Christmas in the City

Saturday, my friend Amber came down and met me for a girls’ day in San Francisco. Our plans were, loosely, to get lunch and see a movie. The movie didn’t happen because of major BART delays and slow service at the restaurant, but the day ended up even more lovely because of it! The weather was perfect for a day of just strolling and enjoying.

First stop, Union Square to see the big Christmas tree. The March for Sanctuary Cities was going on, and some very loud protesters (who are against sanctuary cities) had shown up and were quite loud and forceful…which meant that there were a ton of police officers on hand to make sure nothing ended in violence. But from this picture, you see none of the drama and all of the cheer.

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Next stop, lunch at Hubert Keller’s Burger Bar. Boozy milkshakes were a must, but they are very filling, so we both opted for salads instead of burgers.

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Cheers! Amber got chocolate ice cream with whisky, and I got vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, vanilla vodka, and kahlua. Soooo yummy!

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The man next to us offered to take our picture and commented about us being sisters. We said we were just friends, and he laughed and said, “I should’ve known you weren’t sisters—you get along too well!!” Both of us get along with our sisters, but I thought it was kind of a funny comment, given that a lot of sisters fight!

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Having missed our movie, we decided to stroll. And then we decided to ride a cable car, since Amber hadn’t done it in many years and I’ve never done it. (Don’t ask me how that is the case, given that I’ve lived most of my life in close proximity to San Francisco. But somehow, I had never ridden a cable car.)

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While waiting in the incredibly long line, I decided I needed a bathroom break, so I ran across the street to the swanky mall to use the bathroom. It was all festive for Christmas!

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Almost on the cable car!

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The cable car was fun to ride, and the views were pretty spectacular. In this one, you can see Coit Tower on the far right, and if you look straight down the middle of the picture, you can see Treasure Island out in the bay, with the new span of the Bay Bridge (the small white tower–it’s actually huge, but it’s quite a ways away in this picture) stretching out across to the East Bay.

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We rode to the end, at Ghirardelli Square and Aquatic Park.

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Special picture for my Mom. Do you remember this place? He he he! And yes, of course I told Amber the story behind it!!

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We were at Aquatic Park at the “golden hour,” when the sun is going down and casting loving shadows. You can see the Golden Gate Bridge way in the background here.

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Usually when I come to Aquatic Park, it’s for Fleet Week and this beach is wall-to-wall people. On this beautiful day, it was nearly empty. (Usually there are swimmers, but they closed it for swimming because apparently the seals have been biting people lately!)

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Tried out the Panoramic setting on my iPhone camera. It looks a bit like a fisheye lens, but it’s kinda cool.

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Waiting for the cable car to take us back to BART, we got to see gorgeous lighting during the golden hour.

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I suppose to those from snowy places, this doesn’t look anything like Christmas. But it was still a good way to soak up some holiday cheer a week before the big day!

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