San Francisco, Alcatraz and Carmel

Published: July 11th 2012
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We arrived in San Francisco about 2pm, got changed into as many warm clothes as possible, then searched for more. Typically we were unprepared for the wind chill factor on the streets of San Francisco.

Bridgette and Tash were freaking out as the CSI guys were leaving the room next door to them with evidence bags of a recent death in the hotel as thare we're putting their bags in their accommodation for the night.

After Joe and Mark came back from buying the bus tickets, we caught the bus down to Fishermans Wharf. We had some clam chowder in the sourdough bowl and headed for Pier 33 to catch the boat to Alcatraz for our 6:45 tour.

The weather was nippy, but when you consider how it ended up, it was pretty mid on the way over. Amazingly, the Rock had a layer of fog on the top third. Actually, so did The Golden Gate Bridge as well. When we got off the ferry and headed up the hill, we were met by this really grumpy National Park Guide who gave us a brief run down. Of course one of our group had to jump on the back of the moving people mover train. He was basically reprimanded, checked his id and let go with a comment made to the whole group reiterating the rules of the place We picked up our headsets and went on a tour of the coldest, hard place imaginable.

The recreation yard was blowing a gale, misty rain was also mixed in the wind, plus it was probably only 5 degrees. There were holes in the bottom of the walls in different places where the wind howled through. It was so interesting though, I didn't get a chance to see all the parts before the last ferry was leaving back to town, and I wasn't missing that.

Getting off the boat at 9:40, we all headed to the cheap shops to buy new jumpers. We were freezing. We had some more crap fried food for supper before heading back to bed.

The next day, we went on the Hop on Hop off bus tour. Well worth it. Learnt lots about the city and got to see the variety of suburbs. We got off the bus at the golden gate bridge, walked across, still freezing. Shane had board shorts and thongs. We bought beanies and a scarf, but Kelly suffered because she didn't want to part with the cash. It took about half an hour to walk across and it was a relief to get out of the wind on the other side.

We got back on the bus and went to Lombard Street, 'the crookedest street in the world'. A really steep hill is on either side of the street and we needed to walk up it before heading back down. Cars were basically burning their clutches, constantly doing hill starts. There were police there, guiding the tourists down the street. The plants in the hedged gardens were pink and purple hydrangeas with a paved zig zag road down the centre on an approximate 55 degree angle.

Next we went down near the cannery and had the best meal so far in an Italian rrestaurant. I had pasta with chicken, spinach, sun dried, olives, feta and garlic, phillip had chicken parmigiana, Eli had mixed seafood including half a crab, prawns, mussels and somverges tables, while Shane had pizza and Kelly had spaghetti and meatballs.

After lunch we were going to get tickets for a ride back to the motel on a tram, but the line up was extraordinary, apparently an hour so instead we ended up catching a taxi whiChat took us off one of those streets in San Fran that could be jumped.

Eventually we left to go to Carmel. We got there about 9:30, went for a swim and spa and headed across the car park for a couple of refreshments in this cute little town.

The next day Kelly and I went to Carmel and looked around the art and craft shops ( there were squirrels chasing each other in the trees) while the boys went to Laguna Seca.

We left Carmel and headed down the coast road which was scenic, but had lots of bends and turns, upsetting most of our bellies.

Amazingly we came across a massive colony of elephant seals on the side of the road. There Must have been about 200, some having little fights, but the majority just laid out on the beach flipping sand on themselves to keep cool.

We eventually got back to Anaheim 9:30pm in preparation for our day at Disneyland back in the beautiful heat.

Tomorrow we r going to the shopping outlets before going to the next meeting 'city of industry'. Very exciting.


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