Last week Jennifer and I took a trip to San Francisco for a wedding / pseudo holiday. It was also Jennifer’s first time in San Fran, so we spent the week checking out the sites and being more touristy than I ever though I could be. Didn’t mean I couldn’t be geeky, too.
The first 4 days we were in Sonoma Valley and Petaluma, CA. We toured the Kunde Winery, had oysters along the Pacific Coast Highway, and did a lot of driving on roads that were narrow and curvy. What a great way to spend Memorial Day weekend!
Our car was a Fiat 500x for the week we got from Enterprise rental. We got a weekly deal at $165, which was great for being a holiday weekend. The 2015 Fiat was fun to drive and the 180 horsepower engine could handle the hilly and winding roads of Sonoma and Frisco. Inside was Fiat’s Uconnect system for an easy touchscreen experience. I also love the auto-shift option so I feel like I am driving a stick.
Side note on Enterprise Car Rental – they won’t let you split payment/incidentals on two cards. I am not really sure why. I couldn’t even use a debit/credit card because I didn’t live in California. We spent 2 hours trying to figure out how to make this work and the office was less than helpful about it. I finally called one of the credit cards to get my limit increased so we could move forward. Not a positive point in our trip. At least I have good credit…
On Sunday, we took the road back to San Francisco. Stopping in Sausalito (Jennifer loves House Boats), we ran into a film crew at Dunphy Park. They were shooting a scene for the upcoming movie “Unleashed” with Kate Micucci and Sean Astin. Did not see Astin at the park, but Micucci was getting hit with a yo-yo several times…
Then it was off to San Francisco. This is where I took the first of two videos with the new Kodak PixPro SP360 4k camera. This one was over the San Francisco bridge. We couldn’t see Alcatraz from here, but you can get a good idea of what it’s like to drive over the bridge.
We took a walking tour of famous spots Alfred Hitchcock used for some of his movies. Starting at Huntington Park, we learned about the Fairmont Hotel and Brocklebank Apartments, Pacific Union Club, Grace Cathedral, and various other filming locations mostly for the movie “Vertigo”, but also other movies like “The Birds” and “Family Plot”.
Interesting to note: other movies like “The Pleasure of His Company” and “Bicentennial Man” was also filmed at Grace Cathedral.
The next day we were at Pier 39 checking out the view of the bay. A windy day (as most are in San Fran by the water), we had some great eats, experienced the pier and even walked through Magowan Infinate Mirror Maze. It was amazing how you could be walking right at yourself and have you come from the side, as well. Jennifer even walked away to the right and it looked like she was walking right at me.
We spent some time at Musee Mechanique – a.k.a. the mechanical museum. Inside are arcade games and visual attractions you would see at carnivals and fairs. It brought me back to my days working at Ella’s Deli in Madison, WI as the ice cream shoppe was filled with items like this.
I am guessing you spent only a penny to see some of these attractions work, but with inflation, it was 25 cents or more to let the toothpick Ferris wheel spin or to test your love. From the flip-card video viewers to old hockey and baseball machines, it was a cornucopia of interesting exhibits.
Besides arcade classics like Pac Man and Pong, along with various pinball machines, I got to chop off a head in “The French Execution”, watch a very scary Santa Claus at his workshop, get a fortune from a guy who had a spinning wheel in his belly, and even play “Opium Den”.
Amazing times in San Francisco. Jennifer can’t wait to go back there. I have a better idea of how the city is mapped so when I go for a conference, I can make suggestions for dinner.