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San Francisco Trip, November 2004

Taken from Coit Tower looking towards downtown. On November 18, 2004, I went to San Francisco to visit my best friend Phillip Rile. He lives in the East Bay area. The weather was great with cool temperatures and clear skies. No fog to speak of. This visit was mostly to just spend time with Phillip. I've missed hanging out with him since he moved up to the bay area. We had a great time hanging out together just like old times.

On Saturday, we went to San Jose to see the Winchester Mystery House. This is a huge sprawling Victorian mansion that was built by the late Sarah Winchester. She had carpenters working on it 24 hours a day for 38 years. It is a very unusual house. We took the regular mansion tour as well as the "behind the scenes" tour. The second tour shows you some of the outbuildings as well as the workings of the house. watch your head as you travel through the basement. I only clanked my head on pipes a couple times. Check out the web site for more details on the house.

On Sunday we were going to take a boat to Alcatraz but all the tickets were sold out. We went to Pier 39 and just walked around a while and then had lunch. After that I wanted to go to Coit Tower, which overlooks the city and bay. I didn't know how to get there but you can see it from just about everywhere so we just started driving towards it. When we got close to it we saw a sign that said "Stairs to Coit Tower". So we parked and then started climbing stairs. I don't know how many steps there but they seemed to never end. It was quite a climb. I don't know how the people who live on those hills do it. I don't think they need a stairmaster at the gym though. It sure would be a pain to move in to some of those houses. When we finally got near the top of the hill we found that there is a road that goes right up to it. Of course there was a long line of cars waiting for one of the parking spaces, of which there aren't many. Once you get into the tower you can see the murals that were painted along the corridor around the base. Fortunately the stairs to the top are closed and you must take the elevator up almost to the top, be sure to buy your tickets in the gift shop first. The tiny elevator holds 12 people and the elevator operator tells silly jokes but it was still fun. Once the elevator stops, you then have to climb more stairs to actually get to the observation deck at the top. It was very windy but they have windows installed around the platform. I could imagine what it was like before the windows were installed. The view from the tower is spectacular. Especially with the weather as it was.

At the Winchester Mystery House
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Views from Coit Tower and Pier 39
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