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.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Day Two: Cycling the Golden Gate Bridge

On Tuesday we woke up to fog. It turned out that our first evening was the only clear weather we had in our whole week so we should really have taken some pictures of the bridge! Never mind.
The bridge has its own fog horns!

video

We were up super early cos of the time difference and once it was a decent hour to go out, we headed to Ihop for breakfast. So many choices! I always forget all the different ways you can have eggs! We were off to cycle the bridge so this was my breakfast.
This is what we could have had! Steak for breakfast!
While we waited for the bike rental place to open, we had a little mooch around the beach area.
A cable car on its turntable.
We chose a guided bike tour in a group as we were told the hide would tell us all about the things we were seeing. Ours chose to tell us all about the places he and his friends had worked!! We cycled along the beach to the bridge. It was still really foggy so we could only see the end of the bridge.
This is a cormorant that our guide decided to stop and try to save. The cormorant was fine but we had about a 30 minute rest and got to know our fellow riders a bit better.
Alcatraz!
Phill on his way across the bridge. Still really foggy!

This is the view back across from the other side.

On the other side of the bridge, the fog was just rolling in across the hill from the Pacific into the bay. It was amazing!
We had lunch in Sausalito which is a small touristy town. Our guide left us to our own devices here and the only rule was we had to get the bikes back by 8pm. We wanted to go on further to see some of the redwood trees but our bums were hurting and we had dinner reservations later that we didn't want to be late for. Phill had a fish taco!
And then we had ice cream while we waited for the ferry back.
The fog coming over the hill into Sausalito.
This is Angel Island. It used to be the equivalent of Ellis Island but on the west coast for people entering the states from the Pacific side.

The view of the city from the ferry. Now the sun is out over the city, hooray!

For dinner, I had got a groupon voucher for a restaurant called The Old Clamhouse that did amazing crab and steaks. We would get 50% off. However, Phill only brought one of the vouchers out with us. Oops! The restaurant was amazing and let us use their office computer to reprint our other voucher but sadly the groupon website was down. Oh well, we had amazing crab and steak anyway.

Tomorrow: walking all the hills and Alcatraz!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

This time last year …

… Phill and I went on our honeymoon!

Day 1: To San Francisco

We saw these fields from the plane. I was very confused and couldn't work out why they were round. I looked it up when we got home and it turns out it's due to the irrigation process. It's basically a giant sprinkler system on an arm that circles a central point.
Our hotel was in Chinatown so we could walk to lots of places.
On our first night we went for a wander toward the sea to get your bearings. This was very close to our hotel. Once we got the the dock area, we walked along to Pier 39 to find something to eat. On the way we saw Alcatraz Island and our first incredibly steep street.
Pier 39 is home to sea lions! We also saw pelicans.
We found a Bubba Gump shrimp restaurant which was great! We went to one in Chicago so we knew we liked the food. Obviously, lots of prawns were eaten and I had my first Strawberry Lemonade which is a genius yet simple invention of lemonade with strawberrys in. I make my own at home now. During our meal, there was a quiz about Forrest Gump and we got our server's attention with the sign on the table.
Pier 39 is a tat Mecca and I loved it! More about that later in the week. This final photo is at about 9pm which was about 4am our time so We were knackered and Phill wanted me to stop taking photos!

Tomorrow… cycling!