We had an exciting opening for our 65th Conference - complete with a cable car and Chinese dragon from our host city. For our lunch, we continued to enjoy the local treats on our own.
The famed cable cars run from downtown to the Wharf - we jumped on a few blocks from the convention center for the open air ride up and down the hills of the city.
Walking along the streets the last couple days, I've heard on odd motor-running sound; one of the drivers explained to us that this is the cable that runs under the street that pulls the cars along (you can see the thick cables if you carefully look into the space in the track). Apparently, back in the 1870's, the San Franciscans got tired of losing their horses to exhaustion and runaway horse carts on those hills. Instead, they came up with this cable system, and today, the cars are still operated by hand-pulled and foot-pushed brakes. The downside of this system, as we also found out - when there's a problem with this cable - the cars don't go. It was a little like riding a slow roller coaster, made a little more exciting by hanging off the side and hoping you don't get side-swiped by passing traffic.
At Fisherman's Wharf, we enjoyed a delicious bowl of cioppino, the San Francisco born seafood soup. This is one of my favorite soups, it's so much work to cook, but so delicious! It's a seafood stock with tomato puree, filled with fish, shellfish (Dungeness crab, shrimp, mussels, clams), and squid - yum! Served with garlic sourdough bread - whew! We were pretty full.
Well, 'til we saw the Ghirardelli factory. Sea salted caramel hot chocolate, anyone?