More walkin’

Thanks to how fully exhausted I was yesterday, I slept beautifully last night. I turned in about 10:30 and dropped immediately into a deep sleep, broken an hour later when my two roommates came in and flipped on a light. I must have said something in my disequilibrium, because they both chuckled. But they laughed even harder after asking me how long I’d been here. “I just got in today from San Francisco,” I muttered.

After they finished freshening up and getting ready for bed, they switched off the light. I fell back into a deep sleep almost immediately.

This morning, I cast about for a local breakfast eatery. Because I’m in a neighborhood filled to the gills with Asian restaurants, the first place I found suitable for breakfast was Starbucks. Lovely. I travel across three-quarters of the country to breakfast at Starbucks. Well, when you’re really hungry, what are you gonna do?

I bounced onto the cable car after breakfast and, after transferring, was back at Fisherman’s Wharf. I left that tourist Gehenna as quickly as my feet would carry me and headed west, along the beach. I followed a scenic trail that led me to Fort Mason and eventually to Golden Gate Bridge. I don’t have words to describe how lovely the morning was, so I hope my photos do it something like justice. Walking to the bridge was such a relaxing and enjoyable experience. Everyone seemed so happy, just in general. I received more smiles from pretty women this morning than I did in the previous three months in Bloomington. Perhaps they were squinting into the sun….

I eventually made my way up to the bridge and crossed over and back. By this time, a thick fog had covered the area, so the view wasn’t quite what I’d hoped, but I won’t complain. I snapped a picture of the San Francisco skyline arising from the mists like some modern Brigadoon, but I don’t know how well it’ll turn out.

I briefly and insanely considered walking back into town, but my feet groaned too much to allow me to do that, so I took a bus back to Fisherman’s Wharf. I lunched at a seafood restaurant in Ghirardelli Square, and then had dessert in the soda fountain. I shouldn’t admit to a soul how large, decadent, and expensive that sundae was, but damn was it good.

I wanted to take a cable car out of the area, but the line to get on the damn thing was literally a hundred or so people long, so I settled for a mundane bus. I meandered over to Golden Gate Park and wandered through there a bit, before heading into Haight Street. I thought Haight was a little disappointing. Sure, there’s some great shops there. I browsed through a vinyl fetishists store (ahem–that’s LPs and 45s, Amanda, not YOUR vinyl) and went into a wonderful place with zines and comics and Tarot and coolass books. Oh man, the damage I could have done to my bank account….

But overall, the scene wasn’t much of a scene. Attire was tame–not as tame as Indiana, of course, but much tamer than I expected. One group of kids did entirely misunderstand me, though, which was funny. I walked past them but in the split second before doing so, noticed a Free Winona shirt in a shop window. As I turned back to look at the shirts more closely, I heard one kid say Oink. I didn’t pay any attention and then one sniffed the air and said, “Smells like pork.” I turned back and passed them again, and the same kid said, “Oh yeah. Definitely pork.” Very odd. I’m sure I don’t fit in there, but I hardly think I looked like a cop. Perhaps they were squinting into the sun….

I’m shamefacedly living a cliche here, I must admit. After buying Howl last night, I bought a copy today of Tales from the City. What’s next? Tony Bennett’s Greatest Hits? I think it’s interesting, though, to read the literature of a place before or during a visit. You learn more about the culture and history of a city that way, I think, and it puts you in the mood to explore.

That’s all for now. I’ve had an odd evening as well, but I’m not sure how much detail to share with the class. Perhaps this is a story to roll out after a few drinks.

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