Sunday, September 04, 2011

Sundays in My City - A Visit with Sandi Takemoto - September 4, 2011

In July of 1994, I sailed on the Royal Odyssey to Alaska.  During that cruise,
on a visit to one of the bars, I met a lovely  woman from Hawaii, Sandi Takemoto.
During that week, we met several times, exchanged phone numbers but never
 really stayed in touch.  Six months later, the first night of  a Sydney, Australia
to Auckland, New Zealand cruise as I was crossing the dining room to my table
on the Crown Odyssey, a voice called out to me.  Much to my delight and surprise,
it was Sandi Takemoto!  She and her mother were sailing with me and were staying
two days at the end of the cruise in Auckland - and so was I - and we would be at
the same hotel. 

On that cruise, Sandi and I spent  a great deal of time together and, every
evening, we ended up meeting in one of the bars for drinks. We also became
friends with an agricultural inspector from Christchurch wo also remains a
friend to this day.  Sandi lives on Oahu and, whenever I'm in Hawaii, I always
see her.  When I got an email last month, saying she was doing a cruise in
late August out of San Francisco, she wondered if I might pick her up at the
airport at 5:30AM and spend a few hours with her before she had to board the
ship at 11AM.  "No problem", I told her.  I wouldn't miss seeing a friend,
regardless of the hour.

I searched for a place with early morning breakfast, then we spent the next
few hours riding around and sightseeing and stopping at the Ferry Building's
Thursday Farmer's Market.  It was with a bit of  envy that I dropped her at
the pier for her NINETEEN day cruise to Mexico, through the Panama
Canal, and up the East Coast to New York!

For breakfast, I picked a place called the Ashley Cafe because it opened at
6AM and it had gotten good reviews.  I actually was a bit disappointed in it.
It was out in the Richmond District, parking was difficult at that time of the
morning and I didn't find it that great, especially in San Francisco with all its
superior eating places.

My omelet with red onions, mushrooms, spinach and feta cheese

As you can see, we were the only ones in there!

Lovely blue Victorian

Gingerbread on the Victorian

Beautiful dahlias in the garden of a Victorian home

San Francisco's Ferry Building, besides being the ferry terminal, is home to many
wonderful shops and restaurants and, on Thursdays and Saturdays, hosts a
wonderful farmer's market.  To be sure, its prices seem to be a bit higher
than the average farmer's market and, finding parking, is near impossible. 

My lovely friend, Sandi

Dahlias for sale

One of many food stalls at the Farmer's Market


Humanitarian kindness

Healthy bicycle rider in great form

More good eats

Sandi with Sinbad's and the Oakland Bay Bridge in the background

City view with date palms

Climbing halfway to the stars

Modern San Francisco home

I am participating in Unknown Mami's Sundays in My City -

check out the site and add your post to tell us about your city!


  1. What a nice meeting, albeit a bit too early in the morning. I especially like the food photos, and it's so funny that you put a yummy dish right after the fit bicycle rider!

  2. Great tour! I hardly enjoy eating out any more because I'm usually disappointed, especially at the prices.

  3. I moved from the Bay Area 6 months ago and really enjoyed these pictures. I don't miss the traffic or challenge of finding a parking space.
    Great pictures.

  4. I can't believe the chance encounter on your cruise from Sydney to Auckland! Wow! Good friends are for life. Thanks for sharing ....

  5. That breakfast looks delicious.

  6. Ohhh! What a gorgeous blog! Carmen, I just love your pictures and I want that cup of coffee now! It looks so slurrrp!

    Do let me know when you get to Bangalore.

    I am thrilled to see your "I Love India" badge.

  7. I've just come back from a Mediterranean cruise with P & O - fabulous! Only our second but we've already booked up for next year. One of our ports of call was Venice and in the Hard Rock Cafe there I bought my son a HRC Japan t-shirt - 75% of the retail price is donated to organisations helping the victims of the Japan tsunami. Wouldn't it be great if more companies followed HRC's example!

  8. How lovely to meet an old friend. Love the pics.

  9. Beautiful pictures, Carmen! Thanks for stopping by!

  10. What a great Sunday tour of your town! San Fran must be one of the most beautiful cities in the US.

    I was so happy to read in your comment on my blog that you will be returning to your beloved India on a vacation soon! I know you will enjoy yourself immensely! Have a great time and take lots of pictures!

  11. I used to live in SF and I still miss it. Your pictures reminded me of many of my favorite places!

    I'm sorry the cafe was less than perfect but I am so glad that you had time with such a great friend. And how jealous am I of you serial cruisers -- LOL!

    have a great week!

  12. Josep -
    I ended up staying up all night before Sandi's was just easier than getting only a couple hours of sleep! But it was early to bed the next night for me. Yes, I bet that bicycle rider doesn't indulge in much San Francisco dining out!

    steviewren -
    I do think San Francisco is one of the most picturesque and most European of the U. S. cities! Yes, I am India bound - and for six months. I hope I can keep up my blog while I'm there. I'm getting very excited as the departure date nears!

    Sharkbytes -
    San Francisco has some pretty decent eating places that are reasonably priced but there are some that are outrageously exhorbitant! I'm definitely in the budget category since my job loss!

    StarTraci -
    I'm glad you could revisit your former home via my blog. It's always fun showing off the city to visitors. -
    I don't find traffic here too bad - at least not in relation to a place like Los Angeles but parking can really be outrageous! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    Helen -
    It really was amazing to meet Sandi again six months after the first time. However, with 78 Royal Caribbean cruiser, I often found myself running into people over and over again, especially on certain ships. We get our favorites and tend to stick with them, especially if they do different itineraries.

  13. Vidya Sury -
    That "I Love India" badge was made by Braja Sorensen who does a wonderful blog about India -
    did you check it out? Just click on the badge. She is a great writer and photographer who lives near Calcutta. I hope to meet her
    ( and you ) during my six months in India !

    Lily -
    It would make a huge difference if there were more corporate support for the victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. They've got dep pockets!

    Glynis -
    How good to see you. I need to stopy by. How's the writing coming along?

    As Cape Cod Turns -
    Thanks for visiting. Many years ago, I lived in the Boston area ( my dad was actually from Waltham ).

  14. I love hearing about your friendships. You must be a great friend to have such great friends.