Zippy By The Bay!

We bundled up Zippy for the San Francisco summertime chill and headed into the big city. Everyone knows, you can’t visit San Francisco without a trolley car ride. Here’s Zippy getting the (well-deserved) V.I.P. treatment. It takes a tough shell and a tender heart to do what Zippy does – travel off to unknown lands, talk to people he hasn’t met before about a cause he cares deeply about. It also takes persistence, which is why Zippy can be a force of nature sometimes (synthetic perhaps, but nature all the same). Zippy was amazed to learn that the trolley car is pulled up the steep San Francisco hills by a cable running under the street. To get the trolley going, the conductor clamps onto the thick cable whizzing past underground, then the trolley gives a little lurch, and off you go. Boy, it’s amazing how much strength it takes to clamp those levers down when it’s pulling a trolley full of people sitting and hanging off the sides. Zippy kept asking the conductor how he got his claws so strong. The conductor kindly flexed his gloved hand to show off a bit for Zippy. Impressive.

All aboard! Next stop, the Embarcadero!

San Francisco has changed a bit in the last few years and there are many new, beautiful sights. In front of the Embarcadero is a Farmer’s Market with stall of crafts. Zippy could smell the sea and couldn’t wait to get to the wharf.

San Francisco has beautiful art everywhere. Here’s another art-ball installation, like the one Zippy saw at City Hall. These art-balls are all over the city. This one was decorated by Zippy’s favorite people – kids!

Inside the Embarcadero are lots of wonderful shops, full of local yummy treats. Some of the stalls were shocking to Zippy – here, at the Cow Girl Creamery, is a cheese bigger than a lobster. It violates one of Doc Gurley’s Rules To Live By – never eat anything bigger than your head.

Ah, one of Zippy’s favorite things – a kids’ display at Sharffen-Berger chocolates. Oooh, just smelling the chocolate makes a lobster’s gastric mill mouth water. When talking, shouting, and even a gentle pinch didn’t work, Zippy had to eventually drag Doc Gurley away by his powerful claws. After dusting herself off, Doc Gurley claimed she wasn’t really in a chocolate trance – she was just faking it so Zippy could demonstrate that his claws are as strong as a trolley car conductor’s.

There is even art built into the walls here. Hmm. Did someone tile a monument to Zippy?

Outside you could feel smell the sea breeze – boats were whipping across the Bay and Zippy’s feelers were streaming in the wind. Here’s another (sort of alarming) art installation (by Louise Bourgeois) – Zippy really liked it because it’s a work of art in honor of the artist’s mother, who was a spinner and weaver, and, like a spider, delicate-appearing but very strong. And there is the huge Bay Bridge, which seems to float overhead like a web.

But Zippy wasn’t content to just sightsee all day – he wanted to go to the clinic where Doc Gurley works. This clinic takes care of homeless people, including homeless families with children in shelters. Zippy had his picture taken with some of the great staff.

Zippy was so inspired, he wanted to donate some colorless blood. Our staff had to gently explain that we couldn’t be sure someone wouldn’t mislabel Zippy’s precious donation- so he ought to keep it until another lobster needed it.

And here, at the end of Zippy’s big day, is a view down the Bayside road to the Giant’s stadium – there at the end, between the light-poles, you can see yet another art installation – the gigantic bow and arrow embedded in the ground, known as Cupid’s Bow.

Zippy is starting to understand how it is that people say they’ve left their heart in San Francisco – just like Zippy gave his heart to kids with brain tumors. Hmm, now there’s a donation that Zippy thinks a lot of people (and lobsters) can give.

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