Friday, 28 November 2008

San Francisco

San Francisco
28 November 2008- 3 December 2008

28 November 2008
Today I am taking my first journey to America, yah! I am going to San Francisco in the state of California to meet Debra who has just spent some time in NZ, she is bringing me some New Zealand snacks, Yum!

Upon landing at San Francisco airport (security wasn’t as bad as what everyone has said) I went and jumped into my coach and was on my way to our fancy pancy hotel.

Once there I meet up with Debra and we ventured the streets, in the dark (careful to avoid crack central!!) and went to Chinatown for one of many chinese dinners.

29 November 2008 – Saturday
This morning we rose and headed to an all American diner for some breakfast and then headed down to Pier 39 which is a popular tourist attraction in “the bay”. Pier 39 is a favourite place for Californian Sea Lions to hang out .

That afternoon we were tested to our limits (physically) when we had to walk up and down some of San Fran’s famous steep streets. When we finally made it to the top (after lots of panting and dread of the pain tomorrow) we were rewarded with viewing Lombard Street the crookedest [most winding] street in the world.
<-- Lombard Street Super steep street -->

After our walk we went back to our hotel for a rest after our exhausting afternoon and then got dressed up to hit San Francisco’s nightlife. We got the hotel to order us a cab (we are so posh) and jumped in and headed to Holy Cow. Holy Cow alright, we felt a bit over dressed at this place (we were the only ones in dresses) and even though the place was good for our egos we decided it wasn’t really for us and headed back to find a taxi. We asked the taxi driver where we should go and he directed us up to the Starlight Lounge, which was on the 21st floor of some fancy pancy hotel. After paying a ridiculous cover charge and upon dragging Debra away from the Norwegians we hit the dance floor and danced to some tunes. Unfortunately though its closes at 1.30am dumb, so we were only there for about an hour and as had no where else to go deciced to head back to the hotel to bed.

30 November 2008 – Sunday
After the events of last night, we decided it would be best if we slept in for a while. At 12pm we decided though that we should drag our arses our of bed (oh the pain) because it was a beautiful day. We headed back down to Pier 39 to rent some bicycles to go for a ride over the Golden Gate Bridge. I haven’t riden a bike for years, so was a little nervous but actually had a really good time. We had perfect weather and it really was amazing to bike over the enormous bridge. In all we biked 13kms and I would totally recommend it to anyone going to San Fran.

1 December 2008 – Monday
This morning we had booked a morning tour to go to Alcatraz Island - sometimes informally referred to as simply Alcatraz or locally as the Rock, is a small island located in the middle of
San Francisco Bay in California, United States. It served as a lighthouse, then a military fortification, then a military prison followed by a federal prison until 1963. It was a misty, foggy day – perfect for sailing out to an old prison in the middle of San Francisco bay! has a lot of history and was interesting to see how it all came about, because it really is a small island in the middle of the bay. There are lots of stories and movies about Alcatraz and apparently three men escaped from there but it is not known whether they survived or not.

View of Alcatraz from Pier 39 (not on foggy day!) -->

After our adventure on the Rock we took a tram ride on the famous trams down to Union Street for a spot of shopping/guess the price of this in Bloomingdales before heading back to the hotel.

Every night the hotel has a free wine evening where you get free wine and cheesy music. Now I am not usually a fan of wine at all but this wine was super deslish its called - White Zinfandel. So here I am thinking that I am super sophisticated and posh that I like wine until I read this - White Zinfandel is a quaffing wine that is sweet, soft, and low in alcohol, making it a popular choice with those who would not otherwise drink wine. Anyone not familiar with what quaffing wine is, it means - A wine considered unsophisticated or simple in taste, but pleasant to quaff – brill so I like a wine but apparently its not sophisticated enough!!

2 December 2008 – Tuesday
This morning we had another breakfast in another American diner before more exercise in San Francisco. Debra and I decided that it would be good to live in San Fran because of the fact we would be super skinny (because of all the hills and forced exercise) but the fog made our hair go frizzy and we decided that nice hair was more important that being skinny!

Anyway, we walked to see the famous “Painted Ladies” (the correct street this time! (there is a funny story behind that)) at "Postcard Row." These houses also appear in the opening credits of the television series Full House.

After seeing the houses we wandered around the massive Golden Gate Park (which I don't really recommend) and then headed back to the hotel to rest up on the super comfy beds.

3 December 2008 – Wednesday
This morning was the day of departure from our hotel and each other. If you go to San Francisco I would totally recommend this hotel, it wasn’t too expensive and its super close to everything and everyone was really nice - Hotel Carlton.

Debra had an earlier flight than me this morning so after our goodbyes, I headed back down to Union Square for a spot of shopping and then I headed back to the hotel for my transfer to the airport. I had a good night flight with three seats to myself so I could get to snooze.

As per usual you can see all my pictures in my new photo gallery or on my facebook.

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