There’s a tremendous lift and sense of relief and calm when you know you’re staying somewhere for a few days–especially when that day is bracketed by driving and a hotel a night in a different location.

 

Jenni was up and out early, headed with some of her fellow ambassadors to the Evernote Trunk Conference about a mile away. She had to earn our keep for the weekend, and while I know she had a good time, I still think she would have preferred to be with us, so I appreciate her sacrifice.

 

The schedule looked like she’d be done sometime after dinner, so it was the kids and I on our own for the day. But she’d be hanging with other enthusiasts:

And they fitted her for her mic:

And they fed her sushi…dammit:

But we had this:

We were wandering through the mall a couple of blocks from our hotel, and Patrick saw the giant chess set and declared how an item on his bucket list was to play a game of giant chess. (Honest to God, he said this).

 

So how could I refuse?

 

Right across the street from the mall, though, was the jackpot:

Have you ever wondered how they turn around a cable car? Wonder no longer, folks!

 

Yup. Pure manpower. Pretty amazing when you think about it, because it’s only three guys who turn those things around and shove them off of the turntable. And watch at the end of the video–on every single turnaround we saw, the two guys in back would always fist bump. Must be a union rule or something.

 

So if you ask the kids, all will agree unanimously that the highlight of the day were the two cable car rides we took. Here’s some video of some of the second ride:

 

 

The added bonus was that it was a gorgeous day–clear and sunny, about 70 degrees, hardly any wind, and no fog. Remember that.

 

(As an aside, I add this picture for my father, because I know he’d appreciate it more than most people…Parking is at a huge premium in San Francisco, and I think that while most people seem to own a car, it would just be a huge hassle. So look at the yellow car midway up the hill–it’s a Smart Car, parked sideways and just about as long as most cars are wide. I loved that solution.)

Actually the hills made me wonder if anyone in town had good ankles, or if they all just walked at an angle all the time. Nothing–and I mean nothing–was flat. It makes you wonder what possessed someone to decide to build a city there in the first place.

 

The kids and I walked all over that day in addition to the mall and two cable car rides, we walked about a mile down Market Street, and the kids marveled at the trolleys, crowds, Walgreens stores on every block, and just how much there was to see. As Hannah told me: “I really like San Francisco. It’s just a lot to take in.”

 

Yes it is, grasshopper. Yes it is.

 

Tomorrow, we go as far west as we can.

 

See you tomorrow.