First Full Day

No problems or issues today. Everything went smooth checking out of the first hotel, getting to San Francisco, and checking into the hotel here.

Lots of walking today. Chinatown, shopping, and doing 300 steps to the top of Telegraph Hill, when we could have cut over halfway up it. It was suggested, but shot down. I believe the quote was, “I want to do all of the steps.” She was stopping after almost every flight. It was pretty sad. We made it up to the top, to the tower, and the view was awesome. You could see the whole city, Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, etc. from up there. Good stuff.

Went to Haight/Ashbury later in the afternoon to walk around and to get dinner. The absolute center of the counter-culture in the ’60s, and now there is a Gap store right at the corner of the famous intersection. Terrible. The whole area is nothing like you would think it would be. It’s filled with “vintage” stores and smoke shops and boutiques. Nothing like I would have imagined. You did see the occasional middle-aged hippie strolling the street. There was a pretty cool music store called Amoeba that we spent some time in. We had dinner at a nice little place on Haight and sat in a little courtyard area in the back. We shared a pitcher of sangria. Good thing we were taking the bus there and back. Great dinner, but expensive.

We came back to the hotel, rested for a minute and got our long sleeves on. It’s freaking cold here. Then we found an Irish bar down the street a bit.

Now here’s the funny part.

A band of middle-aged guys is setting up while we’re drinking our first round. The drummer is wearing a black button-down shirt with yellow flames on it. He’s got one of the most complete drum sets I’ve ever seen. He has 5 cymbals set up on the set. Cow bells. Everything. He’s the type of drummer that you would think would wear a Zildjian hat or shirt. The guitarist is just about a couple of years away from becoming the Cryptkeeper, and the bass player (who we thought was the roadie at first) wore a black button-down shirt with some blue flames on it, a black t-shirt with a blue pacman ghost on it, along with a blue fret-less bass. It was completely 80s. Jessica said they would be a new wave cover band. I disagreed. I figured with the flames and the type of instruments they had, it had to be 80s hard rock or metal. Jess was right. It was absolutely hilarious. They started out with Counting Blue Cars, then went to I Ran, then to Don’t You Forget About Me. Then we had to leave. It was getting late, and we have another full day tomorrow. It’s just that these guys were dressed absolutely and completely wrong for the music that they were playing. They shape of the instruments they were playing were priceless as well. Very sharp edges, all 80s-metal-like. Awesome. We didn’t stick around to see if they rocked out any more, but figure that the middle-aged rock we saw tonight is the highlight of the trip so far.

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