I Am Shutting You Down!

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October 11th 2013
Published: October 18th 2013
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Tina Writes:

The mornings were starting to get tough and mustering up the enthusiasim to get up in good time was really difficult. At that moment sleep was better than anything I could possibly imagine, so a slower start to the day than planned when we finally got up at 9.45am.

The night before, Danny had been checking out some info on Alcatraz which was going to be the main attraction for our time here. I had booked tickets for the scary evening tour about a month ago. Turns out is a national park. I don't think I can express in words the disappointment at this discovery. Once again, just like the hotel we had booked for the Grand Canyon, we did not receive and email or any communication from the company to tell us our tour was cancelled. Rob was furious as this was the thing he had been most looking forward to and had even played 'Mob of the Dead' in preparation before we flew out (its a zombie map on COD starring Alcatraz). The motto of this trip had become an impression of Quentin Tarantino shouting 'I AM SHUTTING YOU DOWN' (see below ) every time the government shutdown affected us. It rang through the hotel room for a while as we tried to alleviate our disappointment.

We had to drop off the car before 12 pm so we were a bit rushed as we still had to drive down Lombard Street. That's the wyndiest street in world. So off we went. It was covered in tourists but the queue of cars to get down it wasn't very long. I was surprised to discover people actually live on this street and park their cars on the wyndy road. This seems a little crazy to me and their insurance premiums must be through the roof with thousands of tourists driving passed their cars with inches to spare continually throughout the day, every day. Also, the hoards of people taking constant photographs and standing all over their wee gardens. I came to the conclusion that the property must be cheaper than normal.

We dropped the car off and decided to walk back to the wharf were we would check what the situation was with our Alcatraz tour. On the way I came across a kind of John Lewis type store which had a large Christmas selection. This is obviously where rich people get their decorations. I could have gone bananas in there had I been rich! I was eventually dragged from this store were we came across Kearny Street. I got a pic taken even although Danny pointed out to me it wasn't spelled correctly as I hadn't even noticed!

We got to Pier 33, where the tour operator was based. They simply asked if I wanted refunded or to transfer to the bay cruise they were doing instead. We transferred and got the next boat. There was an audio guide played throughout the boat as we passed by, telling us the history of what we were looking at, then we went under the Golden Gate Bridge and onto Alcatraz. We sailed around the island 3 times very closely and listened to the audio of stories being told by previous inmates. It was as close as we would get and it was really good but still so disappointing not to actually go in. Rob has vowed to return just for that purpose. Although, for me, San Francisco was my favourite of the cities, so I would happily return.

It was time for lunch so we headed to Ike's Place. A sandwich shop which had appeared on Man vs Food. We hopped on a tram to the location. At first we thought it looked a bit dodgy, really sparse and not very clean looking. The choice of sandwiches was vast and quite expensive but I can honestly say, and I think I speak for us all, that it was THE best sandwich and up there with one of the best meals, I have ever eaten. We then waddled our way up many many hills in order to reach another Man vs Food establishment, The San Francisco Creamery. They had a challenge called the Kitchen Sink. Basically tons of ice cream, cream, sauces etc costing £26.We intended on sharing it as there was no way one of us would finish it. After walking for what seemed like forever we got to the street it was on to discover it was on that street but in a different city about 20 miles away and that's all I have to say about that. So we got in a taxi back to the Wharf and went to Johnny Rockets for a sundae but the Smith boys had other ideas and even although our bellies were still full of Ike's sandwich, they once again displayed their skills in eating 'a-shit-load-of-food' by getting burgers. Their will power to eat as little and healthily as they do back home is astonishing considering this is what they are capable of.

We headed back to the hotel for our last sleep of the trip.

P.S You may be thinking there's a real lack of photos compared to the other blogs and that's because we lost our camera (in San Francisco I think). I say 'our' camera.........i'll be expecting a phone call any minute from my sister 😞 . This is actually pretty devastating. The camera can be replaced but our photos cannot and Danny wasn't exactly Mr Photographer that day either with his phone unfortunately. I've contacted all the airports and the hotel hasn't got back to me yet (I think I left it here on a wee seat outside or in the taxi we got back from the bridge).

From 5.40 in to 6.50

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19th October 2013

Back to the Future
I can fully sympathise with your experience as the exact same thing happened to me in San Francisco in the last government shutdown in '95.... I've still never made it to Alcatraz! Still, as I always say, it's best to leave something for next time...

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