Two Americans in China in San Francisco

Ack! I can’t believe how long it has been since I last posted! I planned on doing posts while I was on vacation, but time just got away from me and the Internet at my in-laws’ house was terrible, so I hardly spent any time online. Anyway, here is how we spent our Chinese New Year!

After many years of saying we would, we finally were able to take Zoe to America! It was her first time out of the country (well, she has been to Macau and Hong Kong, but…you know…Hong Kong is China) and her first time flying. It was an exciting trip for her, mainly because we didn’t tell her any of our plans, so she had no idea what to expect from day to day. She will be sharing her reflections on the trip later. (Be sure to click on all the images for captions!)

My husband and I live in Florida, but we always layover in California. We had never been to San Francisco before and always wanted to go, so we arranged a long layover in San Francisco.

San Francisco is a very cool and interesting place. Honestly, while we were there, it didn’t feel like we were back in America – it felt like Hong Kong. The city is so crowded! Not just the downtown area, but the whole city is just wall-to-wall buildings. I’ve never been in another American city like it.

We did all the touristy things. Instead of going to Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge individually, though, we took a bay cruise that went by both of them. It was a lot of fun.

We saw the famous sea lions, but they were backlit when we went to see them so the pics didn’t turn out very well.

We went on a historical tour of the city with Emperor Norton!

Emperor Norton was, at one time, a successful businessman. After going bankrupt, though, he declared himself the first Emperor of America and became a popular local in San Francisco. When he died in 1880, over 30,000 people attended his funeral. He now gives tours twice a week of his beloved city. If you are ever in San Francisco and want to learn more about this fascinating city, definately go on one of his tours.

We went to Fisherman’s Warf.

where we found a really kitschy museum called Musée Mécanique that is home to hundreds of old mechanical arcade machines. The machines are all in working order, and for a quarter or two you can play a game, have your fortune told, watch a scene, or look at bawdy pictures. I thought one featuring a Chinese opium den was very interesting.

Seth and Zoe enjoyed seeing who could be “electrocuted” the longest.

Of course, the main reason we went to San Francisco was to visit Chinatown, but that is a post for tomorrow!