Heya all- well we have been up to a lot today so expect a slightly lengthy blog, as I do like to ramble....
So I pretty much just crashed out on my bed when we got in last night and woke up about 4am PT and then dosed till 5am when me and Mam were both awake so we got out the laptop so I could do yesterdays blog and turned on the American news... Some of it is so funny what they think is serious news is just crazy but it was really interesting watching all of the ad breaks as they really work- I now want a tortilla bowl maker and I think I need a cucumber cutter and the storage bags that suck the air out to compress your clothes may be useful for my journey home so it all fits lol.
We decided originally we were going to leave about 9am but we got bored and so woke up David and Chris so we could leave for breakfast sooner. We left the hotel and walked down to get tickets for the transport. We then caught the F line which are over head cable cars that have come from all over the world when cities have discontinued them San Francisco have brought them and done them up. We traveled on one from Boston and Birmingham although not the UK one, we also saw some that had come from Milan and Vienna. The F line took us down to pier 39 where we walked down to Jonny Rockets for breakfast, in the 10 years since we last visited it hasn't changed much although its diced potatoes now rather than grated hash brown potatoes. I decided to have French toast, which was really nice even though the syrup was a little sweet for that time in the morning.
We then went to look for tours that we could take to see the city but got distracted by a camera shop where Chris got a bargain originally he was going in for a camera charger but asked the price of a lens that he had seen the day before in London for £350 but in the shop it was $260 which would be about £165 so he would have been silly not to get it with that difference in price the guy however really wanted to show off a more expensive lens that was first sold to him at $499 and way more than Chris was willing to spend the guy realized he wasn't going to make the sale at that price and so Chris went and paid for the other one, after paying we knew we would have to return later for the lens after it was delivered the guy re-tried to sell the expensive lens this time at $300 dollars with tax so he paid the $40 extra to get the miles better lens what a good buy.
We then went on a tour around San Fran learning more about its history and seeing how hard the recession has hit the city as more of the city is now deprived than it was 10 years ago when we last visited. We didn't think our tour went over the golden gate bridge but were surprised when it did however the typical San Francisco fog did mean our visibility of the water was non existent and we couldn't really see the bridge from either of the viewing points- it was also pretty cold thankfully we were down stairs in the open top bus- think I may have caught pneumonia otherwise. After the tour we visited Boudin's which makes sour dough bread and we brought a baguette for everyone to get a taste of it, as we walked down to Ghirardelli Square where Mam reminded us that 10 years ago we forgot her birthday and it was here at about 5pm that we realized when a shop worker told mam the date. We then went for an ice cream at Ghirardelli, which was amazing, and just like I, remembered.
We then decided that it was a must for Darren, David and Chris to experience the cable cars of San Francisco so we joined the queue as only 2 were allowed through with the wheelchair and as there were 6 of us we waited- it was well worth the wait! It was a bit like a rollercoaster and Chris was stood right at the front hanging off the side of the cart- think that considering he hated hills as a child and doesn't do rollercoaster it was amazing that he stayed on. The driver was amazing- really funny and got me to pull the bell in a very unique was, as I couldn't actually reach the bell. He told Chris, David, Bethan and Darren to keep their bits in as they came very close to the passing cars wing mirrors. The other side came very close to cart traveling the other direction high fiving the other passengers as they passed was a must.
There then was a quick dash for the hotel to pick up jackets and we caught the F line back to the docks so we could get on the tour to Alcatraz. We arrived and joined the queue to be told we were in the wrong place and didn't have to queue and to go through to pre-boarding, where we were boarded first onto the boat. We sat out on the back as I couldn't go upstairs and we got some fabulous views of Golden Gate Bridge and because it was an evening tour we went around the island first and got to see the full scale of the island.
I was in my chair so we got a little trolley car up the hill to the main entrance where we heard about some of Alcatraz's history and how the guards and their families also lived on the island, we then picked up our audio tour and walked around the prison by the time we came out it was getting dark and cold too so we made our way to the boat to go back to main land San Francisco where we had tea at Hard Rock Café and looked around some of the shops at the bay before heading back to the hotel for a well earned rest!