Trip of Giants - Market Street, China Town, Yerba Buena and SFMOMA

Published: July 26th 2010
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The day dawns cold, chilly with a brisk breeze. We don't notice this until we emerge frim our warm beds at 8am. The shower is full and hot, neds soft and warm. Only low point so far is any noise from outside carries straight off the echo-ey concrete and through the thin glass louvres of our room windows. We were treated to some incomprehensible stories by some guy at 3am, talking about "My mom" this and "My mom" that. We couldn't work out the rest because after the loud start of each sentence the rest dropped off to a rapid mumble. Apparently he and another guy were having girl troubles as evidenced by the loud squealing and laughter that came from the room each time they went in and out (like yoyos). Eventually they were given the cold shoulder and went to their own rooms. Hoping for a quieter night tomorrow, being Sunday.

Breakfast was a set of bakery items, bagels, fruits, juice and coffee. Complimentary like the wi-fi so that's good. 7am-10:30am so lots of time for those up at 3am to sleep in and still get breakfast.

We headed east about five blocks to a visitors stand, where I bought us Citypasses (A$64, Ch$38). These included tickets for California Academy of Science, Blue and Gold fleet 1 hour boat cruise, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), Aquarium of the Bay, de Young Museum or Exploratorium and free transport.

Remembering there were markets at the end of Market Street (no really?), we hopped on an electric trolley bus. The markets were small but good. Very nice photography by a number of exhibitors, some jewellery, clothing. Ky bought a strange (she'd call it funky) woollen hat for $20, while Liam had a cartoon sketch of him made for $5. The boys then had fun running around the large waterfall sculpture in Justin Herman Plaza.

With easy to read transport map torn from the "Bay City Guide", we found the end of the California cable car line and hopped on to ride to Chinatown.

Chinatown was great. Loads of shops selling all manner of things chinese including lots of toys. We picked up tasty buns from a bakery, mine stuffed with a sweet red bean mix and a sweet coconut mix. Liam took to liking the formal chinese pyjamas so got a set for $20. I was tempted by the nice Mah-jong sets for $67, and may get one later. A really good find was a shoe store with men's shoes for $17. I got two pair, and Liam and Joseph also got a pair of shoes, the lot costing $72. We found the Good Fortune Cookie Company in Ross Lane, bought a packet of cookies from the surprisingly small place. Liam's first telling was "Something unexpected is going to happen to you". Joseph had a more truistic one from his chocolate-coated fortune cookie he'd bought at the bakery "You are going to try something different today".

We also found a real nice playground with a climbing wall I think on Sacramento just west of Grant Ave. "Willie Woo Woo Wong's" playground was a nice interlude for the boys, although I think they were enjoying shopping. By around 1:30 we'd had enough so caught a bus down and found the Yerba Buena gardens and the playground behind Zeum. There Ky and I had a nice long rest while the kids played, and sun peaked through gaps in the clouds.

With the sky clearing, a number of cityscape shots starting showing themselves so I experimented with angles of various buildings. Around 3pm we headed to SFMOMA, and made a rapid tour of the modern art, even walking across the rather off-putting sky walkway which has gaps in it to see down five floors. A bus ride home took us along eastern Turk street, which looked pretty seedy, before dropping us back at the hotel.

The boys had a short swim in the warm pool, then it was off to a great Mexican restaurant, Chevy's on Van Ness.

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