Saturday, 6 October 2012

Where was I? Day 4 - Yarn and the Golden Gate Park

Not sure what happened there, sorry for the big gap! On Thursday, we had left of Chinese food for breakfast from little boxes. Then, we walked down into town to catch the bus out to Castro where the yarn shop I wanted to visit was.

On the way, we walked past a park with people doing Tai Chi. This seems to happen every morning in every park in San Francisco!
When we go off the bus, we walked down into Castro past the Delores mission which is pretty much the first bit of San Francisco.
After I had bought all the yarn, got back on the bus over to the Golden Gate park. This park is huge! And full of stuff! The first thing we saw was a Dahlia garden. It was actually a roundabout in the middle of the car park. The dahlia is the state flower of California and there are lots of different varieties.
Nearby was a conservatory full of tropical plants and a special exhibition of deadly very day things.

This is a Bat Flower!
We walked down through the park toward the place we planned to go for lunch. Had a Groupon for a sushi place just outside the park. When we got there, it was closed! We were not having a great experience with our vouchers. However, there was another place nearby and it was a total win. Behold the Bento Box of Joy!
After lunch we went back into the park, thought the Garden Of Enchantment. This was not as enchanting as it should have been!
We went to the California Academy of Sciences which is a Science museum with an aquarium, a planetarium and a rainforest. It was fantastic but the entry fee really made us appreciate our free museums here in the UK. The planetarium has a unique design with the dome on the side instead of above so you don't have to lean back. This is an impressive feat with lots of digital projectors around the edge that have to all match up.


We got to the aquarium in time for Penguin feeding. This is Pam, the penguin keeper!

We were allowed to touch the starfish.

After the museum, we went to the Japanese Tea Garden for tea and a sit down.

We got the bus back to the hotel and got dolled up for Cocktails at the Top of The Mark, a fancy bar at the top of the Intercontinental Hotel. It was a bit out of our league but the cocktails were amazing! Luckily we got there early as later on there was a jazz band playing and they were charging people to get in.
We had an amazing view of the city sky line and you can see our hotel in this picture. It's the short building at the bottom of the solid white building.

Now I've written all this down, I realise how much we were squishing into every day but it was totally worth it!!

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Day Three: Alcatraz

So now I'm a day behind because I had some issues with my photos. Anyway, on the Wednesday we went to Alcatraz. Again we were up early so we went out for breakfast and then for a walk before catching the ferry.

Breakfast was at a little restaurant called Mama's on Washington Square. The menu looked good but there was a massive queue. We weren't sure at first but we figured that anywhere that had a queue for breakfast on a Wednesday morning must be pretty good. And it was amazing!
After breakfast we walked up one of the many hills up to Coit Tower. There was some amazing views over the city.

This is the view over to Lombard Street, the crookedest street in the world.

Then we walked over to the ferry to Alcatraz.

This is were the prisoners came when they first arrived.

We did the audio tour.
Once the prisoners had been in a while and proved they could behave, they were allowed hobby equipment.

While we were there an enormous cruise ship came in.

Once we got back to the mainland it was only just past lunchtime. There are loads of little fishy restaurants near Pier 39 and sourdough is a big thing in San Francisco. We had chowder in a bun for lunch. It was delicious!

After lunch we had a mooch round Pier 39. It is tat heaven and I loved it! There was a fairground, themed restaurants and bars, a shop of things just for left handed people and a Christmas shop! There was also a tea shop and the man running it seemed quite pleased to have real English people in. He also sold flavoured sugars and salts. Phill tried one with ghost chillis which nearly killed him!
We tried out Bubba Gump's shoes.
All year Christmas!!!
With a Halloween tree!
Then we got the cable car back to the hotel. We were knackered by this point and I fell asleep! It was absolutely rammed and a bit scary going up and down the steep hills. Our conductor sounds just like Reginald D Hunter.
When we got back to the hotel it was about 9pm and San Francisco is not a city for late dining during the week. Luckily a nearby Chinese restaurant was still open so we went there. Phill was a bit disappointed with it but the next morning we had our leftovers for breakfast and he realised that his tongue had been wrecked by the chilli salt. Turns out it was one of the best Chinese restaurants in the city!

Tomorrow (or later today!): wool shops and the Golden Gate Park.