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Trip Report San Franciso-Pacific Grove-Wine Country

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Hello. I am writing this to say thank you so very much to everyone who helped us plan our trip from the UK to California. It ended up being two years in the planning - mostly because a leak in our bathroom led to us having to postpone for a year! I hate it when life gets in the way of travelling!
We arrived in San Francisco last night after travelling for 22 hours. It all began at 4.30am UK time on Sunday when we left Cheltenham to head to Birmingham airport to board our first of two flights to the US. I am not going to lie, I hate flying so this part of the trip was horrid.
We arrived at our Noe Valley (thank you Stu Dudley) apartment at Dolores-Duncan at around 7pm and had to pop our for supplies before unpacking and settling in. I don't know when I have ever been this tired, but washing off the plane with a long soak in the tub and a good night's sleep helped a great deal.
We woke up this morning to stunning blue skies. Yay!
Everyone is so friendly here. Looking confused with a map in your hand? People just offer directions. They are so friendly and welcoming. We had some amazing, generous help this morning while using the J line into the city, where we headed to Chinatown for the City Guides tour.
People are so generous with their time and local knowledge. It's so lovely and we are very appreciative.
Our guide, Louise, was incredibly informative and interesting and delivered the information in such a way that we were keen to hear all she had to offer. It really makes a differnce when you hear it from someone who does the 'job' because they love their city. Unbelievably, she had just returned from a holiday in....Cheltenham. Her husband was on the same Sticky Toffee Pudding Journey as me - the ultimate one is out there!
Anyway, back to Chinatown. We heard a fascinating history of the Chinese community's time in San Francisco, right up to the present day and the mayoral candidate. We visited a temple (called Tin How, I think). We also saw fortune cookies being made, saw a musical barber (Sinatra was said to be a customer) perform Clemintine on an erhu. He was apparently in the movie Pursuit of Happyness. After the tour we were given a list of recommended restaurants for dim sum. We went to New Asia, where, naturally, we ordered way too much food. A great experience.
We had some retail therapy before heading back to Noe Valley. We were given clipper cards or passes at the apartment, which is great because I am sure we will use them a lot.
After dropping off our purchases at our San Franciso temporary home, we picked up Stu Dudley's Noe Valley walk notes and headed out again.
This is a lovey walk and introduced us to a gorgeous area, packed with great independent shops and restaurants. We are, sadly, losing so many of these in the tough, economic climate in the UK so we really appreciated seeing them here.
We hope to visit some of the restaurants during our stay, budget and time allowing.
Tonight we were drawn into the Pasta Gina deli, next to the restaurant Bacco, where we collected a card and hope to return.
We were still a little tired from the flights, so a deli seemed the perfect solution and the sign advertising cannoli called out and we obeyed. We ended up get dinner too - lasagne for me, meatballs for my husband, Grant - too.
It was a great walk Stu, thanks again. We are so happy to be staying here.
Tomorrow, a taste of North Beach tour, perhaps a boat cruise and, in the evening, our first baseball game. We are hoping to take a train to AT & T Park. Need to research that now.
Again, thanks so much for everyone's help with this incredible trip. And may the good weather continue.
Lisa

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