Thursday, May 31, 2012

San Francisco - Day 2: Golden Gate Park / Haight / Forbes Island

Day 2 was Sunday and we started out with some wandering and shopping around Union Square.  That one Zombie drink and 2 additional beer minimum from the piano bar hit me more than I would have expected.  Liquor before beer, never fear is a bunch o BS!  :o)

Heart of Union Square
Another beautiful day!  Union Square.
"Victory" statue up close
Famous sandwich place along the ride to Golden Gate Park

After letting breakfast and some Coca Cola set in, I was ready and off we went for day 2 of our double-decker bus tour.  We took the green line over to Golden Gate Park to see the Japanese Tea Gardens and also got to see the hippie Haight/Ashbury area and the 'Painted Ladies'. 

Concourse between the Academy of Science and de Young Museum
California Academy of Sciences, check out the roof garden
Cool hanging flowers that looked like grapes at the Japanese Tea Gardens
Japanese Tea Gardens at Golden Gate Park
Japanese Tea Gardens at Golden Gate Park
Japanese Tea Gardens at Golden Gate Park
Me on top of a very steep bridge to climb at Japanese Tea Gardens
The Haight-Ashbury district is noted for its role as a center of the 1960s hippie movement. The earlier bohemians of the beat movement had congregated around San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood from the late 1950s. Many who could not find accommodation there turned to the quaint, relatively cheap and underpopulated Haight-Ashbury. The Summer of Love (1967), the 1960s era as a whole, and much of modern American counterculture have been synonymous with San Francisco and the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood ever since.

Haight and Ashbury Streets, some of the most stolen street signs anywhere
Famous 'legs' above the Piedmont boutique
Cannibis Company, thought it was a pot place, but guess it is a clothes store

The "Painted Ladies" are the Victorian homes made famous by the Full House TV show.  Everywhere you look...everywhere you look.  Now you'll be singing that all day.  I have to say, I'm pretty impressed with the shots I got from my cell phone from the top of a moving bus.  They're the best pictures we have of the ladies.

The famous "Painted Ladies"!
Nice side view as we drove by!
We had a great day exploring Golden Gate Park and seeing the famous hippie areas around Haight/Ashbury.  For a place where marijuana is legal as long as you are a card carrying medicinal user, we did not see hardly anyone taking advantage of the law.  We smelled it close by I think a total of 3 times and 2 of the times were homeless people.  Quite surprising.  Apparently legalization does not make everyone turn into weed junkies, at least not out in public where we were. 

For dinner that evening we had reservations at Forbes Island.  That is a unique man made island that was formerly the floating home/party palace of Forbes Kiddoo.  He is a rich man that made his living building house boats for people in Sausalito back in the 70s.  There were no rules/regulations back then and anyone could purchase a house boat, anchor off the ritzy area of Sausalito and not have to pay any rent or fees/taxes.  He created his own lavish floating island, complete with a small beach, waterfall and underwater/above ground living areas. 

The rich folks on solid ground that were paying taxes and large rent/mortgages eventually were successful in enacting laws to regulate house boats and in the mid 80s, business dried up.   He tried to sell his island in 1986 for 2 million dollars, but was unsuccessful.  Fast forward to today and Forbes Island has been a San Francisco landmark for over 20 years, floating just off Pier 39.  Forbes can routinely be seen driving the shuttle boat from the pier to the restaurant.  Here is a good article about the history of the island and how it ended up at it's current location just off Pier 39. 

The food was very good and the atmosphere and uniqueness of the Island/restaurant is definitely worth a visit!

Forbes Island lighthouse
Apple tort dessert, sorry we didn't think to take pictures of dinner
View of Alcatraz from the Forbes Island lighthouse
View of the city from the Forbes Island lighthouse
Wifey made me do it..I seem a little too happy, no?
Be sure to click on one of the pictures and then scroll through them in original size to get the full experience!


Mom said...

Loved the pics. It took me a long time getting thru them cause Max was very needy today. The purple flowers are wysteria's and look fantastic in that picture.

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes