Published: June 20th 2012June 20th 2012
So today was our final day in San Fran...
Poor Ms Roling had another sleep that involved creepily watching me instead of sleeping. And I on the other hand crashed out and resembled a Venus fly trap as I lay dead to the world! Yes Mum I was catching flies.
So it was a slow start to our last day, but we eventually got a rocking and a rolling and headed out for breakfast.
San Francisco has obviously taken to heart my wind references and put on a stunning day with very little wind...so the jokes on me as I'm in jeans and my recently purchased SF hoodie.
We roll into our new breakfast haunt and order 1kg of granola and 750 grams of fruit - each and a shot of espresso for luck! We devour this in an unappreciative manner as we are slightly pushed for time.
We jump in a cab and head for Pier 33 as this is where all the cool kids hang out...or you can get ferry to Alcatraz, so we ditch the cool kids and roll with the crims.
I do love the American's unashamable honesty, this is a little exert from the man controlling the rope that starts the line for Alcatraz: "People I'm opening the gate for the 12.25 ferry crossing. But it is totally unnecessary to que yet. I repeat it is totally unnecessary to que yet". Emphasis on "totally".
So 100 people urgently make theirvway to que...some people seem lost when not in a que!
We depart Pier 33 bound for "The Rock". Looking back as we depart you can see how undulating and steep San Fran is - more on that later.
We arrive at Alcatraz and listen to a quick blurb, while this is happening I purchase a map of Alcatraz - we don't want to miss anything...small problem I never took Italian at school so reading this particular map was a tad difficult. I swap it for my native tongue ahh now we are cooking with gas!
We climb the 1km road that winds back on itself, there is an electric shuttle that Ms Roling eyes up, with her bruised bottom from from yesterday's adventures (for Christ's sake people our bike ride). She elects for my company and not that of gigantic tourists scoffing down nachos on the electric shuttle.
We get to the top and the first thing notice is what a view!
We head for the guided audio tour - would recommend this to anyone who ventures to Alcatraz. Very insightful...well it is when one of us doesn't get lost...Ms Roling!
There was easily 1500 people there when we were there and inside Alcatraz it is deathly quiet, most people do the guided audio tour (people walking around with ear phones on). Which goes a long way to explain the silence. But it is an earily sombre place that was used to reform, test and punish America's most dangerous men. Not all left the rock alive. There were 36 attempts at breaking out and all but 3 have been accounted for. Then federal police still have those 3 men listed as "wanted".
We board the ferry for 3.30 and return to Pier 33. We decide a Pinot Gris is needed whilst we make plans for the afternoon. We decide to walk further along to Pier 45. It's so cheesy it's almost good. To give you an idea. An entire shop dedicated to dog attire, a shop dedicated to leftys - Henk tell me what's the difference between a left handed pen and a right handed pen? They were selling like hot cakes... Silly people!! But we do get to see some sea lions sun bathing on man made pontoons and Ms Roling purchases white chocolate Reese's Pieces cups, white Maltesers and pretzel m & m's.
This particular shop provided me with some light amusement - lady to shop keeper: "How do we get the candy?" Shop keeper: "here you go mam just put your candy in the basket and we will weigh it". " do you subtract the weight of the basket?" "yes mam" "how much is it a pound?" " $10 a pound" "well how many sweets to a pound"?
The urgency in her voice was priceless, there was no way she was going to be taken for a fool in a candy shop!
We continue along the water front until we get to the cable car, it's about now the kilo of granola is wearing off and the glass of wine starting make its way to our legs. We elect not to stand in que for 45 minutes, but climb San Francisco's steepest streets...it is about now I regret the wine decision.
Ms Roling is all pumped and is on a mission to take photos. I quietly start to worry that I may be called upon for a jumping shot, normally I'd ablige but on a 50 degree angle...she is shit out of luck. Thankfully all I have to do is pose in people's front door ways, I'm assured it will be all worth while once she gets a hold of it via Photoshop.
We wind our way through the burbs and admire the beautiful houses and amazing views some of these properties possess.
It's now banging on 6.30 and it's Pinot O'Clock, we head back via cab to our hotel to finish off the remaining drops of our little number from last night, you're in for a treat Ms Roling we will have fresh tumblers!
San Fran quotes
We are you guys from? New Zealand I say. Oooohh really we stock one Australian brand! Tsubi jeans they are our favourite jeans label.
Hey were are you folks from...New Zealand, oh my father in law is from New Zealand...really where? Perth...sorry? Perth! Right...
So I ask the same gentle man this question "what do you think the population of New Zealand is?" As confident as brass he states 100 million.
So as I tap away we are ending the first part of our journey, it will be sad to leave San Francisco. It is without a doubt a very cool city with beautiful buildings, history and a sense of it beats to its on drum. The people are friendly and proud of their city and so they should be!
So if you get the chance vist San Francisco.