We arrive in San Francisco. We're stopping here for a few days before heading on to Hawai'i. It's nice to break up the trip, and Mark's friend David lives nearby in Oakland.
San Francisco is so mild compared to Toronto at this time of year that it's like fast-forwarding to spring. David and his wife meet us downtown at our hotel and we walk down to the harbour for drinks and snacks. Then in the evening we go on the hunt for Mexican food in the Mission District. Although we're a little let down by what we get in the end it's still a great walk in an interesting neighbourhood. At the last minute we pop into a store that sells a strange mix of items: skeletons, taxidermied animals in humorous poses, science relics, terrariums. It was just before closing, so we hardly had any time to look around, but it seemed to be a store filled entirely with things I find interesting. I've googled since, and I'm pretty sure it was Paxton Gate - there can't be two stores selling this same eclectic mix.