California Trip 2006

Day one -
Nilesh dropped us off at the Chattanooga airpot at 6:30am - we were thinking that we might have been late, but we did ok. flight to Charlotte was a small Canadair regional Jet, but from Charlotte to San Francisco it was an Airbus 321. We of course had to get the window seats on top of the wings, as our luck would have it.

I spent most of the time on the plane trying to play with this new toy of ours - the laptop. But the battery was not fully charged, and after 50% drainage, the performance was very slow. I tried to rip some music while I had the power, but I lost the power quickly. but the feeling of having a laptop was wondeful one.

Flight time was about 6 hours. it was long and restless for both of us.
San Francisco airport was completely renovated, with AirTran working and all.

Alamo car rental - $314 - for 1 week rental including all costs for a fullsize car (we got Chevy Impala - 2400 miles on it)

drove to san Fracisco - along highway 101.

2:00pm Arrived at Francisco Bay Inn at 1501 Lombard st. Very nice location, near everything. Hostess was Indian, helped us out, gave us plenty of suggestions for touring, and dining.

took some rest. it was a long day (and a long night before that). we were both very hungry as well, snacked on cashew nuts, sunflower seeds and Kashi bars manjiri had cleverly packed along, until we were finally went out on the town.

on day one, we decided to tour the city in the car. Drove down the streets of San Francisco. Lombard street turns into World's Crookeded Drive for about one block of the city:-) . also went past City hall, Ghirardeli Square (some construction there) and eventually reacehed Golden Gate Bridge. We took the last exit in san Francisco, before crossing over into Marin County. At that exit, there's a very nice display of the cable on which the GG Bridge suspends. its about 36 inchecs in diameter and made up of some 27000 smaller steel cables (3mm diameter each). Its amazing to see. Then we walked onto the bridge itself.

It was 6pm and darkness was just falling. It was cold, say around 50F and windy as we reached the top of the bridge. Traffic was constant, and the noise of cars on the bridge was a bit annoying, but the view of the City from up there at nightfall was enthralling. I took some pictures, but I was too far to take good ones of the city. The vibrations of the bridge was destabilizing the tripod shots of the night landscapes and the cold wasn't helping either. We then just enjoyed the romantic time on this famous landmark on valentine's day. We walked back to our car and drove back into the city to our hotel.

we then made plans for next few days activities with the help of the Indian lady owner of our hotel. She was very helpful. we then decided to walk 5-6 blocks of the city to eat something, may be Indian. But found this unique place instead. "Ya Ya Mesopotamian Cuisine California Style" - basically food and ambience of the Iraq. I had never before tried Iraqi foods, and surely enjoyed. Even Manjiri found good veggie stuff. more on that later.

When we reached our hotel room we were exhausted. Quickly retired after pluggin in all the gadgets to be recharged for new day of activities.