Published: July 9th 2007July 9th 2007
D Day...ie: Drama Day. Today was filled with it. Our stay in LA was great, but as we waited patiently for our Super Shuttle to collect us from the hotel, and take us to the airport, the minutes ticked by... and the shuttle didn't show. At 9:15, I decided to check out what was going on...LUCKY! The company didn't even have our booking! The next shuttle couldn't collect us until 9:50, which didn't leave us a huge amount of time to catch our 12:00pm flight from LAX.
We continued to wait patiently, and thankfully, a shuttle DID arrive. The driver was an angel, and sped his way to the airport for us. I also got to sit next to a very cool dude, who plays trumpet for Van Morrison. He started on the bugle at age 11, and things took off from there. He has toured with Van, and even appears on one of the CD cover's, "As the only black guy in the band." He was great value.
So we arrived at LAX a little later than planned, and rushed through security - which was pretty involved. We had to remove our shoes, jackets, and Izzy also
had to take of his belt...Da Da Daaa Da Da Da...(this is what the song 'You Can Leave Your Hat On' would look like if written using only 2 letters). We made it to Gate 69 - no pun intended - and onto our United flight...Thank God!
The flight to San Fran was great - only an hour and smooth as. We had great views of LA and San Fran. From the airport we got another shuttle to our hotel...which is right in the heart of the city, not too far from Union Square (which we haven't actually visited yet). Second drama - the hotel had confused the Aussie dates, and turned July 9 into September 7. Luckily, they had a room free - and I mean lucky, as there is a major baseball thingy on at the mo - some All Stars team game. i guess it's like their State of Origin. We are changing into another room tomorrow night, as Iz and I are getting cozy in a double bed...thank goodness we both fit!
After the suitcases were stowed, we hit the pavement. A quick stop at the tourist info centre gave us the directions we
needed to get to Coit Tower, a memorial to the city's firefighters which has excellent views of the city. We purchased a transport pass for $25 which enables us to use the bus, metro, trams or cable cars. We have made great use of the pass so far, and Izzy has been super at orienteering our holiday.
We stepped off the bus in North Beach, and were planning on catching a second bus UP to Coit Tower (as the Tourist Info Centre Employee had suggested) but after checking with the local fire brigade as to our whereabouts, they suggested we walk the remaining 5 blocks to the tower. This is no mean feat considering that San Fran is one of the hilliest places in the USA, if not the World. We did make it up the hill, and it was worth the hike...the views were amazing...it was a shame that there was some smog in the sky (again).
The huge climb left us both hungry, so we decided to make our way back to North Beach, which is also known as 'Little Italy', and grab a bite. YUM! Great food was served at a very cute little restaurant,
and with our bellies full, we walked through the rest of the neighbourhood, and onto Chinatown, where Iz was hoping to score some fresh fruit (we had seen a fruit stall on the way in). No such luck! We jumped on the number 30 bus back into town, and after a quick stop at the Pharmacy (which sells everything under the sun) we settled into our hotel room, and very cosy double bed for the night. San Fran has a great vibe, and there is so much to do. Tomorrow we hit Alcatraz and the GG Bridge. Over and out for now!
There are more photos below