January 31, 2007

[Curious George] Denver Pet Sitter & SF Tourist Attractions Jim T. and I will be in San Francisco for four days in March and we need 1) Recommendation for cat(s) sitter in Denver, 2) Some fun touristy things to do in San Francisco.

We need someone to come to our home--we're not willing to board the cats. And we're staying in Japantown (with a room that includes wine and sake tasting!) if that helps tailor some ideas. We want to go for sushi and dim sum while we're there so any recommendations for that would be awesome. We will have a rental car and don't mind cheesy touristy places. Thanks!

  • Four days? 1. Buy 2nd litter box. 2. Clean 1st litter box. 3. Put down 4 days of food. 4. Have happy neighbor come by a few times to play with cats, collect mail. 5. Go. Can't help with the SF tourismo.
  • I gotta agree with Ralph on this one. Four days is not a hugely long time to leave your cats alone, as long as they have enough food, water, and litter. I've done this often enough with my two cats and they've been fine. Then again, if we're talking more than two cats, it might be good to have someone poke their head in to make sure they haven't run out of supplies.
  • It really depends on the particular cats. My current set freaks out if abandoned for that long. Others were fine with half-week absences.
  • You know, I have been very blessed with having fairly mellow, independent cats my whole life, so I shouldn't assume anything about someone else's cats. I'm sure if Kimberly says she needs a catsitter, she needs one for a good reason! In other words, I got nothin'.
  • Cat owner here- 4 days is pretty much the upper limit for mine, too, but if you can get somebody to drop in once or twice it always helps with peace of mind. 2nd litterbox, leave toilet seats up, extra large trough o' water someplace interesting. Although: are these indoor/outdoor cats? If they must have outside access, that's a nuisance.
  • I was going to suggest Japantown Bowl, but a Google search tells me it's gone. The Tonga Room is a fun place to go for drinks; it rains inside.
  • The Tactile Dome. Alcatraz is fun and interesting, but was more so when they had the guided tours and locked you in the cells for a few minutes instead of just sending you off walking with headphone tours. If you are a beach person, then head down to Monterey or Santa Cruz. Something like an hour or so away, and there are wineries you can visit before you hit the beach. For that matter, if you are more into wine than sand, hit Napa or better yet, Sonoma, which is cheaper than Napa and just as scenic and tasty. The Museum of Modern Art is cool, as is the Palace of Fine Arts. Lots more, but I'm late - I'll try to hit the thread again later. And I have about a billion great restaurant recommendations if you want them - email's in the profile.
  • Palace of Fine Arts And, while there, you should of course see The Exploratorium. Take a drive over the Golden Gate Bridge and look at the houseboats in Sausalito. Take a ferry out to Angel Island and hike around and enjoy the views.
  • For dim sum, try Ton Kiang. Yank Sing is also good, but more expensive. There is so much good sushi in Alameda where I live that I don't go into the city for it very often. But my brother tells me that Koo is very good. Knowing him, it is very trendy as well. Nearby is Ebisu, but I don't think that it is worth the money, though the sushi is good and the floor seating is interesting (if not very comfy). Places that aren't sushi or dim sum that I recommend are Andalu, which has great small dishes that aren't outrageously expensive, Thanh Long for crab (expensive, but then when is crab not expensive), Osteria for Italian, Eliza's for highly Americanized Chinese food that is scrumptious nonetheless - esp. the sweet mongolian beef and the portabella mushrooms with shrimp, Slanted Door for spendy and trendy but very nummy pan-asian food, Galette for crepes, Mifune for Japanese noodles, and Tartine or Tart to Tart for dessert.
  • Walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, visit Fort Point and think about Kim Novak and Jimmy Stewart. Hit SFMOMA, the De Young Museum, the Asian Art museum, Fisherman's Wharf in the morning and have clam chowder for breakfast, but I guess it's too late to go to Sam Wo's in Chinatown. Ride a cablecar, walk down Haight, visit the Wave Organ at night. Head to Ocean beach with some firewood, and try not to walk on streets named after presidents of the united states.
  • I second the De Young museum - can't believe I forgot that one. But I find Fisherman's Wharf to be eminently skippable, expecially given that I wouldn't trust any food caught in the bay to be edible.
  • My cats eat wet food twice a day. And there are four of them. Leaving them to their own devices is not an option. Thanks for the San Francisco suggestions!
  • (p.s. we have four litter boxes :D)
  • Hi Kimberly!
  • *also waves*
  • Take in a film at the Castro Theater or the Red Vic on Haight.
  • If you're a beat fan, have a drink at Vesuvio in honour of Jack & Neal. Nearby is the famous City Lights Bookstore, and if you love garlic (I mean really love garlic) have a meal at The Stinking Rose.
  • I would do the Vertigo tour, but I'm weird that way. Once spent half a day finding this house. One final thing I have to do, and then I'll be free of the past...
  • When you go down Lombard Street (which of course you will), you can see the house where The Real World - San Francisco was filmed. It's about a block down from the twisty part.
  • Oh! And speaking of Vertigo, you can see where the hotel scene in High Anxiety was filmed, at the Hyatt Regency. (From there, take the cable car up California Street to the Fairmont, where the Tonga Room is. I got yer whole trip planned, baby!)
  • ♫ Ooh! ..ziety! It's you ... that I fear ... ♫
  • The celery's not for dope, it's for dip!
