Tuesday, May 08, 2007

My Visit to San Francisco

Hi everyone! I got back from my trip to San Francisco last night. I was SO busy during the trip and I was SO tired when I got back, that I haven't had time to update the blog until now.

I arrived in San Francisco with my friends Keith and Kristin on Sunday afternoon. We stayed a place called the Hotel Rex near Union Square. It is very nice.

I don't think I spent more than 10 minutes in the hotel before Kristin told me we were going outside to see some really cool things. Kristin told me to wear my St. Louis Cardinals baseball jersey. I thought this was strange, but Kristin told me I might need it later on.

As we were walking down the street I saw this cool looking car on the street. Kristin says it is called a "cable car." Kristin says San Francisco is famous for cable cars. I had no idea!

I thought the "cable car" was a special bus made to look like the caboose on a train. Kristin says I am partially right. She says cable cars were invented in the 1880's and they were made to look like train cars. The cable cars run on small tracks that look like train tracks. But Kristin says instead of using coal to move like the trains that run through Muscatine, a big cable underground makes the cars move. I'm not sure I understand exactly how the cable car works, but I can tell you it is really fun to ride! There are lots of BIG hills in San Francisco. Keith and Kristin had to hold onto straps in the cable car so they wouldn't fall. They didn't have a special strap for me, so I decided to ride the cable car in Keith's front pocket.

The cable car doesn't move very fast. The car starts and stops when one worker pushes a big metal pedal while and pulling on large levers at the front of the car. A second worker rings a bell at the rear of the cable car. I think it would be really cool to work as a cable car driver, don't you?

Kristin says there are two cable car routes or "lines" in San Francisco. We took took "Powell-Hyde" line. One of the stops along the route is Lombard Street. Kristin says it is a very famous street in San Francisco. That's because one part of it is known as the the crookedest in the United States. Who knew?

Kristin says Lombard street has far more curves than any of the roads we took in Indonesia. I am going to have to trust her on that! We didn't go down the street. We only got to see part of the street from the cable car. But, if you look closely you will see how the cars are twisting to get down the street.

Our ride ended at a place called "Aquatic Park." From there you can see a large bridge. It's called the "Golden Gate" Bridge. Kristin says it is very famous.

Here I am with Kristin at the park. If you look closely, you can see the Golden Gate Bridge behind us.

As Keith took our photo, I saw a large sign on a building across the street.

I asked Kristin about the sign. She says it is on a building known as "Ghiradelli Square." She says Ghiradelli is a very famous chocolate company in San Francisco. Who knew?

I wanted to go try some chocolate but Kristin said we didn't have time. That's because we were going to a baseball game. A baseball game? Now I know why Kristin wanted me to wear my baseball shirt.

San Francisco is home to the San Francisco Giants. They play in a stadium called "AT&T Park." It reminds me of Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

The Giants were playing the Philadelphia Phillies. I was really confused. Kristin is a St. Louis Cardinals fan and Keith loves the Chicago Cubs. So I didn't understand why we were at the Giants game. Keith must have seen the look on my face because he told me that he and Kristin wanted to see the stadium. Plus, they just like watching baseball games. I guess that makes sense. I like baseball too...but I am still a Cardinals fan first!

The park is pretty cool. The San Francisco Bay is just over the right field wall. If you look closely though the large openings in the right field wall, you can see boats out in the water. Kristin says the people on the boats are hoping to catch a "splash ball" or a homerun hit over the wall.

Can you see the names of the baseball players in the picture above? They are players who have hit the most homeruns in the entire history of baseball. The person with the second most homeruns is Barry Bonds. He plays for the Giants. Kristin reminded me that I saw Barry Bonds hit a homerun when I saw the Cubs play at Wrigley Field last summer. That's when I remembered that Kristin doesn't really like Barry Bonds (Keith doesn't either). I guess it is a good thing that Barry Bonds didn't play Sunday night. But, he was in the dugout.

There were a few homeruns during the game, but none of them went over the right field wall and into the water. :( At one point, the Giants manager got really mad at the umpire and argued with the umpire on the field.

I'm not really sure what they were arguing about, but it happened when the Giants tried to tag one of the Phillies players out in the middle of the field. Kristin says he didn't win the argument.

Sometimes during the game I could see airplanes overhead. Keith says that's because the airport isn't that far away. One time I saw two planes really close together. I thought they were going to crash, but Kristin said they were still really far apart. I'm not so sure. What do you think?

The Giants ended up losing the game, but I still had lots of fun. Kristin stopped by a store in the ballpark and bought baseballs for me and my brother and sister. Thanks Kristin! I would show you a picture of me with the baseballs, but I fell asleep long before Keith and Kristin got back to the hotel.

Monday morning Keith and Kristin told me that they were in San Francisco to meet with people at KQED Public Radio. The station helps Keith and Kristin with the radio program. Kristin and my friend Simon were also on a panel to talk about the radio program. Kristin showed the PowerPoint presentation she made while we were in Los Angeles.

Right before our cab ride to KQED, Kristin told me she wanted to show me a mailbox. I wasn't so sure I wanted to see a mailbox. I see mailboxes all the time in Muscatine. Kristin must have seen the look on my face because then she told me we were going to see a special mailbox. I still wasn't all that excited. But then Kristin showed me this:

Can you believe it? It's a mailbox painted to look just like R2D2 from the Star Wars movies! How cool is that?! Keith told me the United States Post Office is going to make special Star Wars stamps later this month and that's why there are R2D2 mailboxes. I must tell Aunt Lynn! Maybe she will buy me some of the Star Wars stamps when they come out.

Kristin says there are hundreds of these mailboxes across the United States, but there are not very many in Iowa. Too bad. I think it would be AWESOME to have one of these mailboxes in Muscatine, don't you?

Whew! That's a lot of things to see in just a few days in San Francisco. I really liked San Francisco. I am going to have to put it on my list of places I would like to visit again.

I want to thank my friends Keith and Kristin for taking me along with them to San Francisco.

Until my next adventure...bye!