San Francisco

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Did you know that the sun actually does shine sometimes in San Francisco?

Bill looked down from his hotel window to see crowds getting ready for a St. Patrick's Day parade.


Even the Irish wolfhounds were ready to celebrate.

So there are Irish in San Francisco.  Who knew?

There are Chinese, too.  This is a view of Chinatown from California Street.  Looks level, doesn't it?  Well, Bill was on his way, walking, to the Fairmont Hotel to join Peg and some other friends at the Tonga Room for dinner.  And let me tell you -- see those cable car tracks?  Well, the cable car comes along here for a reason -- California Street may level out at intersections, but between them it's practically vertical.  If we could just turn the camera to the left, we'd see California Street going up .. up .. up ...  Bill was pooped by the time he got to the Tonga Room.


There are Peg and Bill and a froo-froo refreshment.  Peg had to climb the hill too!


Oh, look!  You can't get much fancier than the Tonga Room, can you?  That barge with a band is floating in what used to be the Fairmont's indoor swimming pool.  It was converted into the Tonga Room's tropical lagoon back in 1949 and the place has been a cheesy Polynesian restaurant ever since.  I can testify that it is unchanged since Uncle Hill took Doug and Bonnie and me to dinner there back in 1972.  When Peg asked Bill where they should go to dinner, the only thing in downtown San Francisco that came to mind was this place, but Bill was sure that barge must have sunk long ago.  But nope ... there it is. 


And Peg seems to be having a good time.  Guess it was a good idea.


Bill's having a good time too.  But who's the blonde?  Her name was Katie, and she was a friend of Stephen and Erin.


And who are Stephen and Erin?  They're friends of Bill and Peg and Patty.  In fact, last October Bill performed their marriage ceremony in full Gandalf regalia at the Maryland Renaissance Fair.  Don't believe me? 


Told you.  Now back to the Tonga Room.


Look!  It's a movie!


Polynesian restaurants are retro these days, so I guess that's why the band played retro 60s and 70s music.  Looks like that barge actually is rocking.


Bill wanted to take a taxi back to his hotel so he walked through the hotel lobby to find a taxi stand.  The Fairmont is a pretty nice place.

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