Tuesday, March 31, 2009

San Francisco: The San Remo and the Sea Lions

We choose our hotel, The San Remo, because it is haunted. Although no ghosts float at the top of the stairs or glide along the hallways, lights flicker on and off at will. We are treated to strange sounds—cats meowing—and odd smells. We are told later than an elderly woman (with a cat) died in the room that Laura and Shelby occupy.

In the heart of Little Italy, we are surrounded by Italian restaurants and cafés. We don’t know it that first day, but regardless of the compass direction we choose, our path will lead to beautiful vistas, bright sights, sounds of life. San Francisco—city of color.

On our list of must-dos:

Ride the cable cars
Stroll Pier 39
Climb Lombard Street
Visit Alcatraz

San Francisco is a city I’ve visited many times. No matter how many times I go, there are things I want to do again—crest the rollercoaster hills and glimpse the Bay Bridge shimmering in the morning light. Stroll along Pier 39 and watch the sea lions basking in the tepid sun.

A mother has her flipper wrapped around her pup.

The little one sleeps smiling, content and secure. Another sea lion slips into the bay, squeals, and dives. It swirls and pokes a flipper out of the water.
The man standing next to me says, “He’s flipping you off.”

Only a sea lion could do that without seeming rude.

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