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20. Lazy morning and the Coit Tower murals

Friday 26th
I had planned to get up at a reasonable time today and go for a wander round the City but my bed was so comfy and my bedroom was so nice that I just ended up having a nice lazy morning and didn't didn't get up and ready til 2pm which was when I was meeting my friend Richard. I've known Richard for a few years, he was one of my volunteers when I was out in Kenya helping to manage the rhino project. He was my 50c tour guide last time I was in San Francisco too showing me the city from a non tourist point of view. He's an ex bank manager like me and now he's retired spends his time volunteering at a school, working at a sea mammal centre and giving guided wild bird tours on Alcatraz - how fabulous - I hope i get up to stuff like that when I retire!!

I met Richard on the corner near my hotel (well I jumped into a car who flashed it's lights at me and thankfully it was Richard!!) I had emailed Mona to see if she fancied joining us but don't think she'd seen her emails. It was lovely to see him again and he had a bit of a treat lined up for me, there is a place called Coit tower which can be seen from all over city and was built as a memorial to the city firemen, we visited it last time I was in San Fran but at that time it was closed for refurbishment or something so we couldn't get inside, Richard had got us tickets to have a tour of the inside which is covered in murals. We were a bit early so had a wander round Telegraph Hill which is famous for having wild parrots (well there started off with a couple of escapee pet parrots that bred and now there are dozens living wild.) Today we were there at the wrong time and didn't get to see them.

The murals in Coit tower were fabulous - some a bit dismal because they were painted in and represented the Depression and life in the 1930s but they were all very interesting and some had hidden, secret messages in them. The guide showing us round was good but fairly new and I bet he hated us, Richard has lived here for 30 odd years and was telling him stuff about the city and history and I kept asking him questions that he couldn't answer - oops! He was very enthusiastic tho and seemed to very much enjoy his job. He did get us a free visit up to the top of the tower which was very good of him (although he probably just wanted shot of us - ha ha!)

I'd only had a bag of crisps for my breakfast (cos I was so lazy!) so Richard decided that we should go for an early dinner at his favourite restaurant - ristaurante Milano, which turned out to just be opening up as we arrived. I popped in and ordered a drink which Richard parked the car, he was a bit of a long time and it turned our he'd been and bought me a lottery ticket because just before we parked up I happened to notice as we were passing a newsagent that the jackpot was $142 million that weekend - it would be very nice!!! The food in the restaurant was delicious, we shared a mushroom crostini and I had Neapolitana angel hair pasta, which was very light and fresh. A day or so before I'd seen on the news that there had been a big earthquake in Italy and it turned out that the owner of the restaurants family lived near the earthquake - thankfully they were all ok but some of his family friends hadn't been so lucky. .

The plan next was that we were going to a place called hawk hill which has fabulous views of the Golden Gate Bridge but we noticed from the car that the hill was covered in mist so there would be no view from the top at all so instead we stayed on the city side and had a bit of a drive round some of the nicer areas of town - all the houses in San Fran are very cute and well looked after, mainly pastel painted clapboard (is that what it's called?) and the posher houses are just magnificent - there were a couple I was planning to buy with the lottery win of $142m! We stopped at a few places to admire the views and then Richard dropped me off back near my hotel, to say I'd not done much today I was still tired - ha ha! I should have packed when I got in but couldn't be bothered so just jumped into bed and didn't take much rocking!

Steps: 5792 / 2.3 miles (poxy effort!)

Posted by cazbatt 13:43 Archived in USA

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