  • MmMm. They have a Stinking Rose in Los Angeles that I used to go to occasionally when I lived there. Good food, but also I found that it is possible to eat too much garlic!
  • The Asian Art Museum really is spectacular. Don't miss Golden Gate Park. The Japanese Tea Garden is a tourist attraction, yes, but lovely, and the arboretum is really great and there's a buffalo paddock (really!), an old windmill, and then you can head past the windmill to the beach (not for swimming, but nice for walking). You can have a really fantastic day in the park (and there's museums inside as well, which have been recommended but I haven't gone to yet). Union Square is all shopping, but you can sneak into the hotel there (Marriott? I can't remember) and they have a glass elevator; lovely views). The Mission Dolores down in the Mission District is really interesting, and there's a graveyard out back that's shady with lots of very old, fascinating gravestones. It's quiet and the neighbourhood is nice to walk around in as well (though supposedly not after dark). The Amoeba Records store is awesome. 'Nuff said. There's one in Berkeley as well which is also good, but smaller (though still, bigger than most, and there's a big Rasputin Records right down the street as well). To me these are tourist attractions. :) I didn't find anything else in Berkeley to be of particular interest, but I've only gone by twice, so feel free to disregard if others recommend it. Riding the cable cars is a surprising amount of fun, if you're in the right frame of mind. Walking along Fisherman's Wharf is not particularly wonderful, in my mind, but it's not bad, per se. If you want to walk around I'd suggest GG Park or the Mission district instead, though.
  • Wet cat fud! A nuisance indeed, but a necessity with older gum-troubled beasties. I attribute my weekend travel freedom to crunchy kitty bitties. Hope you manage to find a great sitter, Kimberly, you're clearly a good catmom.
  • One of our cats defied the age-old logic: They won't starve themselves. He certainly tried and there was lots of trauma on both our parts. He wants wet food and a certain kind of wet food and that's it. Another one of our cats has questionable teeth and so that's the end of that. Wet food it is. These SF suggestions are great! Keep 'em coming!
  • cat fud "Oh please, oh please...." Heh. Our puppy-cats might as well be dogs as far as the mellow and independent thing goes. We try to stagger our travel schedules to provide cat coverage. Though they're really happiest (most relaxed and social, least neurotic) in a two-parent household. Definitely pack animals. /derail
  • goetter, I'm glad it's not just our crazy cat pack!
  • /is ded frum the triple cat skwee
  • - cross the GG Bridge and walk up into the Marin Headlands for amazing views of the city - Twin Peaks (especially at night) offers more spectacular views of the city - you can do tours of public murals in the Mission - the pirate store at 826 Valencia (also in the Mission) is a fun quick stop - there are also tours of "haunted San Francisco" (get out your Google to learn more about all this stuff) if that's your bag - Alcatraz is really worth the trip, but make sure you do the recorded tour rather than/in addition to showing yourself around - There's a pretty hike you can do between Land's End and the Palace of Fine Arts -- great views of the GG Bridge and Marin Headlands - If you want to head out of town for some rugged-coastal-beauty type action, try Point Reyes or Bolinas or Pescadero; you can feel like you're in the sticks pretty quickly after leaving SF - If the waves are right, you can watch 'em surfing at Ft. Point right under the GG Bridge, which is very cool - Have fun!
  • Ah, I forgot about Point Reyes - it really is beautiful. It takes quite a while to drive up there via the 1 but it's beyond beautiful (so long as you don't get carsick like I do, woe) and you can come back more quickly on the 101, which will take you right into the city. If you don't feel like going as far out, go to Muir Woods. We went six hours north (10 by the 1) to better, bigger redwoods at the Avenue of the Giants but Muir Woods is really remarkable, especially given how very very close to the city it is (since we actually live down in Silicon Valley, not quite as close, but if you're staying in town it's a breeze). There's a variety of trails including a boardwalk so any level of fitness can do it. Plus, it's a reason to go over the GG Bridge. I think this exhausts my tourist info of SF, especially since we don't go up and explore nearly as often as we should.
  • *wonders if lazy orange cat would bother with cool cat wheel*
  • livii, you'll have to come up for the next meet-up. Or get one together in the South Bay!
  • livii, you'll have to come up for the next meet-up. Or get one together in the South Bay!
  • Do you mean stay at the house,,or just a daily visit?? I have no transportation.
  • Kimberly, I'm 3rding the suggestions for Alcatraz. I went several years ago and that's one of the few things I clearly remember enjoying. That, and a dinner at Nanking something-or-another in Chinatown. $5 entree, served with a warm can of Coke. Best. Chinese food. Ever.
  • I think you mean House of Nanking, which is closer to Broadway/Columbus Ave area, IIRC. That tiny place with about 5 tables crammed together? I've only eaten there once, but everyone raves about it. Just don't look in the bathroom.
  • Koko, that sounds about right. there was a bathroom?
  • Yum.
  • That's the place all right. food = fantastic hygiene = not so much At least, that was my impression from about 10 years ago. So, FWIW.
  • So we found a great cat sitter and we have tickets to Alcatraz. We're looking forward to doing some fun in the city things on our other free day there and eating at a bunch of these yummy places. Thanks for all the suggestions!
  • Your putting the cat in Alcatraz? Dude, that's so wrong.
  • Alcatraz. If I ever start up a cattery, now I have a name. Have fun, Kimberly and jim_t!