way I saw this dude with a dog in his back pack.

I saw hundreds of crab - ready to go - on hundreds of street vendor carts and bayside restaurants.

The Lovely Ladies: Terry, Julie, Mary & Kathy with Alcatraz in the background.

Not too many sea lions today. Not too noisy. Not too stinky.

From Pier 39, there is a great view of Alcatraz.

After our tour of the wharf area, we headed (on foot) uphill towards Chinatown. We passed through a pretty city park and found flowers blooming. Maybe not such a big deal to many of you, but to us, it is November and we don't have blooming flowers in Oregon in November.

In some strange coincidence, each of us (all 7) has lived in either China, Taiwan and/or Hong Kong at some point in our life. We all felt "at home" in San Francisco's Chinatown.

San Francisco Chinatown is deja vu all over again.

After hiking uphill for 45 minutes (it seemed like two hours) we reached the R&G Lounge.

Lunch time!

You can't have an enjoyable Chinese meal without the appropriate beverage. Which, of course, is beer. Our server, Wayne, brought a lovely vintage of Tsingtao.

The "thing" at the R&G Lounge in the fall is the Salt & Pepper Crab. The claws are battered and then deep-fried. Wayne brought out extra plates, extra napkins, wet-wipes and crab-cracking tools. First, diners are supposed to eat the breading off the claws, then dig-in with the shell crackers to get to the juicy meat. This dish was very popular with (most of) our group.

R & G is most famous for their Peking Duck. An entire duck is roasted and crispy-fried. The flesh is eaten separately, but the skin is placed in the middle of the accompanying steamed buns with hoisin sauce and green onion. Of all the dishes the Chinese have made famous, Peking Duck is right up there on my list of favorites.

Some sort of cannibalism?

One of my favorites at the R & G is the plain and simple fried rice. Just how we enjoyed it in Taiwan. Soy sauce-free and perfect. This, Dear Readers, is what fried rice should look and taste like.

Trust me.

One of my favorite dishes from Taiwan - dou miao. These greens are the shoots from the pea plant - harvested when they are less than a foot long and long before a fruit has formed. Pea tendrils. The R & G Lounge fries them simply with a lot of garlic. Lovely.

After lunch the girls wanted to visit the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Company. They stood in line to get still-warm fortune cookies. The cookies are delicious warm.

Another Taiwan flashback. Next to the fortune cookie "factory" is a flower shop. This shop was busy preparing flowers for a funeral. In the Chinese culture the color white is used for a funeral, so we knew the white-ribboned arrangements were prepared for a funeral.

I also saw this cute dog in a car in Chinatown.

I also saw this very cool San Francisco Giants graffiti sign thing.

Look who was caught under the Taylor Street sign in San Francisco!

All day we saw Duck fans touring The City. They flashed us the "O" sign and yelled "GO DUCKS". So many of the Duck fans we spoke with today were from California. I can't even begin to count how many people talked to us about the Ducks. And also, I can't begin to count how many people asked us "who are the Ducks playing the weekend"?

We are trying to forget about the guy who asked: Are the Ducks playing Alabama this weekend?

Julie and I toast the Ducks

After our exciting day, we returned to our comfortable RV's and had a cocktail. Later, everyone gathered in our RV for snacks and a replay of old Duck games on the DVR. Seriously, these people are crazy for Duck football.

I am going to bed now. I am tired from hiking all over the hills of San Francisco and must prepare myself for game day tomorrow.

Until my next update, I remain, your San Francisco correspondent.