Whoohoo! The Golden Gate City, another celebrity graces your presence! Continuing on from NYC, LA, and more recently my California road trip, it was nice to set
foot paw on solid ground – er, semi-solid ground I guess.
For our first morning in San Francisco, we were up bright and early to go stop by the iconic Hyde Street cable car turnaround.
As Mum held me for a better look above the fence I observed, “Mum, this ride does not look too exciting.. I’ve been on a kid’s merry-go-round before and it moved faster than that.”
“Crusoe, it’s not a ride”, she replied. “It’s just where the cable cars turnaround so they can go back up the track. It’s a piece of their history!”
Ah, that explains it. “Well, I’d still very much like to ride the history ride then.”
“It’s not a ri- ah whatever”, Mum said. “Sure, why not!”
Well, it didn’t go too fast, but I’ll admit there was something magical about it. I almost felt like I was in a classic old film.
From there, I had received a special invitation to go meet a pup named Buster, the “ambassadog” of a local hotel and restaurant called Hotel Nikko & Anzu Restaurant.
I have to say, my celebrity was appreciated there. They prepared a beautiful pancake for each of us with our names on it.
Now that’s the sort of pampering I could use more of.
“Mum, I hope you’re taking notes!”
And oh my! For the second course, I was prepared beef tartar with egg and avocado.
I loved it, but I still couldn’t help but feel both embarrassed and angered all at once: embarrassed to the fact that I felt so unaccustomed to this sort of luxury dining; and angered to the fact that I live with a couple hillbillies who can’t even properly cook an egg over-easy.
“Private chef”, I said with a commanding look at Dad. “Add it to my Christmas list.”
As if that morning couldn’t get any better, the next item on our to-do list was to go play a little game of baseball by the AT&T Park where the Giants play.
Go ahead, laugh; I’m a wiener and I play for the Giants. I’m a Giant wiener. “Soo” funny.
Buster was up to bat first. Here’s me eyeing him down, contemplating whether I should throw my characteristic ‘wiener ball’, or my ‘wire haired ball’ (a trickster ball that explodes upon contact).
I went with wiener ball. BTW, that’s the AT&T stadium in the background, which is just across a canal which you can’t really see here. But interesting fact, during ball games, kayakers will wait out on the water because sometimes those home run hits go out of the park and land in the water. Actually, people have even been known to use Portuguese water dogs to go fetch the balls.
What the heck is a Portuguese water dog?! Sounds almost as crazy as a wienerdoodle.
Anyway, back to the game; I’m not sure if Buster plays baseball too often but he seemed to be playing it more like a football match, almost trying to tackle me!
I didn’t mind though – it was just for fun, and I never like to abide by all the rules anyway!
While at the baseball park, there was another dog who came to see me, and her name is Milla. She’s been a longtime fan of ours, for as long as I can remember, and she’d always talked about the day she hoped to finally meet me…
So it was pretty special for us to finally come nose-to-butt with each other. We posed on one of the baseball statues they had out front.
“Oh wait, I blinked!” I exclaimed.
“Take another one!”
Darn, Milla blinked this time! lol
She was so kind as to bring me a present too, which I ripped into right away.
What a wonderful morning! And for lunch, there was a cool place called ‘The Yard’ just beside us, which uses old shipping containers as a restaurant.
Pretty unique. Plus the food was not old, so that was good.
For the afternoon, we had another cool adventure planned – we were to rent a bright yellow GoCar to go explore the city ourselves! It’s a GPS-guided audio tour so even Dad couldn’t get lost!
(He still did once or twice though).
I was a bit hesitant at first to ride around in the bright yellow car, thinking I’d just look like a doofus tourist. But, I have to say, this was one of my favorite things to do in the city – and a “must” for really getting a full taste of the city and seeing all the little points you probably wouldn’t find on your own.
Our first stop on the tour was a nice-looking beach with a backdrop view of the Golden Gate Bridge – which by the way is not actually made of gold.
I had barely stepped away from the GoCar when a fan recognized me! However, this fan happened to be a young wire haired (uh oh!). Although admittedly she was quite cute.
She was starstruck to meet me and really wanted to go for a romantic stroll down the beach, but when I found out she was only a puppy I had to say, “sorry, call me when you’re a bit older.”
I felt bad though as we headed back to the car, because she really wanted to join me.
