San Francisco, 8-Nov

Our last day in San Francisco was pretty leisurely, since the timing worked out that we didn't have to rush. That gave me some time for final thoughts. We got up early enough this morning to pack, eat breakfast, and go out for a quick walk. We poked our heads into the Palace Hotel (Melody had a conference there a few years ago) and topped off our Clipper cards for our BART fare. After that, we grabbed our bags, checked out, and had an uneventful trip to the airport. Security lines were short, so we sat down, got power and wireless, and after a while, got lunch. Our gate hadn't been assigned when we arrived at the airport, but it had been by the time we went to lunch, so we went to the gate after we finished eating.

When we landed in Seattle, we were able to catch a commuter bus back home, so getting home was pretty quick.

Transportation has worked out quite well on this trip. We're used to using Orca cards at home for the county bus systems and Sound Transit, and the Clipper card worked just as well here. The only downsides are we couldn't put our seven-day Muni passes onto it, and I don't see how you can use it on the cable car. It seems to be in the early adoption stages, at least on some of the systems, but it's really convenient.

I ended up using my phone's Maps application (as well as Google Maps) to do routing, which is a lot easier than looking at a system map, then looking for times. One thing I missed was real-time arrival info, but the Stanford Marguerite had that information available.

We had access to wireless in enough places, so that was nice. Most conveniently, we could get it in our room (last time we had to go down to the common room to get wireless). Unfortunately, while the hostel had networks for each floor, many times we weren't able to connect. It would have been a bit more convenient if they had just one big network with multiple access points (especially since they were completely separate networks; I had to make sure my phone and laptop were on the same one so they could talk to each other) but that was a minor point.

The hostel provided a free breakfast each morning, consisting of bagels, toast, and fruit. We supplemented that with yogurt, and sometimes our own fruit (the hostel provided only apples and sometimes bananas, and we wanted some variety). For other meals, we either ate out or got something we could bring back and microwave. We didn't do any actual cooking, even though there was a full kitchen available to guests. Every now and then we also brought back dessert.

Since the hostel had laundry facilities, things worked out well for us; we had taken enough clothing to last if we did laundry twice, which allowed us to pack quite lightly. I had a sufficient variety of clothing, except the only bad planning on my part is that the day we went to UC Berkeley, the only clean shirt I had was my Stanford one! Fortunately it's a pretty subtle one. While wandering around Cal, we saw a tour group where one kid had a bright red Stanford sweatshirt, so I definitely didn't feel conspicuous after that.

Here are a few photos I didn't include in other posts.

 Coit Tower

Coit Tower

 Chinese Immigrants Monument on Angel Island

Chinese Immigrants Monument on Angel Island

 Tall ship in San Francisco Bay

Tall ship in San Francisco Bay

 Triceratops, UC Berkeley

Triceratops, UC Berkeley

 Legion of Honor

Legion of Honor

 Organ at Grace Cathedral

Organ at Grace Cathedral

 Stanford Mausoleum

Stanford Mausoleum