Trip Of A Lifetime

Monday, January 02, 2006

I Left My Heart In San Francisco





How do I love this city... let me count the ways. I do belive that we could live here quite happily given the right set of cercumstances... and if there was some way to remove the threat of earthquake.

We have been here for a couple of days now and, apart from the surly shuttle driver, our stay has been lovely. We are staying in the Westin St. Francis, which it turns out is some majorly historical hotel here in San Fran. Celebs have stayed here, so has royalty. It has also pretty much survived both major earthquakes in the past 100 years. It's the hotel that ruined Fatty Arbuckle's career and one that Shirley Temple has been in. Our bed is soft, which is pure heaven after the practically concrete bed in Hawaii.

Yesterday we went on a tour of the city, starting at Fisherman's Wharf. True to form, the driver/guide was somewhat sarcastic and repeated stuff all the time. It was good. Fisherman's Wharf is beautiful and has a perfect view of Alcatraz. From Alcatraz we started moving around the city, some highlights were seeing all the similar houses along the streets, cable cars, the gay district and Twin Peaks. From the vantage point of TwinPeaks, you can see the whole city. Luckily there wasn't too much fog and Adie was able to get some fantastic photos. (Noshie was cold, it was windy up that high and she satyed in the bus.)

From the city we went out to the main park here in San Francisco. It is seriously huge, but we only stopped at the Japanese Tea Garden which has been here since San Fran held the World Expo. It is filled with it's own history and beautiful statues, ponds and bonsai trees. Even through the rain it was tranquil and gorgeous.

Next we drove across the Golden Gate Bridge, a highlight for Adie. Lots of pics were taken. It actually is a truly amazing looking bridge.

Once this tour was over we ended up back at Fisherman's Wharf where we jumped into a cue to pick up our tickets to Alcatraz. Now, if you don't believe this is a small world check this out. As Adie and I are waiting in line, we see someone else in a line to our right. I think, jeez he looks familiar. I ask Adie, he agrees. I call out this person's name and it's them. This is someone that I was good friends with as a teenager, but that I haven't seen in years. And here he was on his honeymoon! We were all a little freaked out after that.

Back to Alcatraz... it took barely any time at all to get to the island, or 'the rock' as some like to call it. Once there we got the spiel from one of the rangers before climbing up to the prison. And I do mean climb. It wasn't that long, but it is steep. The prison itself is pretty amazing. The conditions were horrendous and I really hope that all inmates were actually guilty. Cells were tiny and everything was cold and damp. The views, however, were sensational and I'm sure that whenever the inmates were working they were simply devastated when they looked across the bay. Apparently some cells could actually hear the "real" world when the wind was in the right direction. Now, that's what I call prison. We were dubious about it at first due to a bad experience the last time we were in England, but we took the audio tour. I'm glad we did, it was fantastic. Actual inmates and guards told the story as you walked through. Brilliant.

After returning from Alcatraz, we realised that we had to get back to the hotel and our options were cable car or walk. Now, you have to understand that the roads in San Fran are hills. Big, steep you've got to be kidding me hills! Did we take the cable car? No, we walked and my butt is still feeling it. I'm proud of us though.

We slept really well last night. Soft sheets, tired legs and lack of decent slumber for the past couple of nights. The only thing that woke me was all of the locals shouting "Happy New Year" at midnight.

6 Comments:

  • Hello again.

    Well you're certainly fitting it all in!

    We're coping with a bit of a heatwave over here which meant when we got home at about 1:00am it was still 38 degrees and we had a couple of Eddie's cousins parked on the window next to our front door.

    I'm taking down the Christmas Tree today and we bought a new toilet seat. (!) Neither of these things relate to each other except that we went to Bunnings and bought the seat and boxes to store the tree decorations at the same time. (I'm glad I cleared that up.)

    I also have what I think are chemical burns on my fingers but I'm sure it'll clear up in a week or so. Who knew that Nail Polish Remover could be so troublesome?

    Sounds like you're having a great time and I'm glad you're in a comfy bed - it makes all the difference. The photos look good too.

    Love and hugs and stuff,
    Riss.

    By Blogger Riss, at 7:58 am  

  • hello to you both,
    glad you enjoyed san fran. must remember to stay in nice hotel if we go there again. i felt the same when we went to alcatraz, it's very sad to see the rest of civilisation across from you when you're in that jail. have you had clam chowder yet? we didn't, it seems a weird concpet but people claim it's yummy to eat.
    it was over 45 degrees here the other day, awful! but it's back to normal again.
    love wifey.

    By Anonymous wifey, at 1:28 am  

  • Sounds great, should have been more info re surf!! Guess who? Anyway great to hear your trip sounds great keep the novels coming we all love them back here. The Photos are great too.

    Love
    Surf envy

    Ps check your email.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:12 am  

  • I concur with all of the above comments (with the possible exception of the requested surf report).

    :)

    Also, I don't use nail polish remover.

    (Much.)

    Looking forward to the next exciting chapter!

    By Blogger BEVIS, at 2:07 pm  

  • Hi .... sounds like you are having a ball! Stay safe and keep the updates coming ... I am loving reading about your adventures ... also the photos are great ... love Jill

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:44 am  

  • Riss: I hope that your fingers are okay!

    Wifey: Friends of ours ate two bowls of clam chowder. They loved it, but had seafood migraines the next day!

    Guess Who?: We'd love to give more details about the surf, but we don't know how!

    By Blogger noshie, at 7:35 pm  

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