I guess Mum got a bit jealous, because she too wanted a photo of me with the bridge.
So, I drove us even closer for a special shot with Mum.
At a whopping 20 mph, we drove up over the hill and down to the other side to the quieter Baker Beach around to the west side of the bridge with an even better view!
“Hey Mum”, I said teasingly, “I bet you I can jump over the bridge!”
“Okay do it” Mum said, in a surprisingly encouraging tone… (Usually it’s only Dad that encourages such risky, adventurous behavior)
Pretty impressive, I know.
But what’s even more impressive is that I actually kept my clothes on despite the fact this is technically a NUDE BEACH!
Another nice thing about the GoCar is that it’s actually a dog-friendly thing to do, and normally you’d think something like this wouldn’t be!
I mean, how could it not? I get to experience so many more scents of San Francisco this way.
We even got to drive down the famous Lombard Street – the most crooked street in the world!
At the bottom of the street we got out to take a picture. I couldn’t help but notice this kid in the bottom-left here who kept making faces at his mom who was trying to take a nice picture!
“Keep it up, kid!” I said with a wink.
Luckily, the book signing event for my new book was not too far away at a Books Inc. location in the Marina District. Once again, it was wonderful to meet my San Francisco & Bay Area fans. It’s always so touching to hear people’s stories of how they started following us, how we’ve helped brighten their days, or just how far they traveled to come see me…
Here’s a few pics from the event, starting with the line out the door.
It was getting late by the time the event wrapped up, so it was time to head back to my hotel at the Oyster Point Residence Inn for some rest. One thing I have to say is that San Francisco is a lot chillier than I expected! So I was quite relieved to see a nice warm fireplace with my name on it back at the hotel.
The next day was likewise, not without it’s adventures.
Another really cool way to see the city and especially to learn about its history is to take the open-top vintage Fire Engine Tour, which takes you around, across the bridge, and back.
When I asked if I could drive the truck for a bit, the guy said, “Whoa wait a minute – aren’t you that wiener dog that crashed his firetruck in that video?”
‘No, no”, that was not me, I reassured him. “That was my brother Oakley. Don’t worry, his license has since been revoked.”
Anyway, what’s so significant about firefighters here is that the city has a lot of history “in fire”. Earthquakes are common here, and it doesn’t help that much of the building ground here was marsh before it was filled in, but it wasn’t the earthquakes the caused the trouble – it was the ensuing fires.
So firefighters have always been super important here. And because of all the street car wires in the air, they still largely use wooden ladders.
I took it for a quick spin around the block. It handles pretty well, but I still wouldn’t let Oakley drive it.
Then it was lunchtime, so we went to a pretty hip spot called Fog City Restaurant. I ordered the seared trout with beets & potatoes!
And of course, I had to get a “thank you shot” with the manager and chef.
And finally, we headed over to the famous Pier 39 to spend the later afternoon.
Of course, once I saw the ice cream stand I just had to have some! Coconut is my fav.
“Sh*t! I dropped my ice cream! Dad, go buy me another one.”
Then we just walked around, stopping by Fisherman’s wharf and some of the shops and whatnot. That’s when I heard it…
“What is that strange sort of barking sound?!” I asked as we approached the side of the pier. “And phew – that smell!”
That’s when I saw them.
“…Are those Portuguese water dogs?” I asked.
Mum and Dad just laughed. “Sure… why not?”
Hm, that’s a strange looking dog, I thought to myself. Almost disturbingly so.
So after a good time of dumbfounded gaping at what I recently learned to be Portuguese water dogs, it was time for dinner. We ate right on the Pier at a place called Wipeout Bar & Grill, a surf-themed restaurant.
“Well, it is Taco Tuesday... So I’ll have the tacos please.”
So with my belly full and a couple days of amazing new experiences still yet to sink in, we sat together on Pier 39, enjoying the sunset as all the lights came on and illuminated the place with that magical feeling once again.
San Francisco is pretty cool, and I’m not just talking literally. I mean, a city of great food, firefighters, historic cable car roller coasters, a nude beach, an iconic bridge that’s not really gold but likewise just as impressive, and stinky, loud Portuguese water dogs!
I learned a lot on this visit, but alas, my time is limited and next up is the BIG D.
Enjoy my visit to San Francisco? “Like” this post! 🙂