A 50 minute drive south brought us into the magical city of San Francisco via the Golden Gate Bridge. What a spectacular engineering feat. The view of the city on the bay was out of the storybooks. We headed for the parking garage at 5the and Mission. This area is near the Oakland Bay Bridge and on the northeast part of the city. We walked to the famed and historical Palace Hotel. The original hotel was completed in 1875. It was an optimistic super-vision for its day in a city of about forty thousand people. It was built with the monies made from the great Comstock Silver Mine and the gold rush era. The hotel was devastated by the great earthquake of 1906. It was rebuilt to even greater elegance when it reopened in 1909. Built by William Ralston and William Sharon it was the Grande Dame of San Francisco. The architect John Gaynor used a foundation base of bricks and the hotel was so sturdy it survived the quake but not the great fire. that followed. The original foundation was used for the reconstruct in 1909 and still exists today. It has been a part of history ever since it opened. Countless presidents have stayed there. Its Garden Court Restaurant has served such important functions such as the banquet honoring the opening session of the United Nations. Its opulence is beyond belief. One is mesmerized by the immense architectural beauty from the soaring granite and marble columns to the intricate moldings and railings. The gorgeous marble floors and the immense crystal ceiling make the Garden Court Room the most unique in the world. We had lunch there and stared in amazement. We took the 2 hour historical tour and learned the details of the Palace's fascinating story. We then worked off our lunch by hiking the giant telegraph hill to its peak-The Coit Tower. The view from the Tower was spectacular. From there we hiked to the Cable Car Museum and studied the history of this very unique and magical attraction. We attempted to ride a cable car to our next destination but the cable broke! We had to walk. A big pickup truck had to push the cable car up the hill to reconnect to a non-broken cable. We walked back to our car through beautiful neighborhoods and structures and ended our day totally spent.

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