May 16, 2011

Vacation in San Francisco

The Golden Gate Bridge
as seen from Ghirardelli Square

For our Spring vacation this year, we decided to go visit my son in San Francisco. He moved out there last summer after landing a job as a Software Engineer at a startup in the mobile security field.

We had a wonderful time visiting Tim and his girlfriend Sara.  They live in a really nice apartment complex, and have very nice roommates and neighbors.  We stayed with them for the first part of our vacation, had Easter dinner with them and their friends, then moved to a hotel in Fisherman's Wharf.

We got to do a lot of "touristy" things, but a lot of other things as well.
  • We walked over the Golden Gate Bridge.  A beautiful view of the Pacific, the Bay, Angel Island and Alcatraz.  We saw some surfers, and some sea lions, too.
  • We walked the steep climb up Telegraph Hill, then I went to the top of the Coit Tower.  Terrific view up there!
  • Tim showed us around the SOMA area, and took us to his office.  We got to meet the CEO and CTO.  Although they both look like kids (it's a very young startup), they were very polite and said nice things about Tim.  I can see why he likes working there so much - lots of energy.
  • We drove through Sausalito.  Lovely town.
  • We spent a night and day in Napa Valley.  It was interesting to see all the vineyards and the hills covered with grass, rather than covered with trees as they would be in New England.  We went to a wine tasting.  I liked them all, but my wife didn't - she prefers sweeter wines.
  • San Francisco has some terrific Food Trucks, so we had lunch at one parked near City Hall Plaza.  They all have their own web sites, and Twitter accounts, and seem to have very loyal followings.  Not something I've seen before, but very good.
  • We walked over to Ghirardelli Square.  You get a free piece of chocolate just for entering a shop there - delicious!  We had a nice lunch there one day, and a terrific Ice Cream Sundae one evening.
  • We walked everywhere in Fisherman's Wharf.  Ate at the Boudin Bakery.  Saw the Sea Lions at Pier 39.  Saw the street performer painted gold.  It's a fun place.
  • We drove to the Cliff House Restaurant to see the Pacific.
  • We saw the playground where Joe DiMaggio played baseball as a boy.  We saw the playground where O.J. Simpson played football as a boy.  
  • We took a few bus tours and saw lots of points of interest, including the building at which they filmed The Towering Inferno, the streets they used for the car chase scenes in the movie Bullit, the TransAmerica building, and many more.
  • We ate at a bunch of terrific restaurants.  San Francisco seems to have a restaurant every three feet!  One was a tiny Italian seafood restaurant.  No chicken, no beef, and no dessert - just really good seafood.
  • We drove down Lombard Street ("the crookedest street in the world")
  • And a bunch of other fun things.
We had a great time, and will definitely go back.

This article originally appeared in my blog: All Things Quality
My name is Joe Strazzere and I'm currently a Director of Quality Assurance.
I like to lead, to test, and occasionally to write about leading and testing.
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