Monterey Chronicles - San Francisco

"Wait," I hear people asking. "What does San Francisco have to do with Monterey?"

Well, nothing. Except for the fact that my brother and I wanted to go to San Francisco, and Sunday was the last chance to really do that. He has work during the week, after all, and it's far enough away from Monterey to make it a full-day trip. So after the excitement on Saturday, we all devoted Sunday to a trip up the coast to San Francisco.

Why did we want to go there? I mean, pick a reason. There's the Golden Gate Bridge to see if nothing else. But, I admit we had a different goal: the Kinokuniya bookstore that we knew was in San Francisco. I've been missing the shopping that I had back in Kyoto, when I went there to study abroad, and we were hoping that we could go buy a few more Japanese books that we won't be able to find anywhere else.

Had we known that the Kinokuniya was part of a much larger mall entirely devoted to Japanese stuff, we might have budgeted more time and money for this operation. As it stood we spent quite a while sitting there in the Kinokuniya struggling to decide what shiny stuff we actually wanted badly enough to buy. Of my purchases, probably the one I care about the most is the guide to Project Diva 2nd, a Vocaloids PSP game.

Then we needed lunch, and we were surrounded by Japanese food. Everyone else went for tempura. I got eel. And no, I never tire of the looks on others' faces when I order eel. It's delicious, if you were curious. Then we found taiyaki for dessert, and did a little more shopping where I got a wall hanging of Miku Hatsune, one of the Vocaloids. (Can you tell what I'm kind of a fan of?)

Finally we managed to tear ourselves away from the Japanese stuff, and went to the Golden Gate Bridge. We started the adventure in Fort Point, underneath the San Francisco side of the bridge, and wandered around staring at old Civil War-era cannons before surveying the shipping in the channel under the bridge. Including the container ship that was big enough to be mistaken for a lighthouse from a distance.

After that, we walked up and out onto the bridge a short distance, far enough to catch a glimpse of sea lions down in the channel. Since we didn't actually want to walk to Oakland, we didn't cross the bridge entirely, but it was fun nevertheless. And we got to see another container ship, too.

That was pretty much it. But honestly, that was more than enough.

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